United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-04-189 - Catawba 1 & 2 (Duke Energy Corporation)

January 24, 2005

EA-04-189
EA-04-236

Duke Energy Corporation
ATTN: Mr. D. M. Jamil
Site Vice President
Catawba Nuclear Station
4800 Concord Road
York, SC 29745

SUBJECT: NOTICE OF VIOLATION (CATAWBA NUCLEAR STATION - NRC INSPECTION REPORT 05000413/2005006 AND 05000414/2005006)

Dear Mr. Jamil:

This refers to the in-office inspection completed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff on October 29, 2004, concerning Duke Energy Corporation’s (DEC) proposed license amendment request (LAR) of February 27, 2003. DEC’s request, as supplemented by additional letters through December 10, 2004, proposed to revise its Technical Specifications to allow the use of four mixed oxide (MOX) fuel lead test assemblies (LTAs) at Catawba Nuclear Station Units 1 and 2.

The results of the inspection, including the identification of three apparent violations, were discussed with you and your staff on November 1, 2004, and were forwarded to you by NRC Inspection Report No. 05000413,414/2004010, dated November 3, 2004. Based on the results of the inspection, a pre-decisional enforcement conference was held on December 17, 2004, in the NRC’s White Flint North office in Rockville, MD, with you and members of your staff to discuss the apparent violations, their significance, root causes, and your corrective actions. A listing of conference attendees, material presented by the NRC, and material presented by DEC are included as Enclosures 2, 3, and 4, respectively.

Based on the information developed during the inspection and presented at the conference, the NRC has determined that violations of NRC requirements occurred. One cited violation (EA-04-189) is set forth in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice), and the circumstances surrounding it are described in detail in NRC Inspection Report No. 05000413/2004010. The cited violation involves two examples of DEC’s failure to submit complete and accurate information in violation of 10 CFR 50.9. The first such example involves DEC’s initial failure to indicate that the reactor core would also include eight next generation fuel (NGF) LTAs as part of the complete core loading of 193 fuel assemblies. The second example involved DEC’s initial reliance on radiation dose evaluations that were not based on the current plant design basis accident radiation dose estimates.

At the conference, DEC stated that it did not contest the violation. DEC also stated that its submittal of the inaccurate information was unintentional. Based on DEC’s review of the issues, the root causes for the first example involved inadequate preparation and review for accuracy of the MOX LAR and inadequate attention to the literal accuracy of statements in the submittal. The root causes for the second example involved a failure to maintain Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR) Chapter 15 dose information current as well as inadequate preparation and review of DEC’s responses to the NRC’s request for additional information (RAI).

Providing complete and accurate information to the NRC is essential to our mission to ensure public health and safety. In both examples, as part of the license amendment review process, it was necessary for the NRC staff to conduct substantial further inquiry to review the acceptability of the thermal-hydraulic conditions, mechanical design, and radiation doses for the actual intended core composition. Therefore, the NRC concludes that this violation should be characterized at Severity Level III in accordance with the Enforcement Policy. Regarding the first violation example, the NRC concluded in its July 27, 2004, safety evaluation supplement that the effect of the eight NGF LTAs on the core had been conservatively evaluated by DEC and that the NGF LTAs would not have any significant effect on the MOX LTAs. The impact of the second example (regarding updated dose information ) on the staff’s safety evaluation is still under NRC review, but is not expected to result in a different regulatory position.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $60,000 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Because your facility has not been the subject of escalated enforcement actions within the last 2 years, the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.C.2 of the Enforcement Policy.

DEC’s completed corrective actions included the following: DEC reviewed, clarified, and/or corrected its MOX LAR submittals and RAI responses; DEC management immediately took steps to reinforce its expectations regarding accuracy and precision in its submittals and RAI responses; regarding the FSAR Chapter 15 dose information, DEC informed the NRC of the error upon discovery and submitted updated dose information to the NRC; DEC reviewed the FSAR Chapter 15 results against the licensing basis calculations; and DEC also identified the need to correct the loss of coolant accident control room dose for the unfiltered control room inleakage and emergency core cooling system leakage. DEC’s planned corrective actions included the following: increased formality in the preparation, review, and internal approval of documents submitted to the NRC by creating a separate Basis Document for each LAR and response to an RAI; training of the DEC staff on the standards for completeness and accuracy in NRC correspondence; and FSAR update process improvements. Additional corrective actions taken or planned by DEC were also discussed at the conference. Based on the above, the NRC concluded that credit was warranted for the factor of Corrective Action.

