United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-96-125 - Hope Creek 1 (Public Service Electric and Gas Company)

October 23, 1996

EA 96-125
EA 96-281

Mr. Leon R. Eliason
Chief Nuclear Officer and President
Nuclear Business Unit
Public Service Electric and Gas Company
Post Office Box 236
Hancocks Bridge, New Jersey 08038

SUBJECT: NOTICE OF VIOLATION AND PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL
          PENALTIES - $150,000
          (NRC Inspection Reports No. 50-354/96-03 and 50-354/96-06)

Dear Mr. Eliason:

This letter refers to the NRC inspections conducted at the Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station between February 11 and March 30, 1996, and between June 23 and August 3, 1996. The inspection reports were sent to you on April 26, 1996, and August 29, 1996, respectively. Based on the inspections, apparent violations of NRC requirements were identified. On June 11, 1996, a predecisional enforcement conference was conducted with you and members of your staff to discuss five of the apparent violations identified during the first inspection, their causes, and your corrective actions. Regarding the sixth apparent violation, which was identified during the June-August inspection, you were offered the opportunity to either attend an enforcement conference, or provide a response, and you chose to provide a response, dated September 25, 1996.

Based on our review of the inspection findings, related Licensee Event Reports, information provided during the conference, and information provided in your September 25, 1996 response, six violations are being cited and are described in the enclosed Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalties (Notice). The first two violations relate to the failure to plan appropriate surveillance testing following completion of maintenance on control rod drives and their associated hydraulic operating systems during the November 1995 through March 1996 refueling outage, as well as previous failures to complete such surveillance testing prior to startups in February 1991 and April 1994. The third and fourth violations involve failures to promptly identify and correct conditions adverse to quality regarding (1) 15 pairs of reactor building ventilation supply duct backdraft isolation dampers being installed in a configuration that deviated from plant design requirements, and (2) control rod withdrawal speeds being in excess of the values assumed in the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR). The fifth violation involves the failure to obtain Commission approval prior to making changes to the facility's service water system design that involved an unreviewed safety question. The sixth violation involved the failure to maintain the service water system in accordance with the Technical Specifications (TS) during the period November 1992 to March 1996 in that the safety auxiliary cooling system (SACS) heat exchanger throttle valves (manual flow path valves) were not properly set which resulted in the service water flow rates to the SACS heat exchangers being insufficient for certain design basis requirements.

With respect to the first two violations (Violations I.A and I.B of the enclosed Notice), the inspectors found that maintenance had been performed on control rods during the November 1995 through March 1996 outage, yet appropriate testing had not been planned to be completed in accordance with the TS prior to restart. This maintenance on the control rods had the potential to affect the scram function of 68 control rods which required surveillance testing. As a result of the failure to follow procedures, you violated an administrative procedure which required that the post-maintenance testing be planned prior to restart. Rather than planning to perform the maintenance prior to the restart, your schedule for performing this required surveillance testing, as noted in your Licensee Event Report (LER) 96-007, was at 40% power after plant startup. Toward the end of the 1996 outage, we concluded that if the NRC had not intervened on March 13, 1996, by questioning a control room operator about completion of the control rod testing, a TS Limiting Condition for Operation violation would have occurred. The second violation in Section I involved two separate previous occasions (in February 1991 and April 1994), in which you made mode changes without completing the required control rod testing prior to plant startup.

The third violation (Violation II.A.1 of the enclosed Notice) involved the failure to correct a condition identified in 1992 involving 15 pairs of reactor building backdraft isolation dampers having been installed backwards. At the enforcement conference, you indicated that this condition was first identified by a contractor in 1984-1985. You were notified of this issue in 1992 and corrective action was not taken at that time to correct the problem. You reviewed the issue during your most recent 1995 refueling outage, and you again decided to defer corrective action. With the dampers installed backwards, the "self-sealing" feature of their design could not be assured, and sufficient analyses were not performed to ensure that the licensing bases of the facility were met with this nonconforming condition. These activities represent nonconservative decision making on your part, since you operated the unit for an extensive period with a known degradation, based on a less than fully rigorous engineering and safety analysis.

