United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-97-409 - Sequoyah 1 & 2 (Tennessee Valley Authority)

February 5, 1998

EA 97-409

Tennessee Valley Authority
ATTN: Mr. O. J. Zeringue
Chief Nuclear Officer and
Executive Vice President
6A Lookout Place
1101 Market Street
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402-2801

 

SUBJECT: WITHDRAWAL OF PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTY NRC SPECIAL INSPECTION REPORT NOS. 50-327/97-13 AND 50-328/97-13

Dear Mr. Zeringue:

This is in reference to your response of January 7, 1998, to our Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty (Notice) issued on December 8, 1997, concerning activities conducted at your Sequoyah facility. We have evaluated your response and found that it meets the requirements of 10 CFR 2.201. We will examine the implementation of your corrective actions during future inspections.

In your response, you agreed that the three violations occurred as cited; however, you did not pay the civil penalty. Specifically, you disagreed with the determination that, under the criteria established in the "General Statement of Policy and Procedures for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was not entitled to credit for identifying the problem. You requested that NRC reconsider the determination for the factor of Identification and consider not imposing a civil penalty.

The Enforcement Policy, in Part VI.B.2.b, states that when a problem is licensee identified, i.e., identified before the problem has resulted in an event, the NRC should normally give the licensee credit for actions related to identification, regardless of whether prior opportunities existed to identify the problem. Credit for identification was not provided in the NRC Notice. The NRC was concerned that you had not identified the violation earlier despite the multiple missed opportunities to identify the inoperable battery board including operator equipment monitoring rounds, annunciator status monitoring, and during dispositioning of an unexpected as-found condition. In addition, the problem was not identified by on-shift operations personnel or as part of the normal self-assessment program, and was not considered a "self-monitoring" effort as described by the Enforcement Policy and your January 7, 1998 letter.

As a result of your written response pursuant to 10 CFR 2.205(b), we have reconsidered this proposed enforcement action. In reviewing the specific circumstances associated with the missed opportunities, on balance, we conclude that their significance does not warrant a deviation from the normal application of the guidance in Part VI.B.2.b of the Enforcement Policy.

Credit for the factor of Identification is appropriate to recognize the diligence of the TVA training instructor who discovered the vital battery problem and took prompt action to ensure system operability. (1)

Given NRC's determination that credit is warranted for Identification and our prior determination that credit was warranted for the factor of Corrective Action , a civil penalty is not appropriate in this case. Accordingly, the Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty pursuant to 10 CFR 2.205 is withdrawn. The Notice of Violation pursuant to 10 CFR 2.201 remains in effect. Based on your previously provided response to the individual violations, no additional response is required.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Sincerely,



James Lieberman, Director
Office of Enforcement

Docket Nos. 50-327, 50-328
License Nos. DPR-77, DPR-79

cc:
Senior Vice President
Nuclear Operations
Tennessee Valley Authority
6A Lookout Place
1101 Market Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402-2801

Jack A. Bailey, Vice President
Engineering & Technical Services
Tennessee Valley Authority
6A Lookout Place
1101 Market Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402-2801

Masoud Bajestani
Site Vice President
Sequoyah Nuclear Plant
Tennessee Valley Authority
P. O. Box 2000
Soddy-Daisy, TN 37379

General Counsel
Tennessee Valley Authority
ET 10H
400 West Summit Hill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37902

Raul R. Baron, General Manager
Nuclear Assurance
Tennessee Valley Authority
4J Blue Ridge
1101 Market Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402-2801

Mark J. Burzynski, Manager
Nuclear Licensing
Tennessee Valley Authority
4J Blue Ridge
1101 Market Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402-2801

Pedro Salas, Manager
Licensing and Industry Affairs
Sequoyah Nuclear Plant
P. O. Box 2000
Soddy-Daisy, TN 37379

J. T. Herron, Plant Manager
Sequoyah Nuclear Plant
Tennessee Valley Authority
P. O. Box 2000
Soddy Daisy, TN 37379

Director
Division of Radiological Health
3rd Floor, L and C Annex
401 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1532

County Executive
Hamilton County Courthouse
Chattanooga, TN 37402


1. The December 8, 1997 letter accompanying the Notice had noted the positive action of the training instructor, though credit was not granted for identification.

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