NRC Staff Withdraws Proposed Civil Penalty Against TVA at Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant
U. S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
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February 10, 1998
NRC STAFF WITHDRAWS PROPOSED CIVIL PENALTY AGAINST TVA AT SEQUOYAH NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has notified the Tennessee Valley Authority that a $55,000 civil penalty, proposed by the NRC last December 8 for violations at the Sequoyah nuclear power plant near Chattanooga, is being withdrawn.
In a February 5 letter to TVA, James Lieberman, director of the NRC's Office of Enforcement, said the agency had reconsidered the proposed enforcement action at TVA's request and concluded that no civil penalty was appropriate in this case.
In July of last year, a senior reactor operator at Sequoyah failed to properly align a spare vital direct current battery to its board, resulting in its being inoperable for about 30 hours. Direct current batteries provide backup power to some safety equipment when the plant loses both offsite and emergency diesel power.
TVA agreed that the cited violations occurred but asked that the NRC reconsider imposition of the fine because TVA personnel eventually identified and corrected the problem.
Lieberman's letter said that, although TVA missed previous opportunities to identify and correct the violations, the NRC felt that it was appropriate in this case to credit TVA for the factor of identification to "recognize the diligence of the TVA training instructor whodiscovered the vital battery problem and took prompt action to ensure system operability."