With respect to the fourth violation (Violation II.A.2 of the enclosed Notice), on March 14, 1996, during control rod withdrawal time testing, several control rods were found to withdraw faster than allowed by procedure HC.OP-FT.BF-0001, "Control Rod Drive Insertion and Withdrawal Speed Test Adjustment and Stall Flows. In each case, the corrective action consisted of adjusting the rod to the desired speed, with no effort to evaluate the significance of the misadjusted rods during previous operation or determine the cause of the "out of tolerance" rods. Subsequent to questions raised by the NRC inspector, an analysis was performed that concluded the "as-found" rod speeds measured during this 1996 testing were bounded by analysis. However, it was evident during this inspection that your organization lacked an appropriate appreciation of the safety significance of control rod withdrawal speed. In addition, further review identified that on May 10, 1992, a control rod was found to be traveling at a speed in excess of that allowed by the UFSAR and was not corrected until October 12, 1992. It was also travelling in excess of that allowed by a later analysis conducted on March 15, 1996. Therefore, as described in the fourth violation, you operated the plant during this period without taking corrective actions to address a condition outside the design basis.

With respect to the fifth violation (Violation II.B of the enclosed Notice), changes were made to the facility (as described in the UFSAR) involving unreviewed safety questions, without prior Commission approval. Specifically, in February 1996, you implemented a design change which would automatically open the main backwash valve for the service water system strainers whenever the associated service water pump started, and leave the valve open as long as the pump was running, rather than maintain that valve in the normally closed position. Prior to the modification, the valve would automatically open for short periods either via a timer or a high differential pressure across the strainers, in order to backwash the strainers. This modification constituted an unreviewed safety question because it reduced the margin of safety, as defined in the TS basis, in that it decreased the amount of station service water system flow available for the SACS by diverting some of the flow away from the heat exchangers in order to backwash the strainers.

Prior to implementation of the modification, you identified via calculations, that with the valve open, backwash flow through the service water (SW) pump discharge strainers was 2500 gallons per minute (gpm) which was much greater than the 430 gpm assumed in the UFSAR. Although your staff completed an Action Request to correct the UFSAR, you did not consider this discrepancy important for the purposes of this modification because a flow balance had been performed in 1992 which had verified adequate flow through the SACS heat exchangers with the backwash valve fully open. However, in the revised safety evaluation completed after implementation of the modification, you stated that you discovered that flow measurements taken during post-modification testing did not compare favorably to SW flow benchmarks, thereby invalidating the earlier assumption regarding the amount of backwash flow not being important. Rather than close the valve, you allowed the condition to continue and compensated for it in the revised 10 CFR 50.59 safety evaluation done to support the modification, by administratively limiting the ultimate heat sink (UHS) temperature to 84.6 degrees F, a value less than the TS limit of 88.6 degrees F. This temporary reduction in UHS water temperature was made to ensure design basis heat removal requirements could be met until a complete service water flow balance could be conducted following plant restart.

You approved this design change in March 1996 and continued to control the system with this administrative limit substituted for a TS limit, rather than closing the valve, or obtaining a change to the TS.

At the enforcement conference, you maintained that an administrative limit could be substituted for the TS limit for the UHS, since the administrative limit was more conservative than the TS limit. In support of this contention, you referenced a previous WNP-2 case where conservative administrative limits were used in lieu of a TS. You stated that the licensee in that case took the position that "a proposed change that involves the need to control plant operation in a manner more conservative than that required by the TS does not require NRC approval prior to implementation." Notwithstanding your contention, while the inspection guidance in NRC Generic Letter (GL) 91-18 acknowledges the use of administrative controls when degradations are discovered at a facility, that guidance was not intended to condone the use of such controls when a degradation is either created or perpetuated by a licensee's actions, since this condition would be under direct licensee control. Thus, since you created the condition by opening the valves, and then perpetuated the condition by making the modification permanent, the circumstances involved an unreviewed safety question arising from a change in the plant operation, rather than a corrective measure to promptly resolve a nonconforming condition in the existing plant design. The NRC position on this matter is stated in NRC Inspection Manual, Part 9900, issued April 9, 1996, which states a licensee may change the design of its plant, as described in the FSAR, in accordance with 10 CFR 50.59; however, whenever such a change involves an unreviewed safety question, or change in the TS, the licensee must obtain a license amendment prior to operating the plant with the nonconforming condition. With regard to your reliance upon the WNP-2 case, the NRC cited the licensee in that case for a violation involving converting safety-related service water system motor operated valves to manually operated valves. The statement by the licensee that a "proposed change that involves the need to control plant operation in a manner more conservative than that required by the TS does not require NRC approval prior to implementation" does not reflect the position of the NRC relative to unreviewed safety questions. Rather, that statement simply reflected that licensee's view.

