United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

2015 Reactor Actions

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Northern States Power Company (Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant, Unit 1) EA-14-193

On December 21, 2015, the NRC issued a Confirmatory Order to Northern States Power Company, Minnesota (licensee) to formalize commitments made as a result of an ADR mediation session. The commitments were made by the licensee as part of a settlement agreement between the licensee and the NRC regarding apparent violations of NRC requirements. The agreement resolves the apparent failure to ensure nondestructive examinations (NDE) on spent fuel dry shielded canisters (DSC) were performed in accordance with procedural requirements, and the falsification of records when recording the NDE results, contrary to the requirements of 10 CFR 72.158, 10 CFR 72.11 and 10 CFR 72.154(c). The licensee agreed to a number of corrective actions, including: (1) restore compliance for all affected DSCs, (2) revise applicable procedures, (3) present at an industry forum, (4) submit an article to an industry publication, and (5) assess the effectiveness of improvements. In consideration of these commitments, the NRC agreed to refrain from issuing a Notice of Violation and a proposed imposition of a Civil Penalty.

Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Palisades Nuclear Plant) EA-15-171

On November 24, 2015, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation, characterized as Severity Level III, to Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. for a violation of 10 CFR Part 50.9, "Completeness and accuracy of information." This violation involved the failure to provide information to the Commission that was complete and accurate in all material respects. Specifically, the licensee submitted Letter No. PNP 2014-015 to the NRC, which inaccurately stated the effective full power years for which the ASME Code acceptance criteria would be met at Palisades Nuclear Plant. The NRC staff used this information to grant the licensee’s proposed alternative to regulatory requirements. On May 22, 2015, the licensee submitted Letter PNP 2015-037 with a corrected analysis. The error in letter PNP 2014-015, and resultant change to the analysis results in letter PNP 2015-037, represented a significant reduction in the time to reach the ASME Code acceptance criteria limits. Therefore, the information is considered material to the NRC for review of the proposed alternative to regulatory requirements in letter PNP 2014-15.

Texas A&M University (EA-14-230)

On October 22, 2015, the NRC issued a Severity Level III Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of a Civil Penalty in the amount of $3,500 to Texas A&M University, Engineering Experiment Station, Nuclear Science Center (NSC), for two violations of NRC requirements, collectively characterized as a Severity Level III problem. The first violation involved the Texas A&M NSC staff's failure to maintain complete and accurate records in all material respects. Specifically, on or after May 15, 2013, the reactor operations manager deliberately falsified the May 14, 2013, reactor operations log shutdown checklist required by Technical Specification 6.3 when he certified that the shutdown procedures were performed when in fact they had not been performed. The shutdown checklist is a safety record that the licensee is required to maintain for inspection by the NRC staff and the completeness and accuracy of this safety information is material to the NRC inspection process. The second violation involved the failure of Texas A&M NSC to maintain the minimum facility staffing required by Technical Specification 6.1.3 when the reactor was not secured as defined by Technical Specifications 1.23 and 1.26. Technical Specification 6.1.3, "Staffing," requires at least two individuals, a senior reactor operator and either a licensed reactor operator or operator trainee, be on duty when the reactor is not secured. Specifically, on the evening of May 14, 2013, the senior reactor operator and reactor operator left the facility complex unattended. The reactor was not secured on the night of May 14-15, 2013, in that the reactor contained sufficient fissile material to attain criticality under optimum conditions and the reactor console was not secured because not all scrammable rods were fully inserted and verified down.

