United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-96-273 - Point Beach 1 & 2 (Wisconsin Energy Corporation)

December 3, 1996

EA 96-273

Mr. R. A. Abdoo
Chairman, President, and
Chief Executive Officer
Wisconsin Energy Corporation
231 West Michigan Street - P440
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201

SUBJECT:  POINT BEACH NUCLEAR POWER PLANT - UNITS 1 AND 2
          NOTICE OF VIOLATION AND PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL 
          PENALTIES -$325,000
          (NRC Integrated Inspection Report Nos. 50-266/96006; 50-301/96006 and
          50-266/96007; 50-301/96007)

Dear Mr. Abdoo:

This refers to the inspections conducted from June 12 through August 23, 1996, at the Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant. The inspections included a review of the conduct of control room activities, plant configuration control, post-maintenance and inservice testing, and conduct of dry cask storage activities. The reports documenting the inspections were sent by letter dated September 5, 1996, and November 6, 1996, and an open pre-decisional enforcement conference was conducted on September 12, 1996.

Based on the information developed during the inspections and the information that was provided during the conference, the NRC has determined that violations of NRC requirements occurred. The violations are cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalties (Notice) and the circumstances surrounding the violations are described in detail in the subject inspection reports.

The issues we identified reflect significant weaknesses in the areas of operations, maintenance, and engineering at your Point Beach facility which involve all levels of your organization. While these issues are of significant regulatory concern, we are also concerned by the inadequate response (and sometimes the lack of a response) by your staff to most of these issues. This indicates to us that there is a need for greater attention to: (1) what Technical Specifications (TS), NRC regulations, and Point Beach procedures require; and (2) the importance of full compliance with these safety requirements.

The violations in Section I of the Notice involve three separate occasions when licensed operators were inattentive to their duties, in addition to examples of inadequate on-shift staffing. On July 15, 1996, an NRC inspector observed on-shift control room watchstanders viewing a training videotape in the control room. Further review determined that viewing videotapes in the control room was a routine practice that had been ongoing for several years.

On July 31, 1996, an NRC inspector observed that a Unit 1 Control Operator had left his normally assigned watch station to get a cup of coffee without a required short-term watch relief. We are particularly concerned that when the Duty Shift Supervisor was questioned about these incidents, he incorrectly informed the inspectors that these activities were allowed by plant procedures.

On August 14, 1996, an NRC inspector observed the Unit 1 Control Operator fail to respond to a control board alarm until prompted by a senior reactor operator. When we discussed this observation with the Operations Manager (in the presence of the Site Manager), he indicated that he was not concerned because operators have good teamwork in the control room and an operator will occasionally miss an alarm. Finally, your staff identified that on August 14, 1996, the Duty Technical Advisor left the site while on duty, and, although capable of responding to the control room within the minimum time specified in the TS, being offsite was contrary to TS. This apparently had been an accepted practice for the past five years.

The violations in Section I of the Notice represent inattentiveness to duty on the part of licensed personnel. This does not appear to be an isolated problem at Point Beach and is a significant regulatory concern. Therefore, the violations have been classified in the aggregate in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, as a Severity Level III problem.

The violations in Section II of the Notice involve the: (1) failure to maintain adequate configuration control of the auxiliary feedwater (AFW) system following maintenance on the turbine-driven AFW pump resulting in taking the reactor critical with the pump's discharge valves closed, in violation of TS; (2) failure of the inservice testing program for the safety injection pumps to incorporate appropriate design basis acceptance criteria; and, (3) failure to require testing gages to be accurate within acceptable limits. During the 1996 Unit 1 refueling outage, the turbine-driven AFW pump governor valve stem was replaced. Testing procedures conducted following the stem replacement did not provide for restoration of the pump's discharge flow path valve lineup following the maintenance activity. Additionally, the work order associated with the stem replacement specified a cold fast start test as part of the required operability post-maintenance testing. Despite this requirement, the reactor was taken critical without the cold fast start test having been performed and with the pump discharge valves closed, which rendered the pump's flowpath inoperable.

The violations in Section II of the Notice represent a breakdown in control of licensed activities and have been classified in the aggregate in accordance with the Enforcement Policy, as a Severity Level III problem.

