Nuclear Safety

You are here

The Office of Nuclear Safety establishes and maintains nuclear safety policy, requirements, and guidance including policy and requirements relating to hazard and accident analysis, facility design and operation, and QA.

The DOE Technical Standards Program promotes the use of voluntary consensus standards at DOE, manages and facilitates DOE's efforts to develop and maintain necessary technical standards, and communicates information on technical standards activities to people who develop or use technical standards in DOE.

The following procedures should be used to write, revise, or maintain a DOE technical standard. They are also used to convert a DOE technical standard to a non-government standard or to form a topical committee:

Technical Standards Program Procedures

Monthly Status Reports are available: Technical Standards Reports.

Following the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident in Japan, DOE embarked upon several initiatives to investigate the safety posture of its nuclear facilities relative to beyond design basis events (BDBEs).

The Nuclear Facility Safety Program establishes and maintains the DOE requirements for nuclear criticality safety. The DOE detailed requirements for criticality safety are contained in Section 4.3 of the DOE Order 420.1, Facility Safety.

DOE O 420.1C, Facility Safety establishes facility and programmatic safety requirements for DOE and NNSA for nuclear safety design criteria, fire protection, and criticality safety.

The Risk Assessment Technical Experts Working Group (RWG) is established to assist DOE in the appropriate and effective use of quantitative risk assessment in nuclear safety related activities. The activities of the group will help DOE ensure that risk assessments supporting nuclear safety decisions are conducted in a consistent manner, of appropriate quality, properly tailored to the needs of the decisions they are intended to support and documented. The RWG will also assist DOE in assessing the adequacy of available risk assessment tools and guidance supporting nuclear safety at its nuclear facilities.

The Department's commitment to environment, safety, and health also relies, upon work being conducted within an effective management system. DOE line managers and contracting officers must understand these two fundamental purposes for the QA requirements and ensure the QA Order and rule are specified in each major contract (including those contracts using the Work Smart Standards process to satisfy DOE Acquisition regulation 48 CFR 970.5223-1).

Nuclear and Facility Safety Policy is the Office of Primary Interest (OPI) responsible for the development, interpretation, and revision of a number of DOE directives. Technical Positions to directives issued by Nuclear and Facility Safety Policy provide clarification for specific applications of the requirements in DOE orders, rules, and other directives.

The Department of Energy (DOE) Fire Protection Program is multi-faceted. It includes published fire safety directives (Orders, standards, and guidance documents), a range of oversight activities, an annual fire protection program summary. DOE also sponsors fire safety conferences, various training initiatives, and a spectrum of technical assistance activities. This page is intended to bring together in one location as much of the Program's resources as possible to facilitate greater understanding, communication, and efficiency of operations.

The Department of Energy (DOE) Natural Phenomena Hazards Program develops and maintains state-of-the-art program standards and guidance for DOE facilities exposed to natural phenomena hazards (NPHs). This program applies to both conventional, nuclear hazard category 1, 2, and 3, and radiological facilities. Direction and guidance is given for seismic, extreme wind, tornado, precipitation, flood, volcanic ashfall and lightening threats. This program also provides assistance, training, communications, and support to facilitate effective implementation of DOE’s NPH standards to assure public and worker health and safety.

The guidance provided in DOE/EH-0545, Seismic Evaluation Procedure for Equipment in U.S. Department of Energy Facilities, must be used with the appropriate training and judgment as discussed throughout the Procedure. Before applying the methodology in this Procedure, the reference material for the Seismic Qualification Utility Group (SQUG) Generic Implementation Procedure (GIP) should be carefully studied. The methodology is not a "cookbook" approach because it requires an extensive use of judgment and a thorough understanding of the basis for the methodology. If differences are not marked appropriately in the sections of the DOE Seismic Evaluation Procedure which are taken directly or modified from the SQUG GIP, then the corresponding information in the SQUG GIP should be followed.