United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-97-339 - Ginna (Rochester Gas & Electric Corporaton)

August 15, 1997

EA 97-339

Dr. Robert C. Mecredy
Vice President, Ginna Nuclear Production
Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation
89 East Avenue
Rochester, New York 14649

SUBJECT:  NOTICE OF VIOLATION AND PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL 
          PENALTY - $55,000
          (NRC Inspection Report No. 50-244/96-08)

Dear Dr. Mecredy:

This letter refers to the NRC inspection conducted on May 21-30, 1997, at the Ginna Nuclear Power Station, for which an exit meeting was conducted on May 30, 1997. The purpose of this inspection was to review your security program, including your installation of a vehicle barrier system (VBS) in February 1996. The VBS was installed in response to an NRC August 1994 amendment to 10 CFR Part 73 which modified the design basis threat for a radiological sabotage. The inspection report was sent to you on July 16, 1997. As described in the inspection report, apparent violations of NRC requirements were identified. On August 5, 1997, a predecisional enforcement conference was conducted with you and members of your staff to discuss the apparent violations identified during the inspection, their causes, and your corrective actions.

Based on our review of the inspection findings, and information provided during the conference, two violations are being cited and are described in the enclosed Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty (Notice). Each violation involves inadequacies in the vehicle barriers deployed outside the outer isolation zone to prevent the malicious use of a vehicle to gain entry to the protected and vital areas. The first violation was based on the discovery of three openings in the barrier large enough for a vehicle to get through. Regarding the second violation, approximately 1200 feet of the barrier cables were secured to the barrier posts by nylon ties. These nylon ties could be easily removed with hand held tools, thereby defeating the ability of the fence to withstand a vehicular attempt to penetrate the barrier.

The VBS is designed to prevent intrusion of a vehicle into an area by stopping the forward motion of the vehicle. This design is intended to prevent adversaries from transporting personnel and their hand-carried equipment by vehicle to the proximity of vital areas. The design is also intended to preclude the use of a land vehicle bomb. NUREG/CR-6190 specifically indicates that the vehicle barrier must be capable of resisting vehicle impact and providing continuous protection in all areas where approach by a land vehicle is possible. At Ginna, your vehicle barrier did not meet these requirements at the time of the inspection.

The NRC is particularly concerned that these conditions were not identified by your staff when the barrier was designed and installed, nor were they identified by your security staff during routine tours of the facility. While a member of your engineering staff did identify problems with one of the openings (near the guardhouse) in August 1996, actions were not taken to correct this condition, and to determine whether any additional degradations existed. Given that vehicles could enter through openings in the VBS, that the nylon ties could be easily removed, thus defeating the purpose of the barrier cables, and that an employee had identified problems with one of the openings and those problems were not adequately responded to, the NRC has concluded that the violations represent a breakdown in control of this licensed activity that indicates a significant lack of attention to a licensed responsibility. Therefore, the violations have been categorized in the aggregate as a Severity Level III problem in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $55,000 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Your facility has been the subject of escalated enforcement action within the last two years1. Therefore, the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for Identification and Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section V1.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Credit is not warranted for Identification because the violations were identified by the NRC. Credit is warranted for Corrective Actions because your corrective actions, once the violations were identified by the NRC, were considered prompt and comprehensive. These actions, which were discussed during your presentation at the conference, include, but are not limited to, (1) installation of additional barriers in the areas where the openings existed; (2) temporary replacement of the nylon ties with metal clamps, and subsequent installation of welded steel plates at every other post; (3) implementation of a weekly vehicle barrier system inspection by the security force, as well as a quarterly inspection checklist; and (4) training of engineering and security personnel regarding the vehicle barrier system and this event. In addition, during further discussion at the conference, you stated that you were revising your process and expectations to include security problems in your corrective action program.

Therefore, to emphasize the importance of appropriate attention to the security program at your facility, as well as aggressive assessment and correction of degradations at the facility, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, to issue a base civil penalty in the amount of $55,000 for the violations set forth in the Notice.