The violation in Section III of the Notice involves your staff failing to take prompt corrective action following the identification of a condition adverse to quality. Specifically, after completion of a calculation in April 1996, your staff concluded that the number of service water pumps required to mitigate a design basis accident was greater than the number specified in both the Final Safety Analysis Report and TS. Your staff implemented administrative controls to increase the required number of service water pumps necessary for safe operation. However, this action was not adequate because you did not promptly request an amendment to the TS. As a result, the TS did not accurately specify the lowest functional capability or performance level of the service water system required for safe operation of your facility as required by 10 CFR 50.36. This violation represents a significant failure to meet the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVI, and has been categorized in accordance with the Enforcement Policy, as a Severity Level III violation.

The violations in Section IV of the Notice are based on the results of an inspection performed by an Augmented Inspection Team following the hydrogen ignition event which occurred during welding on a VSC-24 spent fuel cask. Pursuant to 10 CFR 72.210, the Wisconsin Electric Power Company has been granted a general license to store spent fuel in an independent spent fuel storage installation at its Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant. The inspection of activities conducted under that general license, found that the weight of the multi-assembly sealed basket (MSB) shield lid was not appropriately translated from the safety analysis report into several procedures and there was an inadequate procedure for placing the MSB transfer cask into the spent fuel pool. In addition to these findings, it was determined that the use of Carbo Zinc 11 paint, in a borated water environment was not properly assessed by you and your vendor, Sierra Nuclear Corporation. The paint generates hydrogen in a borated water environment and adequate controls to deal with the hydrogen were not provided. Several opportunities to identify the generation of hydrogen during previous cask loading operations had been missed. Finally, a safety evaluation was not performed for improperly sized rigging utilized for lowering the MSB into the ventilated concrete cask, and a safety evaluation for weighing the MSB shield lid while in place was not adequate. These violations of the requirements of 10 CFR Part 72 represent a breakdown in control of licensed activities associated with dry cask storage activities and have been classified in the aggregate in accordance with the Enforcement Policy, as a Severity Level III problem.

During the enforcement conference, your staff identified a number of root causes for these violations including weaknesses in: (1) questioning attitudes, (2) management expectations, (3) resolution of issues, (4) attention to detail, (5) communications, and (6) organizational design. Numerous corrective actions were described to address these root causes.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $50,000 for power reactors was considered for each Severity Level III violation or problem in Sections I, II, and III of the Notice. A base civil penalty in the amount of $12,500 for independent spent fuel installations was considered for the problem in Section IV of the Notice. 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 was not warranted for identification because the NRC identified the Severity Level III problems in Sections I, II, and IV of the Notice and the Severity Level III violation in Section III of the Notice.

After consideration of the factor of corrective action, NRC has determined that credit was not warranted for the violations associated with licensed operator inattentiveness noted in Section I of the Notice because of your failure to recognize the unacceptability of the NRC identified operator performance issues and the resulting failure to properly initiate corrective actions. As to the violations in Section II of the Notice, although you presented a number of corrective actions in LER No. 96-002, in response to the April 1996 AFW configuration control event, we note that following testing in August 1996, the Unit 2 service water valve SW-104 was found out-of-position by the NRC, indicating your corrective actions in response to configuration control inadequacies were not comprehensive. Finally, your staff's corrective actions for the inservice testing and post-maintenance testing violations were not prompt because they were only initiated just prior to the enforcement conference, despite these issues having been identified by the NRC at least a month earlier. In addition, credit is not warranted for your corrective actions taken in response to the violation described in Section III of the Notice, involving your staff's failure to take prompt corrective action to request an amendment to your TS. At the time of the pre-decisional enforcement conference, your staff had not requested an amendment to assure that the required number of service water pumps for safe operation of the facility were accurately listed in the TS, and an amendment was not requested until September 30, 1996. Accordingly, the NRC has determined that credit is not warranted for the factor of corrective action for the Severity Level III problems in Sections I and II, and the Severity Level III violation in Section III of the Notice. Therefore, after consideration of the factors of identification and corrective action, a civil penalty of $100,000 is being assessed for each of the Severity Level III problems and violations in Sections I, II, and III of the Notice.