The NRC is concerned that your independent oversight groups also failed to identify these problems even though opportunities to do so were available in both the past and the present time frame. The independent oversight groups, like the Quality Assurance/Nuclear Safety Review Group and the Station Operations Review Committee, are expected to provide additional assurance that deficiencies either leading to, or resulting from, poor decisions are discovered and corrected. While these issues were ultimately corrected in a manner to avoid significant safety consequences, these actions were completed in response to the NRC's identification of the problems. For the issues that are the subject of these violations, your independent review was neither sufficient nor timely.

These first five violations represent a significant regulatory concern because they indicate that management did not aggressively assure (1) appropriate planning for the testing of equipment following maintenance, (2) timely identification and correction of problems concerning safety related equipment, and (3) appropriate evaluation prior to making changes to the facility. Given the significance of the findings, in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, the first two violations are classified in the aggregate as a Severity Level III problem, the third and fourth violations are also classified in the aggregate as a Severity Level III problem, and the fifth violation is individually classified at Severity Level III.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $50,000 is considered for a Severity Level III problem or violation. Because your facility has been the subject of escalated enforcement actions within the last 2 years1, the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for Identification and Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Credit is not warranted for Identification because you did not identify the violations, other than Violation I.B. Credit is warranted for Corrective Action because at the time of the enforcement conference, your actions were considered both prompt and comprehensive. These actions, which were discussed during your presentation at the conference, include, but are not limited to the following: (1) performing an inclusive review of work activities to verify TS compliance, including an Operations Department review of work order activities performed during the outage, departmental reviews of TS requirements under their control, and Independent Quality Assurance/Nuclear Safety Review (QA/NSR) assessment; (2) developing a conditional TS surveillance list; (3) incorporating the post-maintenance event into the licensed operator requalification training; (4) setting all rods to within UFSAR assumed values before completing plant startup from RF06; (5) revising the control rod speed verification testing procedure to be consistent with the UFSAR, and reducing withdrawal speed acceptance criteria from 20% to 10%; (6) performing stroke timing of rods at each Refuel Outage; (7) completing a comprehensive root cause investigation of these concerns; and (8) providing training on the importance of maintaining the design and licensing basis of the facility.

Notwithstanding these corrective actions and consistent with the Enforcement Policy, to emphasize the importance of (1) appropriate planning for the testing of equipment following maintenance, (2) timely identification and correction of problems identified concerning safety related equipment, and (3) appropriate evaluation prior to making changes to the facility, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, to issue the enclosed Notice in the amount of $150,000 (a $50,000 base civil penalty for each of the three Severity Level III violations or problems).

With respect to the sixth violation set forth in Section III of the enclosed Notice, you had identified, as described in LER 96-009, that Hope Creek had operated in an unanalyzed condition due to inappropriate service water throttle valve settings. The NRC recognizes that during the period this condition existed, the service water system flow path did in fact provide sufficient cooling to the SACS heat exchangers. Nonetheless, the NRC is concerned that you failed to ensure that following a design change activity to replace the throttle valves during refueling outage 4 in November 1992, appropriate testing was not completed to establish the required throttle valve position and flow to the SACS heat exchangers for all design basis requirements, including expected tide conditions, pump degradation, and worst case ultimate heat sink temperatures.

This violation also represents a significant regulatory concern, and, therefore, is also classified at Severity Level III in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600.

