Making a Difference in Environmental Cleanup -- Applying TQM in DOE

Article

Lillian, Daniel   (1992, ASQC)   U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC 20585-0002

Annual Quality Congress, Nashville TN    Vol. 46    No. 0
QICID: 9901    May 1992    pp. 821-827
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Article Abstract

The Department of Energy's (DOE) Laboratory Management Branch (LMB) formed an Analytical Services Program (ASP) to apply Total Quality Management (TQM) to the process of environmental cleanup.

The DOE predicted spending $200 billion over thirty years to clean up 3,700 industrial waste sites, 5,200 uranium tailings sites, 1.4 million drums of waste, 300,000 cubic meters of transuranic waste, and 2.5 million cubic meters of low-level radioactive waste. They further predicted that simply collecting the data to track the cleanup would cost an additional $15 to $45 billion over the same period. The DOE established the Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management (EM) and the EM established an Analytical Support Program (ASP) to manage those cost with TQM concepts.

TQM concepts are: planning, implementation, and review. Planning collects data from customers and suppliers to identify goals of the cleanup and responsibilities of the participants. Senior personnel from Department of Energy field operations form a Future Analytical Support Team (FAST) to maintain systematic communication across groups, both internal and external.Implementation establishes: (1) data needed to achieve goals derived from planning; (2) sampling and analytical alternatives; (3) analytical capacity; (4) data turnaround times; (5) adequacy of systems, processes, and tools that collect data.

Review ensures that assessment of outcomes is limited to those agreed upon in the planning phase. These TQM measures ensure that the DOE can be sure its cleanup efforts are having the desired effect.

Keywords

Analytical Support Program (ASP),Case study,Department of Energy (DOE),Environment,Engineering,Total Quality Management (TQM)


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