As to the violation described in Section IV of the Notice, NRC considered your corrective action prompt and comprehensive. With no credit warranted for the factor of identification, as described above, normal application of the Enforcement Policy would result in a base civil penalty of $12,500 being assessed for the violations associated with the VSC-24 spent fuel cask. However, because of the need to stress the importance of (1) properly conducting spent fuel cask loading operations; (2) being attentive to the indications of hydrogen generation that would have alerted your staff to the need for adequate controls during welding operations; and (3) ensuring that cask design details, such as paint, are thoroughly evaluated for interactions with materials in the plant environment by cask vendors and plant engineering, I have been authorized to exercise enforcement discretion and double the proposed base civil penalty. The penalty for the violation associated with the VSC-24 spent fuel cask is $25,000.

Therefore, to emphasize the need for full compliance with NRC regulatory requirements, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement to issue the enclosed Notice in the total amount of $325,000 for the Severity Level III violation and problems described in the Notice.

You are required to respond to this letter and should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice when preparing your response. The NRC will use your response, in part, to determine whether further enforcement action is necessary to ensure compliance with 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).

                            Sincerely, 

                            /s/ A. B. Beach

                            A. Bill Beach
                            Regional Administrator

Docket Nos. 50-266; 50-301; 72-005
License Nos. DPR-24; DPR-27

Enclosure: Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalties

cc w/encl:
S. A. Patulski, Site General Manager
A. J. Cayia, Plant Manager
Virgil Kanable, Chief Boiler Section
Cheryl L. Parrino, Chairman,
Wisconsin Public Service Commission
State Liaison Officer
Sierra Nuclear Corporation


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
AND
PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTIES
Wisconsin Electric Power Company                     Docket Nos. 50-266; 50-301; 72-005
Point Beach Nuclear Plant                            License Nos. DPR-24; DPR-27 
Units 1 and 2                                        EA 96-273

During NRC inspections conducted on June 12 through August 23, 1996, violations of NRC requirements were identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the NRC 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 Associated with Licensed Operator Inattentiveness and On-Duty Shift Staffing

10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion V, "Instructions, Procedures and Drawings," requires that activities affecting quality shall be prescribed by documented instructions, procedures, or drawings, of a type appropriate to the circumstances and shall be accomplished in accordance with these instructions, procedures or drawings.

Point Beach Nuclear Plant Operations Manual (OM) Section 3.1, "Main Control Room Conduct and Access," Revision 3, dated November 7, 1994, Step 7.1.3 states, in part, that potentially distracting activities are strictly forbidden. Step 7.1.7.d requires that a watch relief must occur prior to the Control Operator leaving the surveillance areas. Step 7.1.8 states that the short-term watch relief is required to maintain a physical position in the normal area for the Control Operator. Section 7.0, requires, in part, that individuals on-watch in the control room are expected to behave according to the highest standards of conduct. After assuming the duties and responsibilities of the watchstation, the operator is expected to be attentive to assigned duties, instrumentation, controls, computer monitors, and alarms, and operator response to alarms should be timely.

OM 2.5, "Licensed Operators," Revision 0, dated June 10, 1993, Section 2.0, requires, in part, that the reactor operator has principle responsibility for the operations of his assigned unit and is responsible to remain alert to and knowledgeable of all plant conditions in progress that involve the functioning of equipment under his control.

Technical Specification (TS) 15.6.2.2.a.6 states that the Duty Technical Advisor is located on-site on ten minute call to the control room.

A. Contrary to the above, on July 15, 1996, on-shift watchstanders (licensed reactor operators and senior reactor operators) were viewing a training videotape in the control room, a potentially distracting activity. (01013)

B. Contrary to the above, on July 31, 1996, the Unit 1 Control Operator (licensed reactor operator) left the surveillance areas without a short-term watch relief maintaining a physical position in the normal area for the Control Operator. (01023)

C. Contrary to the above, on August 14, 1996, the Unit 1 Control Operator (licensed reactor operator) was not attentive to his assigned duties; was not alert to and knowledgeable of plant status; and was not timely in responding to an expected alarm, in that a main control board panel (CO1) annunciator alarm was present for 15 seconds with no response from the operator. (01033)

D. Contrary to the above, on August 14, 1996, the on-shift Duty Technical Advisor went off-site while on duty. (01043)

This is a Severity Level III problem (Supplement I)
Civil Penalty - $100,000.

