The 2004 International Topical Meeting on Operating Nuclear Facility Safety (ONFS) is an embedded topical meeting to the Winter Meeting of the American Nuclear Society and is sponsored by its Nuclear Installations Safety Division (NISD). ONFS represents an extension of the NISD's Operating Reactor Safety triennial topical meeting series to include operational issues pertaining to nuclear nonreactor facilities from both the commercial and government sectors. The topical meeting reflects the understanding that experience and operational lessons of nuclear facilities throughout the world are the bases to improve safety while performing effectively. In other words, it is important to draw upon experience from operations in nuclear facilities in both the western and eastern hemispheres and not limit our basis for improvement from only the immediate nuclear plant or facility.
Reactor, high-level waste, laboratory, fuel fabrication, decommissioning and decontamination (closure) projects, nuclear material processing, and software experiences are included in the scope of ONFS. The emphasis is on true integrated safety management (ISM) approaches for operating facilities, identifying the lessons learned, recognizing the common areas for improvement, and sharing of innovative approaches for achieving and maintaining a robust safety performance. The embedded meeting's focus is to discuss similarities and differences in achieving safety in commercial and government facilities and to evaluate if common safety models could (or should) be sought. Domestic and international experiences are documented, capturing the benefits and future directions planned with ISM, risk-informed and deterministic approaches, and other safety paradigms.
The 2004 ONFS topical meeting, through a combination of panel sessions by distinguished nuclear safety leaders and technical sessions, provides a truly international forum for discussing the latest developments in the safety of operating nuclear facilities. Sessions include safety process improvements and experience insights developed as part of new facility operational planning, software quality, decommissioning and decontamination of older facilities, fire risk management, safety basis enhancements, reactor and laboratory operations, vulnerability methodology, facility modifications, probabilistic methods, and regulatory model applications. In keeping with these themes, we are extremely pleased that Dr. Bruce Matthews of the U.S. Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board will provide a discussion on "Safety Management of Complex, High Hazard Operations" as part of the 2004 ONFS dinner. To bring closure to 2004 ONFS, a wrap-up panel session at the conclusion of the topical highlights key crosscutting issues and solutions.
On behalf of the full Technical Program Committee, we are pleased with the international participation in, and the strong nonreactor contributions made to, this topical. We believe that these compact disk proceedings will be a valuable resource to nuclear facility managers, safety support teams, regulators, designers, and independent oversight personnel regardless of their location. We look forward to continuing the operational safety and experience sharing dialogue that has been reinstituted in this meeting at future sessions of the triennial ONFS series.