Because your facility has been the subject of escalated enforcement actions within the last two years, the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for Identification and Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Credit is warranted for Identification because you did identify the violation as part of an extensive review of the Service Water System in response to the violation concerning the Service Water backwash valve identified in Item II.B. Credit is also warranted for Corrective Action because the actions you took were considered both prompt and comprehensive. These actions, which were described in your LER and your September 25, 1996 letter, include, but are not limited to the following: (1) repositioning of the throttle valves to ensure adequate system performance during all postulated design basis conditions; (2) performance of a flow balance to support a design change for the Service Water backwash strainer design change, which verified proper throttle position; (3) enhanced procedures clarifying the requirements for field verification of plant conditions against the assumptions in the engineering evaluations; (4) review of a sampling of engineering evaluations to determine whether appropriate acceptance criteria had been provided; (5) conduct of a Configuration Baseline Document validation review of the Service Water System and the SACS; and (6) plans to conduct a Service Water System Operational Performance Inspection in October and November 1996 to confirm the validity of the design and licensing basis reviews which have been completed.

Therefore, to encourage prompt identification and comprehensive correction of violations, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, not to propose a civil penalty for this violation.

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. 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. If redactions are required, a proprietary version containing brackets placed around the proprietary, privacy, and/or safeguards information should be submitted. In addition, a non-proprietary version with the information in the brackets redacted should be submitted to be placed in the PDR.

                            Sincerely,

                            ORIGINAL SIGNED BY:

                            Hubert J. Miller
                            Regional Administrator

Docket No. 50-354
License No. NPF-57

Enclosure: Notice of Violation and
Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalties

cc w/encl:
L. Storz, Senior Vice President - Nuclear Operations
E. Simpson, Senior Vice President - Nuclear Engineering
E. Salowitz, Director - Nuclear Business Support
C. Schaefer, External Operations - Nuclear, Delmarva Power & Light Co.
P. MacFarland Goelz, Manager, Joint Generation, Atlantic Electric
M. Bezilla, General Manager - Hope Creek Operations
J. Benjamin, Director - Quality Assurance & Nuclear Safety Review
D. Powell, Manager - Licensing and Regulation
R. Kankus, Joint Owner Affairs
A. C. Tapert, Program Administrator
R. Fryling, Jr., Esquire
M. J. Wetterhahn, Esquire
Consumer Advocate, Office of Consumer Advocate
W. Conklin, Public Safety Consultant, Lower Alloways Creek Township
State of New Jersey
State of Delaware


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
AND
PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTIES
Public Service Electric and Gas Company                   Docket No.  50-354
Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station                     License No.  NPF-57
                                                          Eas 96-125; 96-281

During NRC inspections conducted between February 11 and March 30, 1996, and between June 23 and August 3, 1996, violations of NRC requirements were identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission proposes to impose civil penalties pursuant to Section 234 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (Act), 42 U.S.C. 2282, and 10 CFR 2.205. The particular violations and associated civil penalties are set forth below:

I. VIOLATIONS RELATED TO SURVEILLANCE TESTING OF CONTROL RODS FOLLOWING MAINTENANCE

A. Technical Specification (TS) 6.8.1.a requires, in part, that written procedures in Appendix A of Regulatory Guide 1.33, Revision 2, February 1978, shall be established, implemented and maintained. Sections 8 and 9, respectively, of Appendix A of Regulatory Guide 1.33 specify procedures for performing surveillance tests and for performing safety-related maintenance.

Hope Creek Nuclear Business Unit Administrative Procedure NC.NA-AP.ZZ-0009(Q), Revision 9, Work Control Process, Section 5.3.2.p, and Administrative Procedure NC.NA-AP.ZZ-0050(Q), Revision 3, Station Testing Program, Section 5.1.2, require, in part, that appropriate TS surveillance testing be planned and conducted following maintenance on safety-related equipment.

Contrary to the above, prior to March 13, 1996, the licensee did not plan the appropriate surveillance testing on certain safety-related equipment following maintenance. Specifically, although maintenance had been conducted on 68 control rods (such as packing adjustments on scram inlet or outlet valves, or replacement of scram solenoid pilot valves) during the November 1995 through March 1996 outage, the licensee did not plan for testing the scram insertion capability for the control rods following these maintenance activities that could affect the scram insertion time, but rather planned for deferral of testing until after the plant startup even though the TS would require testing prior to the startup. (01013)

B. TS Surveillance Requirement 4.1.3.2.b requires, in part, that the maximum scram insertion time of control rods shall be demonstrated for specifically affected control rods following maintenance on the control rod or control rod system which could affect the scram insertion time.