II. Violations Associated with the Auxiliary Feedwater and Safety Injection Systems

A. TS 15.3.4.A.2.a requires for two-unit operation when the reactor is heated above 350·F, that the reactor not be taken critical unless all four auxiliary feedwater pumps together with their associated flow paths and essential instrumentation are operable.

Contrary to the above, at 6:20 p.m. on April 22, 1996, during two-unit operation when the reactor was heated above 350·F, Unit 1 was made critical with the Turbine Driven Auxiliary Feedwater Pump 1P-29 rendered inoperable in that the pump's discharge isolation valves, 1AF-4000 and 1AF-4001, were shut. (02013)

B. 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion V, "Instructions, Procedures and Drawings," requires that activities affecting quality shall be prescribed by documented instructions, procedures, or drawings, of a type appropriate to the circumstances and shall be accomplished in accordance with these instructions, procedures or drawings.

1. Point Beach Nuclear Plant Operations Checklist CL-1D, "Heatup," Revision 9, dated November 20, 1995, Step 4.23, states, in part, that all four auxiliary feedwater pumps together with their associated flow paths and essential instrumentation are operable for two-unit operation prior to proceeding with the plant heatup. Operations Checklist CL-1A, "Criticality Checklist," Revision 35, dated November 27, 1995, Step 9.2, states, in part, that all four auxiliary feed pumps, together with their associated flow paths and essential instrumentation, shall be operable for one-unit to be critical and the second unit being made critical.

Contrary to the above, during the period including April 15, 1996, through April 22, 1996, operations personnel improperly initialed Step 4.23 of CL-1D and Step 9.2 of CL-1A, indicating that the auxiliary feedwater system was operable when the Unit 1 turbine driven auxiliary feedwater pump and the pump's flow path was inoperable due to the pump's discharge isolation valves 1AF-4000 and 1AF-4001, being shut. (02023)

2. Contrary to 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion V, Point Beach Nuclear Plant Work Order 9600818, issued on April 7, 1996, for the replacement of the Unit 1 turbine driven auxiliary feedwater pump governor valve stem, was inadequate, in that it did not specify steps to restore the pump discharge flowpath to its normal and operable configuration. As a result, the pump's flow path was rendered inoperable. (02033)

3. Contrary to 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion V, Point Beach Nuclear Plant Procedure IT-290B, "Overspeed Test Turbine Driven Auxiliary Feedwater Pump, Refueling Interval Unit 1," Revision 4, dated April 8, 1996, was inadequate, in that it did not specify adequate testing to demonstrate that the pump's flow path was operable following the reconnection of the pump and turbine. (02043)

4. Contrary to 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion V, prior to making Unit 1 critical on April 22, 1996, the licensee failed to perform the Point Beach Nuclear Plant Work Order 9600818 specified post maintenance operability test, Procedure IT-08A, "Cold Start Testing of Turbine-Driven Auxiliary Feed Pump and Valve Test Unit 1 (Quarterly)." (02053)

C. 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XI, "Test Control," requires that a test program be established to assure that all testing required to demonstrate that structures, systems, and components will perform satisfactorily in service is identified and performed in accordance with written test procedures which incorporate the requirements and acceptance limits contained in applicable design documents.

Contrary to the above, from March 28, 1994, through June 13, 1996, the licensee's inservice test program for the safety injection pumps did not incorporate the requirements and acceptance limits contained in applicable design documents. Specifically, the licensee's test program did not incorporate the correct acceptance criterion of 1375 psig at 400 gpm which is derived from the reduced performance pump curve in Figure 6.2-4 of the Final Safety Analysis Report. (02063)

D. 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XII, "Control of Measuring and Test Equipment," requires that measures be established to assure that gages, instruments, and other measuring and testing devices used in activities affecting quality are properly controlled, calibrated, and adjusted at specified periods to maintain accuracy within necessary limits.

