United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

2012 Reactor Actions

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Energy Northwest (Columbia Generating Station ) EA-12-092

On October 24, 2012, the NRC issued two White findings with associated violations and a Notice of Violation (NOV) for a Severity Level III violation to Energy Northwest (licensee) as a result of an inspection at the Columbia Generating Station. The first White finding involved the failure to maintain a standard emergency action level scheme in accordance with 10 CFR 50.47(b)(4). The second White finding involved the failure to maintain adequate methods for assessing and monitoring actual or potential offsite consequences of a radiological emergency condition in accordance with 10 CFR 50.47(b)(9). A Severity Level III violation was assessed for the licensee’s failure to recognize that their identified inaccuracies in the dose projection system was a major loss of emergency assessment capability and did not report it to the NRC in accordance with 10 CFR 50.72(b)(3)(xiii). The licensee has informed the NRC that multiple corrective actions are in place and/or planned.

Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC (Catawba Nuclear Station) EA-12-153

On October 11, 2012, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC (DEC) for a violation of Technical Specification (TS) 3.8.1, "AC Sources - Operating," associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding involving DEC’s failure to maintain two qualified circuits between the offsite transmission network and the Onsite Essential Auxiliary Power System operable when operating in MODES 1, 2, 3 or 4.  Specifically, from July 23, 2011, until November 11, 2011, when operating in MODE 1, one qualified circuit between the offsite transmission network and the Onsite Essential Auxiliary Power System was inoperable, and from November 11, 2011, until April 4, 2012, when operating in MODES 1, 2, 3, or 4, two qualified circuits between the offsite transmission network and the Onsite Essential Auxiliary Power System were inoperable.

Carolina Power and Light Company (Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant) EA-12-132

On October 3, 2012, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation associated with a White Significance Determination Process (SDP) finding and a Severity Level III violation to Carolina Power and Light Company (CP&L).  The White Finding was issued for the failure of Shearon Harris personnel to maintain adequate emergency facilities and equipment to support emergency response, as required by 10 CFR 50.54(q) and 10 CFR 50.47(b)(8), and the Severity Level III violation was issued for CP&L’s failure to make an eight hour report of the occurrence of a major loss of emergency assessment capability, as required by 10 CFR 50.72(b)(3)(xiii).  Specifically, between August 4, 2009, and November 9, 2011, CP&L failed to maintain adequate emergency facilities and equipment to support emergency response when the Emergency Operations Facility (EOF) normal and emergency ventilation system was in a degraded state and/or removed from service, for extended periods of time.  CP&L failed to report this condition as required between August 4, 2009, and November 9, 2011.

Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation (Wolf Creek Generating Station) EA-12-152

On September 21, 2012, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation (Wolf Creek) for a violation of Technical Specification 5.4.1(a) and Regulatory Guide 1.33, Appendix A, Section 9.a, associated with a Yellow Significance Determination Process finding.  The finding involved Wolf Creek’s failure to implement maintenance that affected safety-related equipment in accordance with written procedures.  Specifically, although required by a work order, Wolf Creek failed to install insulating sleeves on two splices associated with a startup transformer protective relay circuit.  The startup transformer subsequently experienced a trip and lockout during a plant trip because the two uninsulated wires touched and provided a false high phase differential signal to the protective relaying circuit. The protective lockout caused prolonged loss of offsite power to all Train B equipment and all non-safety related buses.

Tennessee Valley Authority (Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant) EA-12-133

On August 13, 2012, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for a violation of 10 CFR 50, Appendix B, Criterion V, "Instructions, Procedures, and Drawings," associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding involving TVA’s failure to accomplish the requirements contained in procedure NPG-SPP-09.3 “Plant Modifications and Engineering Change Control,” which required that an evaluation of training needs be completed to support implementation of procedures developed in response to design changes.  Specifically, on September 13, 2011, TVA issued several Safe Shutdown Instructions in support of Design Change Notice 69957, which installed a new three-hour fire barrier in the Intake Tunnel Structure, without performing an evaluation of training needs.  As a result, the Safe Shutdown Instructions could not be satisfactorily performed by plant operators and staff.

