Located within the Department of Energy (DOE), the Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS) is responsible for overseeing worker safety and security matters at nuclear weapons facilities located across the country. HSS has been the subject of much controversy since its very beginning when DOE leaders decided to eliminate the previous office handling worker safety—the Office of Environment, Safety and Health—and turn those duties over to the newly formed HSS, which is led by a longtime security chief. Critics contended the move was in deference to protecting large private contractors at the expense of workers’ safety. Complaints of safety violations at nuclear weapons sites have continued to arise despite HSS’s commitment to protect workers.
(Government Accountability Project)
(by Geoff S. Fein, National Defense)
Government stakeholders include the NNSA, which has direct oversight of nuclear weapons facilities, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.
In response, DOE wrote a
(PDF) saying WCH had addressed the concerns cited by GAP. DOE also refused to launch an independent investigation into the violations, as requested by the watchdog organization.