The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board



MON, 11/02/2015 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
Fall 2015 Colloquium Series

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (Board) is an independent oversight organization within the executive branch.  The Board is chartered with the responsibility of providing recommendations and advice to the Secretary of Energy regarding public health and safety issues at Department of Energy (DOE) defense nuclear facilities.  Established by the US Congress in 1988, the Board started operation in October 1989.  The Board reviews and evaluates the content and implementation of health and safety standards, as well as other requirements relating to the design, construction, operation, and decommissioning of DOE’s defense nuclear facilities. The Board is also responsible for investigating any event or practice at a DOE facility, which has or could adversely affect public health and safety, by analyzing design and operational data pertinent to safety oversight of DOE defense nuclear facilities.  This talk will discuss how the Board uses operational and design data to evaluate the safety concerns at DOE’s defense nuclear facilities.

About the Speaker:

Dr. John Abrefah is a Senior Engineer at the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, where he is using his years of experience to advance the safety envelops of DOE defense nuclear facilities.  He has more than 25 years of experience in research, analysis and characterization of irradiated nuclear materials behavior, spent nuclear fuel degradation and general engineer materials degradation behavior for system design performance.  Prior to joining the Board in 2008, he was a staff scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for 15 years where he started as Senior Research Engineer and became the Team Lead for the Radiomaterials Chemistry Group.  At PNNL, he was the principal scientist that led the research activities to stabilize the Hanford corroded  spent nuclear fuel stored at the K-Basin for interim storage as well as developing the thermal stabilization process scheme for separating plutonium from the degraded polycubes stored at the Plutonium Finishing Plant. Dr. Abrefah has been recognized for his scientific work with a number of awards and honors including an Emerald Honors Award for Professional Achievement in 2006.  He was invited to participate in national scientific programs including reviewing nuclear industries deliverables to US Department of Energy on the Global Nuclear Energy Partinership and has published several reports and journal articles.  After graduation, he worked with Prof. Olander on nuclear material degradation to advance his professional research knowledge until he joined PNNL in 1993. Dr. Abrefah received his Ph.D in Nuclear Engineering in 1987 and MS in Nuclear Engineering in 1982 from the University of California Berkeley.