NextEra Energy Seabrook, LLC (Seabrook Station Unit 1) EA-12-093

On August 7, 2012, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to NextEra Energy Seabrook, LLC. (Seabrook) for a violation of 10 CFR 50.54(q)(2), associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding involving Seabrook’s failure to identify an performance weakness during the post-exercise critique.  Specifically, Seabrook did not identify as a weakness that an incorrect initial Protective Action Recommendation (PAR) had been developed and communicated to the state response organizations. The initial PAR was incorrect for the exercise actual condition (i.e., no release in progress).

NextEra Energy Point Beach, LLC (Point Beach Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2) EA-12-106

On July 24, 2012, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to NextEra Energy Point Beach, LLC for a violation of 10 CFR 50.47(b)(10) associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding involving the failure of Point Beach personnel to develop and have in place guidelines for the choice of protective actions during an emergency that were consistent with Federal guidance.  Specifically, an apparent logic error in a Point Beach emergency planning implementing procedure required the emergency director to revisit the question of impediments to evacuation after a prior decision to evacuate affected downwind sectors had been implemented by local authorities, resulting in a contradictory recommendation for sheltering being given during an exercise.

Indiana Michigan Power Company (D. C. Cook Nuclear Power Plant) EA-12-005

On June 28, 2012, an Immediately Effective Confirmatory Order was issued to the Indiana Michigan Power Company to confirm commitments made as a result of an ADR mediation session held on May 23, 2012.  This action is based on a violation involving two D. C. Cook supervisory-level individuals who failed to ensure that an individual, who was offsite when selected for fitness-for-duty testing, was tested at the earliest reasonable and practical opportunity when both the donor and collectors were available.  This was contrary to the requirements of 10 CFR Part 26, Sections 4(b) and 31(d)(2)(v) of the Fitness-for-Duty (FFD) program.  Indiana Michigan Power Company has completed a number of corrective actions and agreed to implement additional corrective actions and enhancements.  In consideration of the corrective actions and commitments outlined in the order, the NRC agreed to refrain from proposing a civil penalty and issuing a Notice of Violation for this matter.

Tennessee Valley Authority (Watts Bar, Unit 2) EA-12-021

On June 18, 2012, the NRC issued a Confirmatory Order (Effective Immediately) to Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to formalize commitments made as a result of an ADR mediation session.  The commitments were made by TVA as part of a settlement agreement between TVA and the NRC regarding an apparent violation of NRC requirements by TVA.  The agreement resolves the apparent violation involving two subcontractor employees at Watts Bar Unit 2 who deliberately falsified work order packages for primary containment penetrations which caused TVA to be in apparent violation of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion V, Instructions, Procedures and Drawings, and 10 CFR 50.9, Completeness and Accuracy of Information, which was identified during an NRC Office of Investigations (OI) investigation.  TVA agreed to a number of corrective actions as part of this Confirmatory Order, including but not limited to:  (1) a prompt cessation of all containment electrical penetration work activities and the initiation of an internal review of the incident; (2) a root cause and extent of condition review; (3) procedural revisions and training related to the importance of 10 CFR 50.9 and procedural compliance; and (4) various site specific (Watts Bar Unit 2) and fleet wide communications which discuss expectations for assuring work activities are performed and documented in a complete and accurate manner.  In consideration of these corrective actions and commitments, the NRC agreed to refrain from proposing a civil penalty and issuing a Notice of Violation or other enforcement action in this matter.

