United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

NRC Staff Issues Notice of Violation to Wisconsin Electric Co.; No Fine Proposed for Violations at Point Beach Nuclear Plant



NRC Seal NRC NEWS

U. S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, REGION III

801 Warrenville Road, Lisle IL 60532

CONTACT:    Jan Strasma (630) 829-9663/e-mail: rjs2@nrc.gov
Angela Dauginas (630) 829-9662/e-mail: opa3@nrc.gov

NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT: RIII-97-75

August 11, 1997

NRC STAFF ISSUES NOTICE OF VIOLATION TO WISCONSIN ELECTRIC CO.;
NO FINE PROPOSED FOR VIOLATIONS AT POINT BEACH NUCLEAR PLANT

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a Notice of Violation to Wisconsin Electric Power Co. for violations found during inspections earlier this year at the Point Beach Nuclear Power Station. No fine was proposed for the violations.

The Point Beach plant is near Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

The NRC inspections were conducted between December of last year and March of this year. A predecisional enforcement conference was held April 9 between the NRC staff and the utility to discuss the violations identified in the inspections.

The Notice of Violation covers a total of 21 violations, including failure to promptly identify and correct problems at the plant; failure to perform adequate safety reviews of safety-related equipment problems; and failure to meet NRC license requirements for certain tests and to correct inaccuracies in the license requirements.

In issuing the Notice of Violation to the utility, NRC Regional Administrator A. Bill Beach said that a significant fine was considered in the case, but that the agency was exercising enforcement discretion and not proposing a fine.

This enforcement discretion was warranted because the NRC had issued a $325,000 fine last December on similar issues, and the utility had entered into the Confirmatory Action Letter with the NRC which provided the facility would not be operated until these violations and other performance problems were corrected.

Mr. Beach added, "...although the NRC identified a number of these issues as a result of its inspections, the NRC has determined, based on our continued inspection effort, that Wisconsin Electric Power Company dedicated significant resources to successfully address the performance issues and substantially improve Point Beach's conduct of operations."

He continued, "Nonetheless, the NRC must emphasize that failure to sustain this performance could lead to more significant regulatory sanctions."

Wisconsin Electric is required to respond to the Notice of Violation, including a description of its actions to correct the violations and prevent a recurrence of the violations.

Note: The letter to the utility forwarding the Notice of Violation is available from the NRC Region III Office of Public Affairs. It is also on the NRC's internet web site at:

<http://www.nrc.gov/OPA/reports>.

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