One other apparent violation identified during the inspection is being withdrawn based on information you provided during the conference. That violation involved the inspection finding that the VBS might not provide adequate stand-off distance from exposed vital equipment and structures housing vital equipment. At the conference, you indicated that reanalysis of the stand-off distances has confirmed their validity and that you would resubmit to the NRC the summary description of the Design Basis Explosion Evaluations to specify the actual stand-off distances used in the calculations.

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).

                             Sincerely,


                             Hubert J. Miller
                             Regional Administrator

Docket No. 50-244
License No. DPR-18

Enclosure: Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty

cc w/encl:
R. Smith, Senior Vice President, Customer Operations
Central Records (7 Copies)
P. Eddy, Director, Electric Division, Department of Public Service, State of New York
State of New York, Department of Law
N. Reynolds, Esquire
F. William Valentino, President, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
J. Spath, Program Director, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
AND
PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTY

Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation                     Docket No.
50-244
Ginna Nuclear Power Station                                License
No. DPR-18
Rochester, New York                                        EA 97-339

During an NRC inspection conducted from May 27-30, 1997, for which an exit meeting was conducted on May 30, 1997, 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 a civil penalty 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 penalty are set forth below:

License Condition 2.E(1) of License Number DPR-18 for the Ginna facility, requires that the Licensee maintain in effect and fully implement all provisions of the security plan.

The R. E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant Physical Security Plan, Revision L, dated March 13, 1996, Section 3.2.5, "Vehicle Denial," states, in part, "Vehicle Barriers have been deployed in strategic areas outside the outer isolation zone to prevent the malicious use of a vehicle to gain entry to the protected and vital areas."

Contrary to the above, on May 27, 1997, the NRC observed that the vehicle barriers deployed outside the outer isolation zone would not prevent the malicious use of a vehicle to gain entry to the protected and vital areas, as evidenced by the following examples, each of which constitutes a separate violation.

1. Three openings existed in the vehicle barrier which were large enough for a vehicle to pass through. Specifically, there was a 14-foot opening between the end of the barrier and the cliff on the northwest corner of the barrier; there was an 8-foot opening between the barrier and the cliff on the northeast corner of the barrier; and there was an 8-foot opening in the barrier on the west side of the security building. (01013)

2. Approximately 1200 feet of the vehicle was bollards and cable. The cable was secured to bollards that were approximately 300 feet apart. Between the bollards, the cable was supported by support posts. The cable was secured to the posts with nylon ties. The nylon ties could be easily removed with hand held tools such as pliers, which would result in the cables being laid on the ground, thereby negating any benefit of the cable as a barrier, and allowing vehicles to get through. (01023)

These two violations are categorized in the aggregate as a Severity Level III problem (Supplement III).
Civil Penalty - $55,000.

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, Rochester Gas & Electric 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 Penalty (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 penalty 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 penalty proposed above, or the cumulative amount of the civil penalties if more than one civil penalty is proposed, or may protest imposition of the civil penalty, 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 penalty will be issued. Should the Licensee elect to file an answer in accordance with 10 CFR 2.205 protesting the civil penalty, 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 penalty should not be imposed. In addition to protesting the civil penalty, in whole or in part, such answer may request remission or mitigation of the penalty.

In requesting mitigation of the proposed penalty, 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 a civil penalty.

Upon failure to pay any civil penalty 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 penalty, unless compromised, remitted, or mitigated, may be collected by civil action pursuant to Section 234(c) of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2282c.

The response noted above (Reply to Notice of Violation, letter with payment of civil penalty, and Answer to a Notice of Violation) should be addressed to: Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN: Document Control Desk, Washington, D.C. 20555 with a copy to the Director, Special Projects Office, NRR, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 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 King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
this 15th day of August 1997


1. A Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty in the amount of $100,000 was issued to Rochester Gas & Electric Company on December 13, 1996 for violations involving the failure to adequately validate design inputs for the Residual Heat Removal (RHR) system core deluge valves, as well as the failure to adequately correct this condition following identification (Reference: EA 96-282).

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