NSSAB 2019 year in review

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Nevada Site Specific Advisory Board (NSSAB) 2019 year in review

NSSAB 2019 year in review
NSSAB members observe a low-level waste visual verification at an NNSS generator.

NSSAB works hard in fiscal year 2019 to include providing EM Nevada Program 10 recommendations!

The dedicated volunteers on the NSSAB had a very productive fiscal year (FY) 2019, hosting six public meetings in Nevada – four in Las Vegas, one in Amargosa Valley and one in Pahrump. During the course of these meetings, the NSSAB tackled multiple tasks related to groundwater, budget and radioactive waste management. As a result of their efforts, the NSSAB provided 10 recommendations to the DOE’s Environmental Management (EM) Nevada Program.

The path to providing these educated recommendations involved many hours of briefings by subject matter experts and follow-up discussion by the Board. In addition, members also attended numerous meetings and conferences, such as the EM National Cleanup Workshop, RadWaste Summit, Devils Hole Workshop (groundwater conference) and Low-Level Waste Stakeholders Forum. They also visited/toured the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) and other DOE cleanup sites.

NSSAB 2019 year in review
NSSAB members vote on FY 2020 work plan.

The recommendations submitted to the EM Nevada Program provide invaluable insight into the public’s priorities on how environmental corrective actions and waste management activities are performed, and are considered when developing short-term and long-term plans for the Program. The 10 recommendations submitted by the NSSAB in FY 2019 include the following:

  1. Proposed ways to enhance the risk-informed scheduling process for the Radioactive Waste Acceptance Program.
  2. Ranked the Pahute Mesa groundwater corrective action area as the top funding priority, followed by a tie between Radioactive Waste Management Disposal Operations and Post-Closure Monitoring activities.
  3. Endorsed DOE’s plan for utilizing a more pragmatic approach for closure of the Pahute Mesa groundwater characterization area.
  4. Ranked the main objectives for Pahute Mesa groundwater well sampling as: (1) expand knowledge of the flow system, (2) refine monitoring network, and (3) support modeling.
  5. Recommended the EM Nevada Program continue conducting visual verifications of generators that ship and dispose waste at the NNSS.

Closing out FY 2019 activities at the September meeting, the NSSAB established their work plan for FY 2020. And to kick off the new fiscal year, the NSSAB visited the NNSS with a focus on sites related to items they will provide recommendations on in the upcoming year. More information on the NSSAB is available online at www.nnss.gov/nssab/.

NSSAB 2019 year in review
NSSAB members receive work plan briefings from subject-matter experts during annual NNSS tour.

What is the NSSAB?

The NSSAB is one of eight federally-chartered DOE advisory boards and is comprised of volunteer members from urban and rural communities in southern Nevada and bordering California that are located near the NNSS. Members meet to study and discuss DOE EM Nevada Program activities and provide recommendations from a community perspective on radioactive waste management/ disposal and transportation activities, the effects of historic nuclear testing on the groundwater, and other environmental corrective actions..