Therefore, to encourage prompt and comprehensive correction of violations and in recognition of the absence of previous escalated enforcement action, I have been authorized to propose that no civil penalty be assessed in this case. However, similar violations in the future could result in further escalated enforcement action. Issuance of this Notice constitutes escalated enforcement action, that may subject you to increased inspection effort.

An additional violation was discussed at the conference involving DEC’s failure to update the FSAR as required by 10 CFR 50.71(e). Because of its low safety significance and because the issue was entered into your corrective action program (Problem Investigation Process Nos. G-04-0334 and C-04-4116), the NRC is treating this Severity Level IV violation as a non-cited violation (NCV), consistent with Section VI.A of the NRC Enforcement Policy.

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violations, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violations and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance will be achieved is adequately addressed in the information provided by DEC at the conference (Enclosure 4). Therefore, you are not required to respond to the violations documented in this letter unless the description herein does not accurately reflect your corrective actions or your position. In that case, or if you choose to provide additional information, you should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice.

For administrative purposes, this letter is issued as a separate NRC Inspection Report, No. 05000413/2005006 and 05000414/2005006, and the above violations are identified as follows: VIO 05000413,414/2005006-01, Failure to Provide Complete and Accurate Information Involving MOX Amendment Fuel Assemblies and Related Dose Calculations; and NCV 05000413,414/2005006-02, Failure to Update the FSAR Involving Dose Calculations. Accordingly, AV 05000413,414/2004010-01, AV 05000413,414/2004010-02, and AV 05000413,414/2004010-03 are closed.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.390 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter, its enclosures, and your response (if you chose to provide one) will be made available electronically for public inspection in the NRC Public Document Room or from the NRC’s document system (ADAMS), which is accessible from the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To the extent possible, the response should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, classified, or safeguards information so that it can be made available to the Public without redaction. The NRC also includes significant enforcement actions on its Web site at www.nrc.gov; select What We Do, Enforcement, then Significant Enforcement Actions.

Sincerely,

/RA/

William D. Travers
Regional Administrator

Docket Nos.: 50-413, 50-414
License Nos.: NPF-35, NPF-52

Enclosures:
1. Notice of Violation
2. List of Attendees
3. Information Presented by NRC
4. Information Presented by DEC

cc w/encls:

Lee Keller (CNS)
Regulatory Compliance Manager
Duke Energy Corporation
Electronic Mail Distribution

County Manager of York County, SC
Electronic Mail Distribution
Lisa Vaughn
Legal Department (PB05E)
Duke Energy Corporation
422 South Church Street
P. O. Box 1244
Charlotte, NC 28201-1244

Piedmont Municipal Power Agency
Electronic Mail Distribution
Anne Cottingham
Winston and Strawn
Electronic Mail Distribution

R. L. Gill, Jr., Manager
Regulatory Issues & Affairs
Duke Energy Corporation
526 S. Church Street
Charlotte, NC 28201-0006

North Carolina MPA-1
Electronic Mail Distribution

Ms. Karen E. Long
Assistant Attorney General
North Carolina Department of Justice
P.O. Box 629
Raleigh, North Carolina 27602

Henry J. Porter, Assistant Director
Div. of Radioactive Waste Mgmt.
S. C. Department of Health
and Environmental Control
Electronic Mail Distribution

NCEM REP Program Manager
4713 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-4713
R. Mike Gandy
Division of Radioactive Waste Mgmt.
S. C. Department of Health and
Environmental Control
Electronic Mail Distribution

Saluda River Electric
P.O. Box 929
Laurens, South Carolina 29360
Elizabeth McMahon
Assistant Attorney General
S. C. Attorney General's Office
Electronic Mail Distribution