Tennessee Valley Authority (Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant) EA-12-071

On May 18, 2012, an immediately effective Confirmatory Order was issued to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), confirming TVA’s commitment to submit a license amendment request to transition the three units at the Browns Ferry plant to the National Fire Protection Association Standard 805. TVA had originally planned to submit its application to transition Browns Ferry on March 4, 2012. However, TVA requested a delay to ensure it could submit a high-quality application. Based on TVA’s commitment to maintain acceptable compensatory measures, and a review of TVA’s status and planned key activities, including the intended NFPA 805 modifications, the NRC determined that TVA provided adequate justification for its commitment to submit a license application by March 29, 2013. The NRC has therefore extended TVA’s enforcement discretion until March 29, 2013.

Virginia Electric and Power Company (North Anna Power Station, Unit 1 and 2) EA-12-033

On May 10, 2012, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Virginia Electric and Power Company for a violation of Technical Specification 5.4.1.a, “Procedures,” associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding involving Virginia Electric and Power Company’s failure to establish and maintain maintenance procedures appropriate to the circumstances for the safety-related emergency diesel generators (EDGs). Specifically, maintenance procedure 0-MCM-0701-27 did not provide adequate guidance for installation of the jacket water cooling inlet jumper gasket, which resulted in a faulty gasket installation on the Unit 2 “H” (2H) EDG in May 2010. As a result, the 2H EDG failed to perform its safety function when called upon on August 23, 2011.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (Diablo Canyon Power Plant) EA-12-075

On May 4, 2012, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for a violation of 10 CFR 50.9, “Completeness and Accuracy of Information,” associated with a Severity Level III violation involving PG&E’s failure to provide information to the Commission that was complete and accurate in all material respects, related to its NRC Generic Letter 2003-01 response.  Specifically, in a letter dated April 22, 2005, PG&E stated that: (1) test results confirmed that no unfiltered control room in-leakage existed; and (2) tracer gas in-leakage testing was performed in the alignment that results in the greatest consequence to the control room operator.  This information was inaccurate because control room ventilation testing conducted prior to PG&E’s response to Generic Letter 2003-01 indicated that the unfiltered in-leakage was greater than the value assumed in the design basis radiological analyses, and the system test was not performed in an alignment that resulted in the greatest consequence to the control room operator.

Omaha Public Power District (Fort Calhoun Station) EA-12-023

On April 10, 2012, the NRC issued a Red Significance Determination Process finding and a Notice of Violations for three violations to Omaha Public Power District as a result of inspections at the Fort Calhoun Station.  The Red finding was based on deficient modification and maintenance of the safety-related 480 Vac electrical distribution system that resulted in a catastrophic switchgear fire.  There were three violations associated with the Red finding:  (1) 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion III, “Design Control” associated with modifications to safety-related breakers, (2) 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVI, “Corrective Action” associated with inadequate electrical maintenance, and (3) License Condition 3.D, “Fire Protection Program” associated with train separation.  At the time of the event the plant was in cold shutdown for a planned refueling outage.

Florida Power and Light Company (Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, Units 3 and 4) EA-12-001

On April 9, 2012, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation associated with a White Significance Determination Process (SDP) finding and a Severity Level III violation with a Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty in the amount of $140,000 to Florida Power and Light Company (FPL).  The White Finding was issued for the failure of Turkey Point personnel to maintain the effectiveness of their emergency plan, as required by 10 CFR 50.54(q) and 10 CFR 50.47(b), and the Severity Level III violation and Civil Penalty were issued for FPL’s failure to make an eight hour report, as required by 10 CFR 50.72(b)(3)(xiii).  Specifically, from December 4, 2010, to July 13, 2011, and from October 10 to October 28, 2011, FPL failed to follow and maintain the effectiveness of its emergency plan when portions of the Technical Support Center (TSC) ventilation system were removed from service for maintenance, without compensatory measures.  FPL failed to report this condition as required from December 4, 2010, to
July 13, 2011. 

Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Palisades Nuclear Plant) EA-11-243

On February 14, 2012, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Palisades Nuclear Plant for a violation of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion V “Instructions, Procedures, and Drawings” that was categorized as a Yellow Significance Determination Process finding.  The licensee failed to ensure that the work performed on Electrical Bus D11-2 was prescribed by documented instructions or procedures of a type appropriate to the circumstances and accomplished in accordance with the instructions or procedures.  Specifically, on September 25, 2011, the work order instructions did not provide critical steps and also lacked proper step progression.  The work order instructions also included action steps to, “Insulate or support load side bus bars to ensure they do not fault,” which were not implemented.  Finally, the electricians performing work in the field attempted to remove a positive horizontal bus bar in Bus D11-2, which was not a prescribed step in the work order instructions.  As a result, these performance deficiencies caused an electrical fault which caused the loss of the left train 125-Volt DC safety-related system and loss of both preferred AC sources associated with the left train DC system.

Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Palisades Nuclear Plant) EA-11-241

On February 14, 2012, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Palisades Nuclear Plant for violations of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion III “Design Control” and Criterion XVI “Corrective Action” that were categorized as one White Significance Determination Process finding.  Specifically, in December 2007, the licensee failed to verify the adequacy of the safety related service water pump (SWP) coupling design to confirm that the coupling material was adequate for the environment and working conditions for which it would be subjected.  As a result, the licensee failed to identify and evaluate a new failure mechanism which was introduced into the system in the form of intergranular stress corrosion cracking (IGSCC).  In addition, on August 9, 2011, the licensee failed to preclude repetition of a significant condition adverse to quality when a coupling on a SWP failed due to IGSCC.

Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant) EA-10-090; EA-10-248; EA-11-106

On January 26, 2012, the NRC issued a Confirmatory Order (Effective Immediately) to Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc (licensee). to confirm commitments made as a result of an ADR mediation session held on November, 9, 2011.  During three investigations, the NRC discovered information associated with violations, the majority of which were willful, related to the adherence to site procedures related to radiation protection (RP).  Specifically, technicians willfully failed to (1)  test required individuals for respirator fit, as required by 10 CFR 20.1703; (2) maintain accurate documentation of completed respirator fit tests, as required by 10 CFR 50.9; (3) perform and/or accurately document independent verification of Drywell Continuous Atmospheric Monitoring System (DWCAM) valve positions after the valves were manipulated, as required by technical specifications (TS) and 10 CFR 50.9; (4) document a personal contamination event as required by TS; (5) perform a contamination survey prior to removing an item from a radiologically controlled area, as required by TS; and (6) perform daily radiological surveys of the reactor building 326 foot elevation airlock, as required by  10 CFR 20.1501(a).

Entergy agreed to take a number of actions as part of this Confirmatory Order, including but not limited to:  (1) committing to maintain the safety culture monitoring processes as described in NEI 09-07 “Fostering a Strong Nuclear Safety Culture,” or similar processes; (2) assessing Entergy’s procedure for implementing the safety culture processes described in the NEI guidance to determine if potential enhancements should be provided to NEI that would improve licensees’ ability to detect weaknesses in safety culture (if such enhancements could have prevented such violations as were the subject of this action); (3) conducting an assessment of the RP departments at each Entergy nuclear power plant to ensure activities are being conducted in accordance with NRC regulations; (4) preparing and presenting case studies at each Entergy nuclear power plant; and (5) delivering a presentation to industry representatives in each NRC geographical region which will discuss these events, including lessons learned and corrective actions.  In addition, Entergy took several corrective actions prior to the ADR mediation session. 

In recognition of Entergy’s proposed extensive corrective actions, in addition to corrective actions already taken, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation, associated with the violations discussed above, with no civil penalty assessed.

Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Palisades Nuclear Plant) EA-11-214

On January 25, 2012, an immediately effective Confirmatory Order was issued to Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy), to confirm commitments made as a result of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mediation session held on December 12, 2011. This enforcement action is based on a Technical Specification apparent violation.  An at-the-controls reactor operator left the at-the-controls area of the Control Room without providing a turnover to a qualified individual and without obtaining permission from the Control Room Supervisor.  Although the operator left the Control Room, another qualified individual resumed the at-the-controls responsibility.

