Mailed 8/11/98

Contact: Diane Greenberg, Phone: (516) 344-2347

or Mona S. Rowe Phone: (516) 344-5056




Upton, NY - Robert McNair, a former group leader in Brookhaven National Laboratory's Reactor Division, has been named manager of the Laboratory's new Independent Oversight Office.

Independent oversight is part of Brookhaven's Integrated Assessment Program, an evaluation program that was set up to ensure effective and efficient Laboratory operations. The Integrated Assessment Program was established by Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA) when the not-for-profit company took over management of the Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in March. The program relies on self-assessments conducted by each department and division within the Laboratory; peer review by external parties; corporate oversight by BSA; and independent oversight by McNair's new office.

To help keep Brookhaven's Integrated Assessment Program on track, McNair's office has three tasks: First, to evaluate how well the results of the Lab's self-assessments are being used to correct weaknesses. Second, McNair and his staff of three perform special case studies to evaluate systems, processes, or programs in such areas as safeguards and security, and environment, safety and health. Finally, his office oversees the Laboratory's compliance with the Price-Anderson Act, the government insurance program that provides indemnification to DOE contractors that manage and conduct nuclear activities on behalf of DOE.

"We ensure that the Lab's perception of itself matches reality," said McNair.

Before being named to his new position, McNair worked as a reactor supervisor and then as group leader for Training Program Development & Evaluation. In 1997, he served as the project manager of the Tritium Remediation Project, which was responsible for characterizing a tritium plume from a spent-fuel pool underneath the Laboratory's High Flux Beam Reactor; pumping out the pool water and shipping the spent fuel off site in accordance with federal, state and local regulations; and putting a system in place to ensure that tritium above the drinking water standard will not leave the Laboratory site.

Before coming to Brookhaven, McNair worked as a nuclear engineer at the Shoreham nuclear power station, for Nuclear Energy Service, Inc., of Connecticut; and for Jersey Central Power & Light. Earlier, he was an engineering officer on board an oceanographic research vessel of the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration. He holds a B.S. in nuclear science from SUNY Maritime College, an MBA from Monmouth College, and two M.S. degrees from the New York Institute of Technology.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory creates and operates major facilities available to university, industrial and government personnel for basic and applied research in the physical, biomedical and environmental sciences, and in selected energy technologies. The Laboratory is operated by Brookhaven Science Associates, a not-for-profit research management company, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.


NOTE TO LOCAL EDITORS: Robert McNair is a resident of East Setauket, New York.