Mr. Peter R. Harden, IV, Vice President
Customer Relations and Sales
Westinghouse Electric Company
6000 Fairview Road
12th Floor
Charlotte, North Carolina 28210

Vanessa Quinn
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Electronic Mail Distribution
Ms. Mary Olson
Director of the Southeast Office
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
729 Haywood Road, 1-A
P.O. Box 7586
Asheville, North Carolina 28802

North Carolina Electric
Membership Corporation
Electronic Mail Distribution

Mr. T. Richard Puryear
Owners Group (NCEMC)
Duke Energy Corporation
4800 Concord Road
York, South Carolina 29745
Peggy Force
Assistant Attorney General
N. C. Department of Justice
Electronic Mail Distribution

 
Mr. Richard M. Fry, Director
Division of Radiation Protection
NC Dept. of Environment, Health,
and Natural Resources
3825 Barrett Drive
Raleigh, North Carolina 27609-7721

 
Mr. Henry Barron
Group Vice President, Nuclear Generation
and Chief Nuclear Officer
P.O. Box 1006-EC07H
Charlotte, NC 28201-1006

 
Diane Curran
Harmon, Curran, Spielbergy &
Eisenberg, LLP
1726 M Street, NW
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036

 

NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Duke Energy Corporation
Catawba Units 1 and 2
Docket No. 50-413, 50-414
License No. NPF-35, NPF-52
EA-04-189

During an NRC inspection completed on October 29, 2004, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the “General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions,” (Enforcement Policy), the violation is listed below:


  10 CFR 50.9(a) states, in part, that information provided to the Commission by an applicant for a license or by a licensee shall be complete and accurate in all material respects.

  Contrary to the above, on February 27, 2003, November 3, 2003, and March 16, 2004, the licensee submitted incomplete and inaccurate information regarding a proposed amendment to the facility operating license, to allow the irradiation of four mixed oxide (MOX) lead test assemblies (LTAs). Specifically:

  A. The proposed license amendment of February 27, 2003, failed to indicate that the reactor core would also include eight next generation fuel LTAs as part of the complete core loading of 193 fuel assemblies. This information was material to the NRC in that, as part of the license amendment review, substantial further inquiry by the NRC was necessary to review the thermal-hydraulic conditions and mechanical design arising from the proposed reactor core composition.

  B. The above submittals included radiation dose evaluations that were not based on the current plant design basis accident radiation doses. This information was material to the NRC, in that as part of the license amendment review, substantial further inquiry by the NRC was necessary to review the radiation doses arising from the proposed reactor core composition.

This is a Severity Level III Violation (Supplement VII).

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violation, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence and the date when full compliance was achieved is already adequately addressed on the docket in the information provided by DEC at the conference (Enclosure 4). However, you are required to submit a written statement or explanation pursuant to 10 CFR 2.201 if the description therein does not accurately reflect your corrective actions or your position. In that case, or if you choose to respond, clearly mark your response as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation - EA-04-189," and send it to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN: Document Control Desk, Washington, DC 20555 with a copy to the Regional Administrator, Region II, within 30 days of the date of the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation (Notice).

If you contest this enforcement action, you should also provide a copy of your response, with the basis for your denial, to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

If you choose to respond, your response will be made available electronically for public inspection in the NRC Public Document Room or from the NRC’s document system (ADAMS), to the extent possible, it should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be made available to the public without redaction. ADAMS is accessible from the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. If personal privacy or proprietary information is necessary to provide an acceptable response, then please provide a bracketed copy of your response that identifies the information that should be protected and a redacted copy of your response that deletes such information. If you request withholding of such material, you must specifically identify the portions of your response that you seek to have withheld and provide in detail the bases for your claim of withholding (e.g., explain why the disclosure of information will create an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy or provide the information required by 10 CFR 2.390(b) to support a request for withholding confidential commercial or financial information). If safeguards information is necessary to provide an acceptable response, please provide the level of protection described in 10 CFR 73.21.

In accordance with 10 CFR 19.11, you may be required to post this Notice within 2 working days.


Dated this 24th day of January 2005

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012