United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-98-558 - Zion 1 & 2 (Commonwealth Edison Co.)

April 9, 1999

EA 98-558


Mr. Oliver D. Kingsley
President, Nuclear Generation Group
Commonwealth Edison Company
ATTN: Regulatory Services
Executive Towers West III
1400 Opus Place, Suite 500
Downers Grove, IL 60515


SUBJECT:  NOTICE OF VIOLATION
                  (NRC INSPECTION REPORT NOS. 50-295/98002(DRS); 50-304/98002(DRS))
                  (NRC OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS REPORT NO. 3-98-015)

Dear Mr. Kingsley:

This refers to the inspection and subsequent investigation by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Office of Investigations (OI) into information reported to the NRC by the Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd). On January 14, 1998, ComEd representatives notified the NRC that Safeguards Information (SGI) was not locked in a security storage container while the SGI was unattended at the Zion Station from approximately July 1997 to January 14, 1998. ComEd representatives recontacted the NRC on January 22, 1998, and reported that additional unattended and unprotected SGI documents had been found at the same location.

Based on the information developed during the NRC inspection, the OI investigation, ComEd's investigation, and the information provided in ComEd's letter dated March 18, 1999, in response to the February 16, 1999 letter from the NRC, 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 inspection report, the investigation reports, the February 16, 1999 letter from the NRC, and the ComEd letter dated March 18, 1999. In summary, a lead electrical designer, a supervisor, at the Zion Station willfully failed to protect unattended SGI from unauthorized disclosure by storing the SGI in open packages on the floor of his work cubicle in the Design Engineering Department, which was located outside of the protected area at the Zion Station. The willful actions of this supervisor placed ComEd in violation of 10 CFR 73.21(d)(2).

The NRC recognizes that the SGI in this case would not have assisted an individual in an attempted act of radiological sabotage or theft of strategic special nuclear material. Nevertheless, the NRC expects and demands that all employees, especially supervisors, follow all established procedures to ensure SGI is protected from unauthorized disclosure. Unfortunately, that was not the case in this instance, as a supervisor willfully stored SGI on the floor of his work area and not in a locked security container while the SGI was unattended. Therefore, this 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 base civil penalty of $55,000 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Because the Zion Station was the subject of an escalated enforcement action within the two years preceding this Severity Level III violation, (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. Credit was given for Identification because ComEd identified the violation and notified the NRC. Credit was also given for Corrective Action because of the immediate and long term measures taken by ComEd. The corrective actions are described in Section S8.1.b of the inspection report, and include, but are not limited to: (1) retrieving the SGI and transferring it to the site security organization; (2) briefing employees of the Design Engineering Department about the incident; (3) retraining those employees on the proper handling and storage of SGI; and (4) disciplining and retraining the senior electrical designer. Also, the volume of SGI on site was greatly reduced with the cessation of nuclear operations at the Zion Station.

Therefore, to encourage prompt identification and comprehensive correction of violations, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, NRC Office of Enforcement, not to propose a civil penalty for this Severity Level III violation. However, significant violations in the future could result in a civil penalty.

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the enclosed violation, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence and the dates when full compliance was achieved is adequately addressed on the docket in NRC Inspection Report Nos. 50-295/98002(DRS); 50-304/98002(DRS) and in a March 18, 1999, letter from ComEd. Therefore, you are not required to respond to this letter unless the description therein does not accurately reflect your corrective actions or your position. Should you choose to respond in writing, your response should be clearly marked as a "Response to Apparent Violation EA 98-558," and should include for each apparent violation: (1) the reason for the apparent violation, or, if contested, the basis for disputing the apparent violation; (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 should be submitted under oath or affirmation and may reference or include previous docketed correspondence, if the correspondence adequately addresses the required response. The response should be addressed to the NRC Document Control Desk, Washington, DC 20555, with copies to the Director, NRC Office of Enforcement, Washington, DC 20555, the Regional Administrator and Enforcement Officer, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 801 Warrenville Road, Lisle, IL 60532-4351.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter, its enclosure, and your response (if you choose to provide one) will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR). To the extent possible, your response should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be placed in the PDR without redaction.

Sincerely,

Original Signed by James L. Caldwell for

James E. Dyer
Regional Administrator

Docket Nos. 50-295; 50-304
License Nos. DPR-39; DPR-48

Enclosure: Notice of Violation

cc w/encl:
D. Helwig, Senior Vice President
H. Stanley, PWR Vice President
C. Crane, BWR Vice President
R. Krich, Vice President, Regulatory Services
DCD - Licensing
R. Starkey, Decommissioning Plant Manager
R. Godley, Regulatory Assurance Supervisor
M. Aguilar, Assistant Attorney General
K. Nollenberger, County Administrator
Mayor, City of Zion
State Liaison Officer
State Liaison Officer, Wisconsin
Chairman, Illinois Commerce Commission



NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Commonwealth Edison Company
Zion Station
Units 1 and 2
Docket Nos. 50-295; 50-304
License Nos. DPR-39; DPR-48
EA 98-558

During an NRC inspection and an NRC investigation concluded on November 12, 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)(2) requires, in part, that while unattended, Safeguards Information will be stored in a locked security container.

Contrary to the above, from approximately July 1997 to January 22, 1998, Safeguards Information was not stored in a locked storage container while unattended. Specifically, a lead electrical designer willfully stored electrical design drawings, containing Safeguards Information, in open packages on the floor of his work cubicle in the Design Engineering Department. (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 dates when full compliance was achieved is adequately addressed on the docket in NRC Inspection Report Nos. 50-295/98002(DRS); 50-304/98002(DRS) and in a March 18, 1999, letter from ComEd. 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, EA 98-560," and send it to the NRC Document Control Desk, Washington, DC 20555, with a copy to the Regional Administrator and the Enforcement Officer, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 801 Warrenville Road, Lisle, IL 60532-4351 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, U.S. 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.

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

Dated this 9th day of April 1999


1. A Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty - $110,000 was issued on January 15, 1998, for a Severity Level III problem associated with a programmatic breakdown in the implementation of the fitness for duty program at the Zion Station during 1997 (EA 97-249).

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