Contrary to the above, from December 1992 until July 1996, the four Ashcroft safety injection pump discharge pressure gages used for determining the acceptability of quarterly inservice testing, an activity affecting quality, were not properly controlled, calibrated, and adjusted at a sufficient frequency to maintain accuracy within necessary limits. Specifically, during the period, the gages were found within their required accuracy only once in twenty calibrations. (02073)

This is a Severity Level III problem (Supplement I). Civil Penalty - $100,000.

III. Violation Associated with the Service Water System TS 15.3.3.D requires that neither reactor be made or maintained critical unless four service water pumps are operable, two from each train. The basis for TS 15.3.3.D states, in part, that a total of six pumps are installed, only two of which are required to operate during the injection and recirculation phases of a postulated loss-of-coolant accident.

10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVI, "Corrective Action," requires, in part, that measures shall be established to assure that conditions adverse to quality, such as deficiencies, deviations, and nonconformances are promptly identified and corrected. In the case of significant conditions adverse to quality, the measures shall assure that the cause of the condition is determined and corrective action taken to preclude repetition.

Contrary to the above, on April 2, 1996, the licensee concluded in Calculation 96-0074 that a total of two operating service water pumps were not adequate to maintain required flows and pressures, and that a total of three pumps were required to maintain desired flows and pressures throughout the service water system during the injection phase of a LOCA response. This conclusion that three pumps were required rather than the two pumps specified in the TS basis, constituted a condition adverse to quality. As a result, TS 15.3.3.D did not accurately specify the lowest function capability or performance level of the service water system required for safe operation of the facility. As of August 23, 1996, the licensee failed to take prompt action to correct this condition adverse to quality by failing to request an amendment to assure that the TS accurately reflected the minimum number of service water pumps necessary for the safe operation of the facility. During the period from April 2, 1996, through August 23, 1996, the licensee operated the station with one or both of the reactors critical. (03013)

This is a Severity Level III violation (Supplement I).
Civil Penalty - $100,000.

IV. Violations Associated With Dry Cask Storage Activities

A. 10 CFR 72.212(b)(7) requires the licensee to comply with the terms and conditions of the Certificate of Compliance for each cask model used for storage of spent fuel.

Certificate of Compliance 1007, Attachment A, Section 1.1.3, requires that activities at the independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) be conducted in accordance with the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B.

10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion III, requires, in part, that measures be established to assure that applicable regulatory requirements and the design basis, as specified in the license application, for those structures, systems, and components to which this appendix applies, are correctly translated into procedures. Measures shall also be established for selection and review for suitability of application of materials, parts, equipment, and processes that are essential to the safety-related functions of structures, systems, and components.

10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion V, "Instructions, Procedures and Drawings," requires that activities affecting quality shall be prescribed by documented instructions, procedures, or drawings, of a type appropriate to the circumstances and shall be accomplished in accordance with these instructions, procedures or drawings.

10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVI, "Corrective Action," requires, in part, that measures be established to assure that conditions adverse to quality are promptly identified and corrected. In the case of significant conditions adverse to quality, the measures shall assure that the cause of the condition is determined and corrective action taken to preclude repetition. The identification of the significant condition adverse to quality, the cause of the condition, and the corrective action taken shall be documented and reported to the appropriate levels of management.

1. Contrary to the above, as of May 28, 1996, with regard to Point Beach ISFSI activities, measures were not established to assure that the design basis was correctly translated into procedures. Specifically, the following procedures listed a weight of 4,429 pounds for the multi-assembly sealed basked (MSB) shield lid while the VSC-24 spent fuel cask Safety Analysis Report, Table 3.2-1 listed 6,350 pounds:

?· RP-7, Part 1, "Move the Ventilated Concrete Cask (VCC) into the Auxiliary Building," Table 1, Revision 5, dated April 29, 1996

?· RP-7, Part 2, "Load the Multi-Assembly Sealed Basket (MSB) into the MSB Transfer Cask (MTC)," Table 1, Revision 5, dated April 29, 1996

?· RP-7, Part 5, "Remove the Multi-Assembly Sealed Basket (MSB) and MSB Transfer Cask (MTC) from the Spent Fuel Pool (SFP)," Table 1, Revision 5, dated May 16, 1996

?· RP-8, Part 4, "Placing the MSB Transfer Cask (MTC) into the Spent Fuel Pool," Table 1, Revision 1, dated December 8, 1995 (04013)

