United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-98-479 Waterford 3 (Entergy Operations, Inc.)

January 7, 1999

EA 98-479

Charles M. Dugger, Vice President
  Operations, Waterford-3
Entergy Operations, Inc.
P.O. Box B
Killona, Louisiana 70066

SUBJECT: NOTICE OF VIOLATION (NRC Inspection Report No. 50-382/98-16)

Dear Mr. Dugger:

This is in reference to Entergy Operations, Inc. (Entergy) letters dated November 25 and December 14, 1998, which were submitted in response to an apparent violation described in NRC Inspection Report 50-382/98-16, issued October 27, 1998. The apparent violation involved a failure to protect Safeguards Information as required by 10 CFR 73.21. The failure to protect Safeguards Information was identified by Entergy on July 23, 1998, and was reported by Entergy to the NRC by telephone on the date of its discovery and in writing in Licensee Event Report (LER) 98-S01, dated August 17, 1998. The NRC informed Entergy in the letter transmitting the inspection report that it was considering escalated enforcement action for this apparent violation. Entergy elected to respond to the apparent violation in writing in lieu of requesting a predecisional enforcement conference.

Based on information provided in LER 98-S01, developed during the inspection, and provided in your November 25 and December 14 letters, the NRC has determined that a violation of NRC requirements occurred. The violation is cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice); the circumstances surrounding it were described in detail in the subject inspection report. In brief, the violation involved a failure to maintain required control of a copy of the Waterford-3 Physical Security Plan. Specifically, for approximately five hours on July 23, 1998, a copy of the plan was left unattended and unsecured in an office outside of the protected area of the Waterford-3 facility. Entergy's investigation of this incident found no evidence that the information in the security plan had been compromised. The violation occurred because the individual who was routing the plan for approval did not assure that the plan was under the positive control of an authorized person at all times, as required by Waterford-3 security procedures.

Entergy's November 25 and December 14, 1998 letters did not contest the violation and described corrective actions taken immediately following the discovery of the incident and those taken subsequent to the incident to prevent a recurrence. Immediate corrective actions included conducting an investigation into the incident, counseling the individual who mishandled the Safeguards Information, and initiating compensatory security measures to address the potential that the information was compromised. Longer-term measures described in the November 25 letter included revising procedures to require listing all individuals cleared to view and process Safeguards Information and to make that list available on the Waterford-3 security web page. Entergy's December 14 letter described additional corrective actions to prevent a recurrence, including: the use of a cover page on all safeguards documents delineating the proper handling of Safeguards Information; notifications to site personnel when Safeguards Information procedures are revised; and, where appropriate, plans to make Safeguards Information handling procedures consistent between departments at Waterford-3.

In accordance with the NRC's enforcement policy, leaving a document containing significant safeguards information unattended outside of the protected area of a facility, where it is accessible to individuals who may not be authorized access to safeguards information or to the protected area, is a significant violation. The NRC considers such violations significant whether or not the information is compromised because of the potential for the compromise of information pertaining to the detailed security measures of the facility. Therefore, the violation has been categorized in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600 at Severity Level III.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a civil penalty with a base value 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 2 years,(1) 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. The violation was identified by Entergy personnel; thus, identification credit is warranted. In addition, the NRC has determined that corrective action credit is warranted based on the corrective actions taken by Entergy and described above. Therefore, to recognize and encourage the identification and 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.

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violation, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance was achieved is adequately addressed on the docket in Waterford-3 LER 98-S01, NRC Inspection Report No. 50-382/98-16, and Entergy's letters dated November 25, 1998 and December 14, 1998. Therefore, you are not required to respond to this letter unless the description therein does not accurately reflect your corrective actions or your position. In that case, or if you choose to provide additional information, you should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter, its enclosure, and any response you choose to submit will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room.

Sincerely,

Org signed by

Ellis W. Merschoff
Regional Administrator

Docket No. 50-382
License No. NPF-38

Enclosure: Notice of Violation

cc w/Enclosure

Executive Vice President and
  Chief Operating Officer
Entergy Operations, Inc.
P.O. Box 31995
Jackson, Mississippi 39286-1995

Vice President, Operations Support
Entergy Operations, Inc.
P.O. Box 31995
Jackson, Mississippi 39286-1995

Wise, Carter, Child & Caraway
P.O. Box 651
Jackson, Mississippi 39205

General Manager, Plant Operations
Waterford 3 SES
Entergy Operations, Inc.
P.O. Box B
Killona, Louisiana 70066

Manager - Licensing Manager
Waterford 3 SES
Entergy Operations, Inc.
P.O. Box B
Killona, Louisiana 70066

Chairman
Louisiana Public Service Commission
One American Place, Suite 1630
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70825-1697

Director, Nuclear Safety &
Regulatory Affairs
Waterford 3 SES
Entergy Operations, Inc.
P.O. Box B
Killona, Louisiana 70066

Ronald Wascoml, Administrator
Louisiana Radiation Protection Division
P.O. Box 82135
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70884-2135

Parish President
St. Charles Parish
P.O. Box 302
Hahnville, Louisiana 70057

Winston & Strawn
1400 L Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005-3502


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Entergy Operations, Inc.
Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 3
Docket No. 50-382
License No. NPF-38
EA 98-479

During an NRC inspection completed October completed October 27, 1998, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the violation is listed below:

10 CFR 73.21(d)(1) and (2) require, in part, that while in use, safeguards information shall be under the control of an authorized individual or, if unattended, shall be in a locked security storage container.
Contrary to the above, on July 23, 1998, the licensee discovered that a copy of the Waterford-3 Physical Security Plan, a document containing Safeguards Information, was not under the control of an authorized individual and was not in a locked security storage container for a period of approximately 5 hours. Specifically, the plan was left unattended in an office outside of the protected area of the Waterford-3 facility. (01013)
This is a Severity Level III violation (Supplement III).

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violation, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance was achieved is already adequately addressed on the docket in Waterford-3 LER 98-S01, NRC Inspection Report No. 50-382/98-16, and Entergy's letters dated November 25, 1998 and December 14, 1998. Therefore, no response is required. However, you are required to submit a written statement or explanation pursuant to 10 CFR 2.201 if the description therein does not accurately reflect your corrective actions or your position. In that case, or if you choose to respond, clearly mark your response as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation," and send it to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN:  Document Control Desk, Washington, DC 20555 with a copy to the Regional Administrator, Region IV, and a copy to the NRC Resident Inspector at the facility that is the subject of this Notice, within 30 days of the date of the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation (Notice).

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

If you choose to respond, your response will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR). Therefore, to the extent possible, the response 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.

In accordance with 10 CFR 19.11, you may be required to post this Notice within two working days.

Dated this 7th day of January 1999


1. On February 5, 1998, a Severity Level III Notice of Violation was issued for violations that resulted in the inoperability of the auxiliary component cooling system at Waterford-3 (EA 97-589).

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