2020 Individual Actions

Mr. Todd Blankenship (IA-20-020)

On November 6, 2020, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Mr. Todd Blankenship for a Severity Level III violation. Mr. Blankenship was in violation of his NRC-issued operator license when he failed to adhere to operating procedures and other conditions specified in the Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Barr Nuclear Plant Unit-1 license by not practicing conservative decision making, proceeding in the face of uncertainty, and allowing production and cost to override safety during a startup on November 11, 2015.

Mr. William Sprinkle (IA-20-018)

On November 6, 2020, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Mr. William Sprinkle for a Severity Level III violation. Mr. Sprinkle was in violation of 10 CFR 50.5 when he deliberately initiated and approved a change to a step in the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA's) Watts Barr Nuclear Plant Unit-1 startup procedure by using an inappropriate change process. He identified the need for this change, directed a procedure writer to make the change, then acted as final approver of this change knowing, based on his experience and training, that the change did not meet the minor/editorial change criteria specified in TVA's processes.

Mr. Billy Johnson (IA-20-017)

On November 6, 2020, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Mr. Billy Johnson for multiple NRC violations. The first violation, a Severity Level (SL) III violation of his NRC operator license, was issued for failing to adhere to operating procedures and other conditions specified in the Watts Barr Nuclear Plant Unit-1 facility license. Specifically, on November 11, 2015, as the shift manager, he continued a reactor heat-up evolution with only one reactor coolant inventory control system in service. This resulted in a relatively quick and uncontrollable pressurizer water level rise, which led the main control room (MCR) operators to take actions outside of approved operating procedures to re-establish pressurizer water level control. The second violation, an SL III violation of 10 CFR 50.5 was issued for his deliberate failure to ensure that MCR operators operated equipment in accordance with approved procedures. During a startup on November 11, 2015, he improperly directed MCR operators to place a reactor plant system in service in violation of approved procedures. The third violation, an SL II violation of 10 CFR 50.5 was issued for making false statements during an NRC Office of Investigations interview in which he stated there was no significant pushback from MCR operators to continue with the November 11, 2015 reactor heat-up and it was his decision to continue the heat-up. The NRC discovered two separate emails written by Mr. Johnson which stated he had been persuaded into moving forward with the heat-up and that continuing with the heat-up was really a senior management decision. In later interviews he admitted these facts.

Mr. Denver Lee (IA-20-030)

On September 24, 2020, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Mr. Denver Lee, for a Severity Level III violation. Mr. Lee, a contractor employee supervisor, deliberately caused Entergy Operations, Inc. (Licensee), Arkansas Nuclear One, to be in violation of NRC requirements when he willfully failed to notify security upon discovering prohibited items in the protected area (PA) as required by Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 73.55, and licensee procedures. Specifically, on or about October 10, 2018, Mr. Lee engaged in deliberate misconduct that caused the licensee to be in violation of a regulation issued by the Commission when he was aware of prohibited items (i.e., unauthorized ammunition) inside the PA and failed to promptly notify security of the prohibited items.

Mr. Thomas Spivey (IA-20-029)

On September 24, 2020, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Mr. Thomas Spivey, for a Severity Level III violation. Mr. Spivey, a contractor employee supervisor, deliberately caused Entergy Operations, Inc. (Licensee), Arkansas Nuclear One, to be in violation of NRC requirements when he willfully failed to notify security upon discovering prohibited items in the protected area (PA) as required by Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 73.55, and licensee procedures. Specifically, on or about October 10, 2018, Mr. Spivey engaged in deliberate misconduct that caused the licensee to be in violation of a regulation issued by the Commission when he was aware of prohibited items (i.e., unauthorized ammunition) inside the PA and failed to promptly notify security of the prohibited items.

Mr. James Johnson (IA-20-028)

On September 24, 2020, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Mr. James Johnson, for a Severity Level III violation. Mr. Johnson, a contractor employee supervisor, deliberately caused Entergy Operations, Inc. (Licensee), Arkansas Nuclear One, to be in violation of NRC requirements when he willfully failed to notify security upon discovering prohibited items in the protected area (PA) as required by Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 73.55, and licensee procedures. Specifically, on or about October 10, 2018, Mr. Johnson engaged in deliberate misconduct that caused the licensee to be in violation of a regulation issued by the Commission when he was aware of prohibited items (i.e., unauthorized ammunition) inside the PA and failed to promptly notify security of the prohibited items.

Mr. Todd Hegeman (IA-20-027)

On September 24, 2020, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Mr. Todd Hegeman, for a Severity Level III violation. Mr. Hegeman, a contractor employee supervisor, deliberately caused Entergy Operations, Inc. (Licensee), Arkansas Nuclear One, to be in violation of NRC requirements when he willfully failed to notify security upon discovering prohibited items in the protected area (PA) as required by Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 73.55, and licensee procedures. Specifically, on or about October 10, 2018, Mr. Hegeman engaged in deliberate misconduct that caused the licensee to be in violation of a regulation issued by the Commission when he was aware of prohibited items (i.e., unauthorized ammunition) inside the PA and failed to promptly notify security of the prohibited items.

