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Audit Report: IG-0736

August 16, 2006

The Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management's Corrective Action Program

Under the Department of Energy's (Department's) Corrective Action Program (CAP), the Yucca Mountain Project staff was instructed to report potential conditions adverse to quality (hereafter referred to as conditions) or safety into the Program database. Potential conditions include all failures, deficiencies, defective items, safety issues, and nonconformances with Quality Assurance requirements, which could affect the quality of the supporting technical information. As an alternative, employees who wish their identity to remain confidential can report potential conditions through the Employee Concerns Program (ECP). However, all conditions reported in the ECP and other tracking systems that are adverse to quality, must also be entered into the CAP database and assigned to a line management organization to develop and implement timely corrective actions. The benefit of a single tracking system is that deficiencies can be screened for significance, common cause analyses can be performed, and trending analyses can be used to identify repeat occurrences and potential significant problems. The CAP process also provides for the assignment of a significance level to the condition, ranging from Level A to Level D, depending on the actual or potential consequences of the condition. Level "A" condition reports, the most significant, include conditions, which if uncorrected could have a serious effect on safety, or serious effects on the performance of the repository, such as the ability to isolate waste. Level "D" condition reports are the least significant. Of the approximately 5,600 condition reports in the Corrective Action Program system, 14 were Level A; 783 were Level B; and, approximately 4,800 were Level C or D.