In support of its research and development mission and security of its facilities, the Department of Energy (Department) maintains a significant inventory of explosives. OIG’s inspection revealed problems with handling and storing explosives at each of the four contractor-operated sites we visited, potentially increasing the risk of harm to personnel and infrastructure.
For instance, OIG found that, contrary to established practice designed to minimize the impact of inadvertent detonation, Savannah River Site and Idaho National Laboratory performed explosive shipment inspections during peak traffic hours at populated main gates rather than at remote areas and/or during non-peak traffic hours. OIG also observed that excess combustible and non-combustible materials were being stored in explosives bunkers; incorrect bunker placards and fire symbols were posted on bunkers and buildings; and, excess explosives waste was not being disposed of timely.
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