Y-12 program improves best practice by integrating ERM

Posted: January 25, 2017 - 10:49am

Since 2006, Y-12 has been working to address aging facilities that are being used beyond their design life. The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) recognized Consolidated Nuclear Security’s (CNS’s) efforts as a best practice for its holistic approach to infrastructure.

Jeff Moore of Production Support explained how the Plant Health Review Committee, a key component of the Aging Asset Management Program, identifies asset risks to safe and reliable plant operations and prioritizes associated risk mitigation strategies. Last year, the group achieved a major step forward by fully integrating with the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) organization to perform asset risk assessments that ultimately drive investment priorities.

Tommy Dodson of ERM said, “The adoption of the ERM process meant applying an established method, using common criteria, and resulting in relevant and reliable risk measures, of which stakeholders could proactively manage.”

Moore said, “Structure, system, and equipment needs are identified through system health reporting and other condition monitoring activities. When needs cannot be addressed by the Facility Health Review Committees, they are escalated as unmitigated risks to the Plant Health Review Committee for funding prioritization.”

Moore worked closely with ERM’s Emily Braswell. “Emily and Jeff devised the most effective means to integrate ERM into the Plant Health work. Emily has stayed an active partner in the committee meetings, ensuring the consistent and continuous application of ERM principles,” Dodson said.

Another component of the Aging Asset Management Program is Y‑12’s Extended Life Program (ELP). Y-12 created the ELP in response to certain capabilities being removed from the Uranium Processing Facility scope, resulting in several production buildings serving an enduring mission after completion of the Uranium Processing Facility.

“Buildings 9204‑2E and 9215 are required to serve an enduring mission,” Moore said. “The ELP leverages the Aging Asset Management Program to evaluate the material condition of these facilities. The ELP includes the additional scope of reviewing regulatory requirements and developing a safety strategy for sustained operations.”

The Y‑12‑established Plant Health Review Committee looks beyond the enriched uranium capability and reviews all required processes and infrastructure at Y‑12. System engineers perform periodic health assessments of key systems.

Moore said, “The greatest success has been creating a plant‑wide forum where asset needs are prioritized holistically with respect to the Y‑12 site. This ensures priorities are identified in an integrated and risk‑informed manner so that out‑year budget requests accurately reflect what is required to sustain Y‑12’s mission capabilities.”

Dodson said, “ERM promotes the uniform evaluation of risks across CNS, which fosters mutual appreciation and informs decision‑making.”

“Being named a best practice affirms the Y‑12 Aging Asset Management Program is a value‑added endeavor and signifies a milestone in programmatic maturity. It is not viewed as recognition of achieving an end‑state but rather a charge to continue advancing,” Moore said.

As a direct result of these advances at Y‑12, CNS, is currently working to stand‑up a Plant Health Review Committee at Pantex to ensure consistency in the risk prioritization process between the two sites.