United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Escalated Enforcement Actions Issued to Fuel Cycle Facilites - B

 

NRC Action Number(s) and
Facility Name
Action Type
(Severity) &
Civil Penalty
(if any)
Date
Issued
Description
EA-08-204
Babcock and Wilcox
ORDER
02/23/2010

On October 12, 2010, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (Board) issued an Order approving a settlement agreement between Babcock and Wilcox Nuclear Operations Group, Inc. (B&W NOG) (formerly BWX Technologies (BWXT), Inc) and the NRC related to the failure by B&W NOG to adequately neutralize a spill of hydrofluoric acid (HF) which, on April 28, 2008, resulted in an operator receiving an ocular exposure requiring onsite and offsite emergency medical treatment.   The original enforcement action associated with this incident, which was retracted and reissued on February 23, 2010, was issued on October 20, 2008 (ML082960026).   In accordance with the Board Order, the NRC agreed (1) to withdraw the Order imposing a monetary civil penalty in the amount of $32,500 issued on June 15, 2010 (ML101580256); and, (2) to recategorize the violation issued on February 23, 2010 (ML100540701) from a Severity Level III violation to a violation with no severity level.  In accordance with the Board Order, B&W agreed to (1) not challenge the existence of a violation of NRC requirements related to the HF spill and withdraw its request for a hearing; (2) pay a settlement fee of $32,500 in lieu of the withdrawn civil penalty; (3) perform one quarterly emergency drill within a twelve-month period related to a chemical exposure event; and, (4) give a presentation addressing lessons learned at the 2011 Fuel Cycle Information Exchange. 

EA-09-263
Babcock and Wilcox
NOVCP
(SL III)

$35,000
01/11/2010

On January 11, 2010, a Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of a Civil Penalty in the amount of $35,000 was issued, to Babcock and Wilcox Nuclear Operations Group, Inc. (B&W -NOG).  This action was based on a Severity Level III violation involving the failure of the licensee to declare an Alert in a timely manner as required by Appendix G to their Emergency Plan.  Specifically, on July 15, 2009, the licensee failed to declare an Alert for more than 2 hours even though employees were cognizant that during that time, critically controls associated with a band saw reservoir did not exist and that the lost controls could not be immediately reestablished.  Although the failure to declare an Alert in a timely manner did not result in any actual consequences in this case, the potential consequences of an untimely emergency declaration could have been significant under different circumstances.

In addition, a Severity Level III problem associated with three procedural violations was identified as a result of this incident.  The three violations involved the failure of the licensee (1) to ensure that the band saw’s built-in coolant reservoir was disabled and not usable prior to operation of the band saw, (2) to establish controls on the band saw cutting fluid reservoir to prevent process changes which would make a criticality accident possible such as accumulation of cutting fluid or fissile material in the reservoir, and (3) to evaluate an accident scenario or establish appropriate controls preventing the accumulation of high enriched uranium and moderator in the band saw cutting fluid reservoir, an unfavorable geometry vessel.  In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a civil penalty was not proposed for these violations.

EA-08-171
BWX Technologies, Inc.
NOV
(SL III)
8/8/2008 On August 8, 2008, a Notice of Violation was issued to BWX Technologies, Inc. for a Severity Level III problem involving three violations of their license. Specifically, the licensee did not (1) inspect Raschig ring-filled vacuum (RRVCs) cleaners on multiple occasions between January 28, 2008, and March 5, 2008 to ensure adequate levels of Raschig rings were present to prevent inadvertent criticality, (2) establish, prior to March 5, 2008, double contingency for operation of RRVCs to ensure that a criticality accident could not occur with only one change in process conditions, and (3) fill, prior to March 5, 2008, multiple RRVCs with well-settled Raschig rings in accordance with ANSI/ANS-8.5-1996 such that further settling was not likely during use. In this case, no actual consequences resulted because an inadvertent criticality accident did not occur.
EA-07-240
BWX Technologies, Inc.
NOVCP
(SL III)

$32,500
1/24/2008 On January 24, 2008, a Notice of Violation (NOV) and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty in the amount of $32,500 was issued to BWX Technologies, Inc.  This action is based on a Severity Level III violation of Safety Condition S-1 of NRC License SNM-42 and Section 5.1.1 (f), “Protection Against Criticality,” of the License Application involving the failure of the licensee to analyze a specific transfer process to ensure the configuration of SNM during transfer could not result in a criticality accident. Specifically, on July 26, 2007, a Raschig ring vacuum cleaner spilled its contents containing a solution of SNM during transfer on a fork lift into a plastic bag being used for contamination control, which created an unanalyzed condition.  In this case, no criticality event occurred because of the low amount and concentration of SNM present.
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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012