2. Contrary to the above, as of May 27, 1996, with regard to the Point Beach ISFSI activities, Procedure RP-8, Part 4, "Placing the MSB Transfer Cask (MTC) into the Spent Fuel Pool," Table 1, Revision 1, dated December 8, 1995, was inadequate in that:

a. Step 4.3, required verification that the ambient temperature in the general area surrounding the MTC to be greater than 45·F, but did not specify the method of measuring temperature. As a result, a thermometer near a space heater was used to measure temperature and this was inadequate because measured temperature did not reflect the ambient temperature in the general area surrounding the MTC; and

b. no guidance was provided to remove the shield lid from the spent fuel pool. This guidance was required to complete the cask unloading operations. As a result, the shield lid was allowed to be suspended above the spent fuel pool for an indefinite time presenting a potential hazard if dropped over spent fuel assemblies. (04023)

3. Contrary to the above, as of May 28, 1996, with regard to Point Beach ISFSI activities, the licensee had selected Carbo Zinc 11 to coat the interior of the multi-assembly sealed basket without appropriately establishing the suitability of application for use in dry cask storage activities. Specifically, Carbo Zinc 11 is not intended for immersion in acidic solutions, such as the spent fuel pool, and there was the potential for zinc borate to precipitate in the spent fuel pool water. (04033)

4. Contrary to the above, on May 22, 1996, with regard to Point Beach ISFSI activities, during the loading of a cask, a small, unexpected blue flame was observed while welders were grinding a portion of the shield lid root weld. The identification of this significant condition adverse to quality, the cause of the condition, and the corrective action taken was not documented and reported to the appropriate levels of management. (04043)

5. Contrary to the above, on May 22, 1996, with regard to Point Beach ISFSI activities, during the loading of a cask, unexpected water seepage from the cask drain line onto the top of the shield lid was observed. This was a condition adverse to quality because the presence of water was an indicator of pressure within the cask that was being caused by hydrogen being produced. The identification of this significant condition adverse to quality, the cause of the condition, and the corrective action taken was not documented and reported to the appropriate levels of management. (04053)

B. 10 CFR 72.48(a), states, in part, that a licensee may make changes to the ISFSI described in the Safety Analysis Report or in the procedures described in the Safety Analysis Report if the changes do not constitute an unreviewed safety question or a significant increase in occupational exposure.

10 CFR 72.48 (b)(1) requires, in part, that the licensee maintain records of changes in the ISFSI, and changes in procedures made pursuant to this section if these changes constitute changes in the ISFSI or procedures described in the Safety Analysis Report. These records must include a written safety evaluation that provides the bases for the determination that the change does not involve an unreviewed safety question.

VSC-24 spent fuel cask Safety Analysis Report (SAR) describes, in part, that the purpose of the cover plate is to prevent inadvertent lifting of the MSB out of the MTC to ensure undue radiation exposure to nearby workers. The SAR further describes that the cover plate must have sufficient strength to support the MTC (since an inadvertent MSB lift would imply lifting the entire MTC).

  1. Contrary to the above, as of May 28, 1996, the licensee did not perform a safety evaluation to determine if an unreviewed safety question existed prior to a lifting evolution which created the potential for dropping the MSB/MTC assembly off of the VCC, an accident not described in the SAR. (04063)

  2. Contrary to 10 CFR 72.48 (b)(1), on May 29, 1996, Safety Evaluation Report (SER) 96-045 for weighing the MSB shield lid while in place did not provide adequate bases for the determination that the change did not involve an unreviewed safety question. Specifically, SER 96-045 did not address inadvertently removing the lid from the MSB during weighing operations which would result in a significant increase in occupational exposure. (04073)

This is a Severity Level III problem (Supplement VI).
Civil Penalty - $25,000.

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, Wisconsin Electric Power 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 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 amount of the civil penalties proposed above, 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 violation 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 which subsequently has 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 III, and a copy to the NRC 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 without redaction. 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 2.790(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.

Dated at Lisle, Illinois
this 3rd day of December 1996


1. A Severity Level III violation (identified in July 1995) was issued on October 11, 1995 (EA 95-158).

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