United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-98-064 - Saint Lucie 1 & 2 (Florida Power & Light Co.)

April 3, 1998

EA 98-064

Florida Power & Light Company
ATTN: Mr. T. F. Plunkett
President - Nuclear Division
P. O. Box 14000
Juno Beach, Florida 33408-0420

SUBJECT: NOTICE OF VIOLATION
(NRC INSPECTION REPORT NOS. 50-335/98-01, 50-389/98-01)

Dear Mr. Plunkett:

This refers to the routine, announced inspection, conducted on January 23, 1998, to review security access control measures at your St. Lucie facility. The results of the inspection were discussed with your staff during a telephone conference exit meeting on January 26, 1998, and were formally sent to you by letter dated February 11, 1998. That letter also provided you the opportunity to respond to the apparent violation or request a predecisional enforcement conference. An open, predecisional enforcement conference was conducted at your request in the Region II office on March 31, 1998, with you and members of your staff, to discuss the apparent violation, the root causes, and your corrective actions to preclude recurrence. Copies of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) and Florida Power & Light Company's (FP&L) presentation materials and a list of conference attendees are enclosed.

Based on the information developed during the inspection and the information that was provided during the conference, the NRC has determined that a violation of NRC requirements occurred. The violation is cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice) and the circumstances surrounding it are described in detail in the subject inspection report. The violation involved two examples of the failure to comply with the Physical Security Plan when a plant security officer failed to inactivate the keycards and hand geometry for two favorably terminated employees after being notified on December 31, 1997, that the two individuals had been terminated, and access authorization was to be withdrawn as of December 31, 1997. As a result, one contract employee entered the protected area for approximately eight minutes on January 2, 1998. In addition, between December 31, 1997, and January 2, 1998, this employee could have gained access to protected and vital areas of the plant. As to the second employee whose access was not properly inactivated, this employee's keycard had been retrieved from him at the time of his termination on December 31, 1997. Therefore, this employee did not and could not have gained access to protected or vital areas.

The actual safety consequence of the violation was low because both individuals previously had been granted unescorted access to the protected and vital areas and the unauthorized individual who entered the protected area on January 2, 1998, was favorably terminated on December 31, 1997, but was unaware of this fact due to his absence from work on that date. Although the violation was not programmatic in nature and involved human error, the violation is of significant regulatory concern because the failure to control access of individuals no longer authorized entry into protected and vital areas of the plant could compromise overall plant security. Therefore, the violation has been categorized in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedures for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, as a Severity Level III violation.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $55,000 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Because your facility has been the subject of escalated enforcement actions within the last two years,(1) the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for Identification and Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process described in Section VI.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy. NRC determined that credit was warranted for Identification because your staff identified the violation on January 2, 1998, upon recognizing that a terminated employee had accessed the protected area. With regard to the factor of Corrective Action, FP&L immediately removed the access authorization of the two terminated individuals; implemented interim actions to conduct all badging terminations at the Security Operations Center (which performed prompt independent verification of such transactions); and, implemented procedural revisions to standardize the badging termination and verification processes. FP&L also hired an outside security contractor to assess the St. Lucie access program, conducted an internal quality assurance audit, and compared the St. Lucie access control program to access control programs of other nuclear facilities. Based on the above, the NRC determined that credit was warranted for the factor of Corrective Action.

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 in this case. However, significant violations in the future could result in a civil penalty.

On January 10, 1997, a Severity Level III problem with a $50,000 civil penalty was issued for violations which occurred between July and September 1996 related to plant security access control at St. Lucie (EA 96-458). The NRC concluded, after review of the similarities between the current event and the 1996 event, that the root causes for the 1996 problem were programmatic and were not similar to the root cause for this event and that the corrective actions for the 1996 event would not have precluded occurrence of this violation. Therefore, the NRC did not consider the current violation a repetitive violation although the outcomes of both events were similar.

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 enclosures, and your response will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR).

