9.1. Safety


In the NIF and Photon Science Directorate, safety is a value that pervades all that we do. LLNL and Department of Energy (DOE) principles of the Integrated Safety Management System (ISMS), Occupational Health and Safety Management System (ISO 18001), and Environmental Management System (ISO 14001) are integrated into work to ensure the protection of worker health and safety and the environment.

At NIF, safety is inherent in how we think about work. It is our belief that all accidents are preventable, and that working safely depends on personal accountability at every level, beginning with the highest level of management and ending with the worker performing the work. Beyond the functions of ISMS, safety is the foremost consideration in all work conducted within the NIF Directorate, and all workers have the ability, authority, and responsibility to stop work if they feel it is unsafe.

The hazards associated with NIF and its operation have been identified and evaluated since the earliest stages of design. Safety features have been incorporated into the designs to mitigate these hazards. The bounds of NIF operations are described in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation: Final Site-wide Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Supplemental Stockpile Stewardship and Management Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, DOE/EIS-0348, DOE/EIS-0236- S3, and the Supplement Analysis of the 2005 Final Site-wide Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, DOE/EIS-0348-SA3. This NEPA documentation ensures that a thorough evaluation of the impacts of NIF operations has been completed, and that the risks to the public and the environment are understood and communicated. These evaluations have resulted in high-level limitations on NIF operations, namely the annual yield (1200 MJ/yr), the annual airborne tritium release (80 Ci/yr), the maximum individual shot yield (45 MJ), and material inventories (e.g., tritium inventory limited to 8000 Ci). The limits specified in the NEPA documentation are owed into the NIF Safety Basis Document (SBD). The SBD provides a more detailed identification and assessment of hazards, resulting in additional controls to ensure that risks to co-located workers and the public are low. In addition to flowing down yield and inventory limits, the safety basis document has identified a set of credited safety systems (e.g., radiation shielding) and other credited administrative controls that govern NIF operations. Inventory limits and yield control are implemented through the Facility Safety Plan,23 Operational Safety Plan (OSP) 581.11, Installation, Commissioning and Operation of the NIF Laser, NIF CIS Radiological Inventory Management System (RIMS), and other procedures. Configuration Management of these systems is critical to ensure continued functionality at the level assumed in the SBD.

The safety aspects of specific NIF operations are described in OSP 581.11 and in additional integration worksheets (IWSs) that authorize those operations. These documents provide a specific, detailed evaluation of hazards associated with working in NIF. These hazards include lasers, electrical hazards, oxygen deficiency, vacuum, standard industrial hazards, and radiological hazards. Controls for these hazards are delineated in the OSP/IWSs and are owed to specific work team documentation via a work permit.