International standards and the U.S. DOE

Excerpt from FESHM chapter 2110, Figure 1: Process flow for accepting international code or standard code equivalency.

DUNE/LBNF has been an international project from the start. As such it presents differences from typical DOE-funded projects in many areas, for example, governance structures, accounting systems, program management tools, and codes/standards.

We are evolving approaches to developing systems and procedures that will allow us to move forward in this international environment, and have completed an extensive amount of work in the codes and standards domain.

Agencies and organizations in the governments of partnering countries have well–established and mature codes and standards to ensure the safety and reliability of equipment and materials used to support experiments. Since DUNE/LBNF will be constructed, installed, and operated in the U.S., and hosted by Fermilab — a DOE-operated laboratory — we are required to adhere to U.S.-DOE standards in accordance with FRA’s contract with DOE. For this reason, international standards must be rigorously cross-checked and documented as being equivalent to U.S.-DOE standards.

We have been working for over a year and have made substantial progress. Fermilab has created committees for cryogenics and mechanical safety to perform and document the required equivalency analysis. Driven by the shorter timeline of the Short-Baseline Neutrino (SBN) program, the committees have concentrated on reconciling mechanical codes for the membrane cryostat and the pressure pipe. So far, the international codes have been found to be at least as stringent as the U.S. codes. The first analysis, for the membrane cryostat work, took quite some time to complete; the pressure pipe work took roughly half as long, and we expect that the work will proceed more and more efficiently as we continue.

To facilitate the process for determining code and standard equivalencies, Fermilab has added a new chapter to its ES&H manual (FESHM) that documents the procedures for the required evaluations.

Other DOE labs have faced similar challenges on a smaller scale, and have thus far addressed them in an ad hoc manner. We hope and expect that the procedures that DUNE/LBNF is developing to support our international collaboration can be used in the future to serve this wider community as well.