Sincerely,

Original signed by
J.R. Johnson for

Luis A. Reyes
Regional Administrator

Docket Nos. 50-335, 50-389
License Nos. DPR-67, NPF-16

Enclosures:
1. Notice of Violation
2. NRC Presentation Materials
3. FP&L Presentation Materials
4. List of Attendees

cc w/encls:
J. A. Stall
Vice President
St. Lucie Nuclear Plant
6351 South Ocean Drive
Jensen Beach, FL 34957

H. N. Paduano, Manager
Licensing and Special Programs
Florida Power and Light Company
P. O. Box 14000
Juno Beach, FL 33408-0420

J. Scarola
Plant General Manager
St. Lucie Nuclear Plant
6351 South Ocean Drive
Jensen Beach, FL 34957

E. J. Weinkam
Licensing Manager
St. Lucie Nuclear Plant
6351 South Ocean Drive
Jensen Beach, FL 34957

M. S. Ross, Attorney
Florida Power & Light Company
P. O. Box 14000
Juno Beach, FL 33408-0420

John T. Butler, Esq.
Steel, Hector and Davis
4000 Southeast Financial Center
Miami, FL 33131-2398

Office of Radiation Control
Department of Health and
Rehabilitative Services
1317 Winewood Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0700

Director
Division of Emergency Preparedness
Department of Community Affairs
2740 Centerview Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2100

County Administrator
St. Lucie County
2300 Virginia Avenue
Ft. Pierce, FL 34982


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Florida Power and Light Company
St. Lucie Nuclear Plant
Units 1 and 2
Docket Nos. 50-335, 59-389
License Nos. DPR-67, NPF-16
EA 98-064

During an NRC inspection conducted on January 23, 1998, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedures for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the violation is listed below:

Facility Operating License Nos. DPR-67 and NPF-16, Amendment 151, dated May 16, 1997, require that the licensee shall fully implement and maintain in effect all provisions of the Commission approved physical security, guard training and qualification, and safeguards contingency plans including amendments made pursuant to the provisions of the Miscellaneous Amendments and Search Requirements revisions to 10 CFR 50.90 and 10 CFR 50.54(p).
Section 13.4.4 of the licensee's Physical Security Plan, Revision 50, dated November 24, 1997, states, in part, "Upon notification of the voluntary termination or the termination for cause of an individual authorized unescorted access, the Plant Security Supervision shall ensure that the keycard and hand geometry access capabilities are inactivated."
Section 5.3(d) of the licensee's Physical Security Plan, Revision 50, dated November 24, 1997, states, in part, "Only those individuals with identified need for access and having appropriate authorization, shall be granted unescorted vital area access."
Contrary to the above, on December 31, 1997, plant security supervision failed to implement Section 13.4.4 of the Physical Security Plan to ensure that a voluntarily terminated individual's keycard and hand geometry access capabilities were inactivated. As a result, one unauthorized individual's unescorted access to vital areas continued in violation of the requirements of Section 5.3(d) of the Physical Security Plan between December 31, 1997, and January 2, 1998, and, in fact, the individual entered the protected area on January 2, 1998. In addition, on December 31, 1997, plant security supervision failed to implement Section 13.4.4 of the Physical Security Plan to ensure that a second favorably terminated individual's keycard and hand geometry were inactivated. (01013)

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

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, Florida Power & Light Company is hereby required to submit a written statement or explanation to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN: Document Control Desk, Washington, D.C. 20555 with a copy to the Regional Administrator, Region II, and a copy to the NRC Resident Inspector at the St. Lucie facility, within 30 days of the date of the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation (Notice). This reply should be clearly marked as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation" and should include for each violation: (1) the reason for the violation, or, if contested, the basis for disputing the violation or severity level, (2) the corrective steps that have been taken and the results achieved, (3) the corrective steps that will be taken to avoid further violations, and (4) the date when full compliance will be achieved. Your response may reference or include previous docketed correspondence, if the correspondence adequately addresses the required response. 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. Where good cause is shown, consideration will be given to extending the response time.

If you contest this enforcement action, you should also provide a copy of your response to the Director, Office of Enforcement, United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

Under the authority of Section 182 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2232, this response shall be submitted under oath or affirmation.

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 Atlanta, Georgia
this 3rd day of April 1998


1. A Notice of Violation (NOV) and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty in the amount of $88,000 was issued on March 25, 1998 for a Severity Level II problem associated with an incorrect Refueling Water Tank setpoint (EA 98-009). A Severity Level III problem was issued on December 11, 1997 related to inoperability of the Unit 2 containment cooler fans (EA 97-501). An NOV and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty in the amount of $100,000 was issued on January 10, 1997 for violations of the plant security access control program, the emergency preparedness program, and requirements for nuclear instrumentation (EAs 96-458, -464, and -457). A Severity Level III violation was issued on September 19, 1996, associated with the failure to comply with 10 CFR 50.59 (EA 96-326).

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