Contrary to the above, on February 15, 1991, the plant started up without completion of surveillance tests required for 24 control rods following maintenance, and on April 25, 1994, the plant was started up without completing the required surveillance testing on two control rods following maintenance. (01023)

These two violations are classified in the aggregate as a Severity Level III problem (Supplement I).
Civil Penalty - $50,000

II. OTHER VIOLATIONS OF NRC REQUIREMENTS ASSESSED A CIVIL PENALTY

A. 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVI, requires, in part, that measures be established to assure that conditions adverse to quality such as failures, malfunctions, deficiencies, deviations, defective material and equipment, and nonconformances are promptly identified and corrected. Also, for significant conditions adverse to quality, measures shall assure that the cause of the condition is determined and corrective action taken to preclude recurrence.

  1. Contrary to the above, from January 1992 to February 27, 1996, the licensee did not establish measures to assure that a certain condition adverse to quality was promptly identified and corrected. Specifically, in January 1992, the licensee identified that 15 pairs of High Energy Line Break (HELB) reactor building ventilation supply duct backdraft isolation dampers were installed backwards (since original plant construction) in various reactor building filtration, recirculation, and ventilation system supply ducts. This configuration deviated from plant design requirements, in that the "self-sealing" feature was invalidated, thereby causing a condition adverse to quality, and this condition adverse to quality was not corrected until February 27, 1996. (02013)
  2. Contrary to the above:
a. From May 10, 1992 to October 12, 1992, the licensee did not establish measures to assure that a condition adverse to quality was promptly identified and corrected. Specifically, on May 10, 1992, the flow control needle valve for control rod No. 22-35 was adjusted in an attempt to correct a double notching condition. This adjustment resulted in a rod withdrawal speed of 5 inches per second, which was in excess of the value of 3.6 inches per second assumed in Section 15.4.1.2 of the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report for rod withdrawal error analysis. The withdrawal speed was also in excess of the speeds bounded by previously performed General Electric analyses. However, the rod withdrawal speed was not corrected until October 12, 1992.

b. On several occasions prior to March 1996, the withdrawal speeds were in excess of 3.6 inches per second and, although actions were taken in each case to adjust the withdrawal speed to be within limits, the licensee did not establish measures to address the cause of this significant condition adverse to quality. (02023)

This is a Severity Level III problem (Supplement I).
Civil Penalty - $50,000

B. 10 CFR 50.59(a)(1) states, in part, that the holder of a license may make changes in the facility as described in the safety analysis report, without prior Commission approval, unless the proposed changes involve changes in the TS incorporated in the license, or an unreviewed safety question. 10 CFR 50.59(a)(2) states, in part, that an unreviewed safety question shall be deemed to exist if the margin of safety as defined in the basis of any TS is reduced.

Contrary to the above, the licensee made changes to the facility as described in the Section 9.2.1.4 of the FSAR. Section 9.2.1.4 of the FSAR stated, in part, that a self-cleaning strainer downstream of each station service water pump continuously backwashes a small amount of water via a bypass valve and when the strainer is subjected to an excessive differential pressure, a high differential switch opens the main backwash valve. The changes to the facility involved unreviewed safety questions, without prior Commission approval. Specifically,

  1. In February 1996, the licensee implemented design change DCP 4EC3546 which would automatically open the main backwash valve whenever the associated service water pump started, and leave the valve open as long as the pump was running, rather than maintain the valve in the normally closed position. The modification constituted an unreviewed safety question because it reduced the margin of safety as defined in the basis of TS 3/4.7.1, "Service Water Systems" in that it decreased the amount of station service water system flow available for the safety auxiliary cooling system by diverting some of the flow away from the heat exchangers to backwash the strainers. However, this change was made without Commission approval.
  2. After installation of design change DCP 4EC3546 which permitted automatic opening of the main backwash valve whenever the associated service water pump started, the licensee discovered that flow measurements taken during post modification testing did not compare favorably to SW flow benchmarks. However, this discrepancy was not considered important because a flow balance completed in 1992 had verified adequate flow through the station auxiliaries cooling system heat exchangers with the backwash valve full open. As a result, the licensee allowed the condition to continue and compensated for it by revising the 10 CFR 50.59 safety evaluation performed to support the modification, by administratively limiting the ultimate heat sink (UHS) temperature to 84.6 degrees F, a value less than the TS limit of 88.6 degrees F. This temporary reduction in UHS water temperature was necessary to ensure design basis heat removal requirements could be met until a complete service water flow balance could be conducted following plant restart. The licensee approved this change in March 1996 and continued to control the system with this administrative limit substituted for a TS limit, rather than closing the valve or obtaining a change to the TS. (02033)

