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DOE releases software quality improvement strategy

On a recommendation from the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, the Energy Department has issued an implementation plan to improve the quality of safety software at defense nuclear facilities. The department’s Office of the Environment, Safety and Health is taking phased steps toward identifying and fixing weaknesses in the system, analysis and design software that runs safety-related functions, as well as in the way people use and manage that software. The plan was created in answer to the board’s contention last September that the department’s original software Quality Assurance Improvement Plan “has not yet produced any substantial results.” The board then offered its Recommendation 2002-1, “Quality Assurance for Safety-Related Software.” In November, Energy secretary Spencer Abraham said a new implementation plan would include clear assignments of employee roles and responsibilities, processes that identify safety analyses and design codes, continuous tracking of software improvements and initiatives, and a stronger infrastructure and stricter requirements for software quality. Full Story

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