United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-96-078 - Power Systems Energy Services, Inc.

May 28, 1996

EA 96-078

Mr. William Amt, President
Power Systems Energy Services, Inc.
317 South North Lake Blvd.
Altamonte Springs, Florida 32701

SUBJECT: NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Dear Mr. Amt:

This letter is in reference to the Secretary of Labor's (SOL) February 14, 1996, Decision and Remand Order (Case No. 93-ERA-24) which found that Power Systems Energy Services, Inc. (PSESI) had violated the employee protection provision of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (ERA). The SOL decision, which addressed the Administrative Law Judge's (ALJ) September 1, 1994 Recommended Decision and Order, found that Calvin J. Creekmore was discriminated against by PSESI for engaging in protected activities within the scope of the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA).

Based on the NRC staff's review of the SOL's decision, an apparent violation of 10 CFR 50.7 was identified as specified in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice). The violation is of concern because it represents discrimination against an employee for engaging in protected activities and could also have a chilling effect on other PSESI personnel in that it might deter them from identifying safety concerns. The NRC places a high value on the freedom provided to nuclear industry employees to raise potential safety concerns to their management or to the NRC. Section 211 of the Energy Reorganization Act and 10 CFR 50.7 establish strict requirements for the protection of employees against discrimination for raising nuclear safety issues. The NRC considers cases such as these, where management above first line supervision discriminates against an employee in violation of 10 CFR 50.7, to be very significant. Therefore, in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy, NUREG-1600), this violation has been categorized at Severity Level II.

You should be aware that similar violations in the future may result in civil and criminal sanctions including orders to prohibit PSESI and the involved supervisors from involvement in NRC-licensed activities.

You are required to respond to this letter and should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice when preparing your response. In your response, you should document the specific actions taken and any additional actions you plan to prevent recurrence. Your response may reference or include previous docketed correspondence, if the correspondence adequately addresses the required response. After reviewing your response to this Notice, including your proposed corrective actions and the results of future inspections, the NRC will determine whether further NRC enforcement action is necessary to ensure compliance with NRC regulatory requirements.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter, its enclosure, and your response will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR). To the extent possible, your response should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be placed in the PDR without redaction. However, if you find it necessary to include such information, you should clearly indicate the specific information that you desire not to be placed in the PDR, and provide the legal basis to support your request for withholding the information from the public.

The responses directed by this letter and the enclosed Notice are not subject to the clearance procedures of the Office of Management and Budget as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, Pub. L. No. 96-511.

                                  Sincerely,




                                  Frank P. Gillespie, Director
                                  Division of Inspection and Support Programs
                                  Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

Docket No. 99901241

Enclosure: Notice of Violation

cc:
Stephen Koinis, President
Octagon, Inc.
3554 Chain Bridge Road
Suite 201
Fairfax, VA 22030

Robert Hegney
Gilman & Marks
2 River View Square
99 East River Drive
East Hartford, Connecticut 06108

Mr. Calvin J. Creekmore


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
Power Systems Energy Services, Inc.                                   Docket No.  99901241
Altamonte Springs, Florida                                            EA 96-078

As a result of the Secretary of Labor's Decision and Remand Order, dated February 14, 1996 (93-ERA-24), a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In Accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the violation is listed below:

10 CFR 50.7, in part, prohibits discrimination by a contractor or subcontractor of a Commission licensee or applicant against an employee for engaging in certain protected activities. Discrimination includes discharge or other actions relating to the compensation, terms, conditions and privileges of employment. Protected activities are described in Section 210 (now 211) of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended, and in general relate to the administration or enforcement of a requirement imposed under the Atomic Energy Act or the Energy Reorganization Act.

Contrary to the above, in September 1992, Power Systems Energy Services, Inc. (PSESI), a contractor to Commission licensees, discriminated against Mr. Calvin J. Creekmore as a result of his having engaged in protected activities. The protected activities included Mr. Creekmore's identifying to his management concerns about PSESI's falsification of unescorted access authorization documentation submitted to meet NRC safeguards and security requirements. The Secretary of Labor's Decision and Remand Order, issued on February 14, 1996, found that PSESI's discharge of Mr. Creekmore on September 10, 1992, was an act of retaliation for engaging in these protected activities.

This is a Severity Level II violation (Supplement VII).

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, PSESI is hereby required to submit a written statement or explanation to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN: Document Control Desk, Washington, D.C. 20555 with a copy to the Chief, Special Inspection Branch, Division of Inspection and Support Programs, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, within 30 days of the date of the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation (Notice). This reply should be clearly marked as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation" and should include: (1) the reason for the violation, or if contested, the basis for disputing the violation, (2) the corrective steps that have been taken and the results achieved, (3) the corrective steps that will be taken to avoid further violations, and (4) the date when full compliance will be achieved. Your response may reference or include previous docketed correspondence, if the correspondence adequately addresses the required response. Where good cause is shown, consideration will be given to extending the response time.

Under the authority of Section 182 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2232, this response shall be submitted under oath or affirmation.

Because your response will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR), to the extent possible, it should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be placed in the PDR without redaction. However, if you find it necessary to include such information, you should clearly indicate the specific information that you desire not to be placed in the PDR, and provide the legal basis to support your request for withholding the information from the public.

Dated at Rockville, Maryland
this 28th day of May 1996

 

 

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