This is a Severity Level III violation (Supplement I).
Civil Penalty - $50,000

III. VIOLATION NOT ASSESSED A CIVIL PENALTY

TS 3.7.1.2 (b) requires, in part, that the service water system loops be comprised of an operable flow path capable of taking suction from the Delaware River (ultimate heat sink) and transferring the water to the Safety Auxiliary Cooling System (SACS) heat exchangers.

Contrary to the above, from November 1992 until March 17, 1996, the service water flow throttle valves to the SACS heat exchangers were improperly set following modification activities in November 1992. As a result, the flow path was not capable of transferring sufficient cooling water from the Delaware River to the SACS heat exchangers for certain design basis postulated operating conditions, namely, extreme low river water level, pump degradation, and high river water temperature.

This is a Severity Level III violation (Supplement I).

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (Licensee) is hereby required to submit a written statement or explanation to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, within 30 days of the date of this Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalties (Notice). This reply should be clearly marked as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation" and should include for each alleged violation: (1) admission or denial of the alleged violation, (2) the reasons for the violation if admitted, and if denied, the reasons why, (3) the corrective steps that have been taken and the results achieved, (4) the corrective steps that will be taken to avoid further violations, and (5) the date when full compliance will be achieved.

If an adequate reply is not received within the time specified in this Notice, an Order or a Demand for Information may be issued as to why the license should not be modified, suspended, or revoked or why such other action as may be proper should not be taken. Consideration may be given to extending the response time for good cause shown. Under the authority of Section 182 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2232, this response shall be submitted under oath or affirmation.

Within the same time as provided for the response required above under 10 CFR 2.201, the Licensee may pay the civil penalties by letter addressed to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with a check, draft, money order, or electronic transfer payable to the Treasurer of the United States in the cumulative amount of the civil penalties, or may protest imposition of the civil penalties in whole or in part, by a written answer addressed to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Should the Licensee fail to answer within the time specified, an order imposing the civil penalties will be issued. Should the Licensee elect to file an answer in accordance with 10 CFR 2.205 protesting the civil penalties, in whole or in part, such answer should be clearly marked as an "Answer to a Notice of Violation" and may: (1) deny the violations listed in this Notice, in whole or in part, (2) demonstrate extenuating circumstances, (3) show error in this Notice, or (4) show other reasons why the penalties should not be imposed. In addition to protesting the civil penalties in whole or in part, such answer may request remission or mitigation of the penalties.

In requesting mitigation of the proposed penalties, the factors addressed in Section VI.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy should be addressed. Any written answer in accordance with 10 CFR 2.205 should be set forth separately from the statement or explanation in reply pursuant to 10 CFR 2.201, but may incorporate parts of the 10 CFR 2.201 reply by specific reference (e.g., citing page and paragraph numbers) to avoid repetition. The attention of the Licensee is directed to the other provisions of 10 CFR 2.205, regarding the procedure for imposing civil penalties.

Upon failure to pay any civil penalties due that subsequently have been determined in accordance with the applicable provisions of 10 CFR 2.205, this matter may be referred to the Attorney General, and the penalties, unless compromised, remitted, or mitigated, may be collected by civil action pursuant to Section 234c of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2282c.

The response noted above (Reply to Notice of Violation, letter with payment of civil penalties, and Answer to a Notice of Violation) should be addressed to: James Lieberman, Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852-2738, with a copy to the Regional Administrator, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Region I, and a copy to the NRC Senior Resident Inspector at the facility that is the subject of this Notice.

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. If redactions are required, a proprietary version containing brackets placed around the proprietary, privacy, and/or safeguards information should be submitted. In addition, a non-proprietary version with the information in the brackets redacted should be submitted to be placed in the PDR.

Dated at King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
this 23rd day of October 1996


1. A $100,000 civil penalty was issued on December 12, 1995 (EA 95-216), based on an inspection that ended August 24, 1995.

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