The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) said last Wednesday it will open two new field offices and cut its Washington workforce by almost half as part of a major reorganization scheduled to start in October.

The changes will be effective Oct. 1, according to a press release from the independent federal agency that monitors health and safety issues at current and former Department of Energy (DoE) nuclear-weapon sites.

As part of the restructuring, the DNFSB will create a new post of executive director of operations to manage the reorganized board’s staff. Christopher Roscetti, who in May took over as DNFSB technical director from longtime board hand Steven Stokes, will fill the post on an interim basis, come October.

“In recent years, the Department of Energy has changed its processes, procedures and organization, and we have been slow to adapt,” acting DNFSB Chairman Bruce Hamilton said in the release. “This restructuring will improve our safety focus and independent oversight priorities in the field, while making our headquarters organization leaner to make us more responsive in the execution of our mission.”

The DNFSB said it will stand up field offices in Albuquerque and Las Vegas to “provide full time coverage” of the Sandia National Laboratories; the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant; the Nevada National Security Site; the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; and the Idaho National Laboratory.

The board also plans to cut staff at its Washington, D.C., headquarters by 46 percent, while increasing the number of resident inspectors at DoE sites by 80 percent, according to the press release. The DNFSB now employs seven resident inspectors, with two more already scheduled to join the ranks by December.

Today, the DNFSB employs just fewer than 120 people. The agency has a roughly $30-million annual budget, of which employee salaries and benefits account for some 70 percent, according to its 2019 budget request.