Hearing on special DOE order to be held Wednesday

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By Tris DeRoma

A hearing to collect public opinion on a plan by the Department of Energy to regulate its relationship with the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, the board that oversees its nuclear activities, is set for Wednesday.

The hearing will be held from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. eastern time and will be live via the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board website at DNFSB.gov. 

This spring, the DOE issued Order 140.1, an order that critics say reduces the DNSFB’s monitoring  and reporting role over the DOE’s nuclear facilities, including the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

A big component of what the the board does is issue weekly inspection reports on all of the DOE’s nuclear sites, including the lab. While most of the reports are mundane, occasionally inspectors will document accidents that happen at the laboratory which then make regional and sometimes national news. 

The order states the DOE can limit the board's inspectors’ access to information that is “predecisional or otherwise privileged.”

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