During the ADR session, Entergy agreed to take the following actions: 1) development of a case study as related to the events that gave rise to the Confirmatory Order and present it to Entergy licensed reactor operators fleet wide, 2) a senior Entergy nuclear executive will send a letter fleet wide to each Entergy licensed reactor operator re-emphasizing the responsibilities of their position and associated safety responsibilities and obligations to the public, 3) a presentation at the appropriate industry forum(s) based on the facts and lessons learned from this event, 4) a review of the three Entergy procedures that are applicable to this event and address any relevant observations, findings, or recommendations in their Corrective Action Program, 5) conduct a safety culture assessment of the Palisades Operations Department, 6) perform a review of the planning for the next refueling outage, focusing on stressful or complex work evolutions to ensure that they are properly planned, and 7) inform the NRC, in writing, their plan to monitor and manage the reactor operator associated with event.  In consideration of these commitments, and other corrective actions already completed by Entergy, the NRC agreed to refrain from proposing a civil penalty and issuing a Notice of Violation.

Tennessee Valley Authority (Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant) EA-11-252

On January 23, 2012, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for a violation of 10 CFR 50.9, “Completeness and Accuracy of Information,” associated with a Severity Level III violation involving TVA’s failure to provide information to the Commission that was complete and accurate in all material respects, related to its NRC Generic Letter 89-10, “Safety-Related Motor-Operated Valve Testing and Surveillance” testing program.  Specifically, in a letter dated January 6, 1997, TVA stated that “Closure of valves FCV-74-52 and FCV-74-66 is not required by plant procedures to operate the residual heat removal (RHR) system in the suppression pool cooling mode. Therefore, these valves have no ‘redundant’ safety function and will not be included in the GL 89-10 program.” In a letter dated May 5, 2004, TVA stated that valves FCV-74-52 and FCV-74-66, “are not in the GL 89-10 program, since the valves are normally in their safety position.”  This information was inaccurate because the FCV-74-52 and FCV-74-66 valves do have a safety function to shut to operate the RHR system in the suppression pool cooling mode and should therefore have been included in Browns Ferry’s GL 89-10 MOV monitoring program. 

Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (River Bend Station) EA-11-159

On January 5, 2012, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation and Proposed Civil Penalty in the amount of $140,000 to Entergy Operations, Inc. (Entergy) for a Severity Level III violation as a result of an investigation at the River Bend Station.  An investigation conducted by the NRC Office of Investigations determined that on  multiple occasions multiple reactor operators willfully failed to follow an Entergy procedure that prohibited internet access in the “At-the-Controls” area of the control room, except as specifically authorized by the Operations Manager.  These reactor operators put Entergy in violation of the River Bend Station Technical Specifications.

Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Palisades Nuclear Plant) EA-11-227

On January 3, 2012, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. for a violation of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion V, “Instructions, Procedures, and Drawings,” associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding involving Entergy’s failure to prescribe maintenance on the safety-related turbine driven auxiliary feedwater pump, an activity affecting quality, by documented instructions of a type appropriate to the circumstances, as well as a failure to accomplish the maintenance in accordance with their procedure. Specifically, on October 17, 2010, procedure FWS-M-6, “Auxiliary Feedwater Turbine Maintenance,” failed to prescribe inspections of wear conditions on the knife edge and latch plate, or to replace the trip spring, although these inspections and replacements had been identified as necessary by the turbine vendor.  Palisades’ personnel also failed to perform a step in the surveillance procedure which required lubricating a pin and instead greased the knife edge of the mechanical overspeed/manual trip mechanism.  These deficiencies resulted in the turbine driven auxiliary feedwater pump being inoperable from October 29, 2010 to May 11, 2011.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, July 12, 2013