Dr. Melinda Krahenbuhl (IA-20-040)

On July 27, 2020, the NRC issued a Confirmatory Order (CO) to Dr. Melinda Krahenbuhl confirming commitments reached as part of an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mediation settlement agreement between Dr. Krahenbuhl and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The commitments were made as part of the settlement agreement based on violations of NRC requirements discussed in Order IA-19-035 dated March 16, 2020. An ADR mediation session was held in a virtual meeting setting with Dr. Krahenbuhl, her representative, and the NRC on June 22, 2020, and a preliminary settlement agreement was reached. In consideration of the corrective actions and commitments outlined in the CO, the NRC is withdrawing the March 16, 2020, Order (IA-19-035). Subject to the satisfactory completion of the additional corrective actions, the NRC will take no further action concerning the violations discussed in Order IA-19-035.

Dennis Bergmooser (IA-20-023)

On July 15, 2020, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Mr. Dennis Bergmooser, for a Severity Level III problem related to two willful violations. Mr. Bergmooser deliberately caused his former employer, DTE Energy Company, to be in violation of NRC requirements when he willfully failed to establish, implement, and maintain a list of individuals who are authorized to have unescorted access to specific nuclear power plant vital areas during nonemergency conditions as required by Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 73.56(j). Specifically, Mr. Bergmooser directed an individual, who was not a cognizant licensee or applicant manager or supervisor responsible for directing the work activities, to update and reapprove access to vital areas for multiple individuals and he deliberately failed to satisfy the continuing 30-day behavior observation specified in the licensee’s procedures, in that, he failed to complete the behavioral observations and electronically sign the revalidation. Mr. Bergmooser, as a manager responsible for the revalidations, deliberately directed a nonsupervisory subordinate, who was not trained under 10 CFR 26.29, to perform continuous 30-day behavior observation revalidations.

Mr. César Blanco (IA-19-033)

On April 23, 2020, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Mr. César Blanco, for a Severity Level III problem related to two willful violations. Mr. Blanco deliberately caused his former employer, Lantheus Medical Imaging, to be in violation of NRC requirements when he willfully failed to wear dosimetry and willfully submitted incomplete and inaccurate information to the NRC. Specifically, between January 2014 and December 2017, Mr. Blanco deliberately failed to wear required dosimetry when performing work on the cyclotron and on February 14, 2018, he deliberately provided false information to an NRC inspector about his dosimetry use.

Dr. Melinda Krahenbuhl (IA-19-035)

On March 16, 2020, the NRC issued an Order prohibiting Dr. Melinda Krahenbuhl, Director, Reed College, Reed Research Reactor, from involvement in NRC-licensed activities for a period of 3 years. The Order also suspended Dr. Krahenbuhl's senior reactor operator license for 3 years. Dr. Krahenbuhl deliberately caused her employer, Reed College (Portland, Oregon) to be in violation of 10 CFR Section 50.9(a), "Completeness and accuracy of information," when she willfully provided information to the Commission that was not complete and accurate in all material respects. Dr. Krahenbuhl also caused Reed College to be in violation of Renewed Operating License R-112, License Condition 2.C.(3). Specifically, Dr. Krahenbuhl will be prohibited from any involvement in NRC-licensed activities for a period of 3 years and, thereafter, she will be required to notify the NRC within 20 days following acceptance of her first employment offer involving NRC-licensed activities.

Mr. Michael S. Paul (IA-20-025)

On March 12, 2020, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Mr. Michael Paul, for violations of 10 CFR 55.53(j) (Conditions of Licenses) which requires, in part, that the licensee shall not perform activities authorized by a license issued under 10 CFR Part 55 while under the influence of alcohol that could adversely affect his or her ability to safely and competently perform his or her duties. Specifically, Mr. Paul reported for duty at Susquehanna Nuclear, LLC’s Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Unit 1, while under the influence of alcohol. Susquehanna Nuclear, LLC determined that he was under the influence of alcohol via a random test administered to him on July 4, 2019, as part of the facility’s fitness-for-duty program. This is a Severity Level III violation in accordance with NRC Enforcement Policy Section 6.4.

Mr. Stanley Schultz (IA-20-005)

On March 11, 2020, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Mr. Stanley Schultz, for a Severity Level III violation involving deliberate misconduct that caused his employer Schultz Surveying & Engineering, Inc., to be in violation of NRC requirements Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations Part 30.41(a). Specifically, on January 31, 2017, Mr. Schultz deliberately transferred byproduct material to a person not authorized to receive such byproduct material under terms of a specific license, general license, or their equivalents issued by the Atomic Energy Commission, the NRC, or an Agreement State.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, January 22, 2021