Energy Northwest (Columbia Generating Station) EA-14-240

On September 28, 2015, the NRC issued a Confirmatory Order to Energy Northwest, to formalize commitments made as a result of an alternative dispute mediation session held on August 6, 2015. The commitments were made as part of a settlement agreement between Energy Northwest and the NRC regarding a violation that involved Nuclear Security Officers at Columbia Generating Station being willfully inattentive while on duty, which resulted in them not meeting the requirement to be available at all times inside the protected areas for their assigned response duties, contrary to 10 CFR 73.55(k)(5)(iii). In light of the significant corrective actions Energy Northwest had taken and subject to the satisfactory completion of the additional actions committed to take, as described in the Confirmatory Order, the NRC will not issue a Notice of Violation for the apparent violation. Those actions include, but are not limited to: (1) conducting a common cause evaluation, (2) revising its annual compliance and ethics computer-based training to address deliberate misconduct, (3) presenting at an industry forum to discuss the events that led to the confirmatory order, (4) conducting a targeted nuclear safety culture assessment, and (5) paying a civil penalty of $35,000.

Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Dresden Nuclear Power Station Unit 2) EA-15-115

On September 16, 2015 the NRC issued a Notice of Violation associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding to Exelon Generation Company, LLC for a violation of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion III, "Design Control". This violation involved the failure to review the suitability of application of the Automatic Depressurization System electromatic relief valve (ERV) actuators, which are essential to perform the safety-related reactor vessel depressurization and overpressure protection functions. This resulted in a failure of the 2C ERV, and an indeterminate period of inoperability and unavailability greater than allowed by Technical Specifications (TS) during the operating cycle. The 2C ERV inoperability during the operating cycle was identified after the failure of the valve during its first operational test in a mid-cycle outage. Additionally, because the licensee was not aware of the valve’s inoperability between 2013 and 2015, the required TS actions were not followed.

Entergy Operations, Inc. (River Bend Station) EA-15-043

On September 10, 2015, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding to Entergy Operations, Inc. for a violation of 10 CFR Part 55.46(c), "Plant-Referenced Simulators," involving River Bend Station's simulator failure to accurately reproduce the operating characteristics of the facility. Specifically, as of January 30, 2015, the simulator failed to demonstrate expected plant response to operator input and to normal, transient, and accident conditions to which the simulator has been designed to respond. These simulator modeling issues led to negative training of operators, which contributed to operator challenges to control the plant and maintain plant parameters during a reactor scram in the actual plant that occurred on December 25, 2014.

Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station) EA-15-081

On September 1, 2015 the NRC issued a Notice of Violation associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding to Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. for a violation of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVI, "Corrective Action". This violation involved the failure to establish measures to promptly identify and correct a significant condition adverse to quality, or take corrective actions to preclude repetition, relating to a component that is essential to performing the Automatic Depressurization System (ADS) safety-related functions. Specifically, the licensee failed to identify that the ADS 'A' safety/relief valve (SRV) did not open upon manual actuation on February 9, 2013. The licensee therefore did not take action to preclude repetition, which resulted in the failure of the ADS 'C' SRV to operate upon manual actuation on January 27, 2015. Additionally, because the licensee was not aware of the 'A' SRV's inoperability from February 9, 2013 until January 27, 2015, a period greater than the allowed Technical Specification (TS) outage time, the required actions of the TS were not followed.

Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. (Millstone Power Station Unit 2) EA-13-188

On August 26, 2015, the NRC issued a Confirmatory Order (CO) to Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. (DNC), to formalize commitments made as a result of an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mediation session held on July 15, 2015 and two follow up conference calls. The commitments were made as part of a settlement agreement between DNC and the NRC regarding apparent violation of 10 CFR 50.59, "Changes, Tests, and Experiments." The apparent violations involved implementing changes to documents related to Millstone Unit 2 spent fuel decay time limits and the Millstone Unit 2 chemical and volume control system (CVCS) charging pumps without the NRC's approval and providing incomplete and inaccurate information to the NRC. One of the apparent violations was considered to have been willful. In response to these apparent violations, DNC agreed to complete a number of actions as fully discussed in the CO. In consideration for those actions, the NRC agreed not to pursue further enforcement action.

Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Clinton PowerStation) EA-15-064

On August 11, 2015 the NRC issued a Notice of Violation associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding to Exelon Generation Company, LLC for a violation of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion III, "Design Control". This violation involved the failure to review the suitability of application of the Division 3 Shutdown Service Water pump modifications, which were essential to the safety related functions of the High Pressure Core Spray system. Specifically, on or about October 3, 1995, the licensee failed to ensure the modified pump internals would not degrade under expected operating conditions in a way that impacted the safety function. The licensee determined the pump failed at the conclusion of its surveillance run on May 30, 2014, but this condition did not reveal itself until the pump failed to start on September 16, 2014. This resulted in the pump being inoperable for approximately 108 days, a period greater than the allowed limiting condition for operation outage times provided in the plant technical specifications (TS). Additionally, because the licensee was not aware of the pump's inoperability during the unit's operation cycle, the required actions of the TS were not followed.

Susquehanna Nuclear, LLC (Susquehanna Steam Electric Station) EA-15-022

On June 22, 2015, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding to Susquehanna Nuclear, LLC. The finding was associated with the failure to implement the 15-minute assessment, classification, and declaration period for a potential loss of Reactor Coolant System (RCS) barrier emergency action level (EAL) at the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station (Susquehanna), Units 1 and 2. Specifically, Susquehanna interpreted the 15-minute assessment, classification, and declaration clock to start when operator actions were, or were expected to be, unsuccessful in isolating an RCS leak rather than upon the time when the EAL thresholds were exceeded. Susquehanna's incorrect interpretation of the 15-minute assessment and declaration period degraded its ability to make a timely Site Area Emergency declaration. The Notice of Violation involved the failure to comply with the requirements of 10 CFR 50.47(b)(4),"Emergency Plans," 10 CFR 50.54(q)(2), "Conditions of License," and 10 CFR 50, Appendix E, Section IV.C.2., "Emergency Planning and Preparedness for Production and Utilization Facilities."

Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station) EA-14-186

On April 27, 2015, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding to Exelon Generating Company LLC (the licensee) for a violation of 10 CFR 50, Appendix B, Criterion III, "Design Control," involving the failure to review the suitability of application of a different maintenance process, at its Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station that was essential to a safety-related function of the Emergency Diesel Generators (EDGs). Specifically, from May 13, 2005, to September 9, 2014, the licensee failed to verify the adequacy of the acceptance criteria for a new EDG belt maintenance process, which resulted in the EDG's cooling fan shaft being susceptible to fatigue failure, which occurred on July 28, 2014. Additionally, because the licensee was not aware of the EDG's inoperability between 2005 and 2014, the required actions of the Technical Specifications were not followed.

Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station) EA-14-178

On April 27, 2015, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation associated with a Yellow Significance Determination Process finding to the Exelon Generation Company, LLC (licensee) for a violation identified at its Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station. The violation involved the failure to comply with 10 CFR 50, Appendix B, Criterion III, "Design Control," which required the licensee to establish measures for the selection and review for suitability of application of materials, parts, equipment, and processes that are essential to the safety-related functions of the structures, systems, and components. Specifically, from original installation of electromatic relief valves (EMRVs) in 1969, until the valves were redesigned and reinstalled during the 2014 refueling outage, the EMRV actuators were inadequate because when they were placed in an environment where the actuator was subject to vibration associated with plant operation, the mechanical tolerance between posts and guides created a condition where the springs could wedge between the guides and the posts, jamming the actuator plunger assembly. In addition, given the original design of the valve, the maintenance refurbishing processes were not adequate to maintain the required internal tolerances to prevent excessive fretting and wear of the internal components. As a consequence, two of the five total EMRVs were inoperable for greater than 24 hours in violation of Technical Specification 3.4.B.

NextEra Energy Duane Arnold, LLC (Duane Arnold Energy Center) EA-14-237

On April 16, 2015, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding to NextEra Energy Duane Arnold, LLC (licensee) for a violation identified at its Duane Arnold Energy Center involving the failure to comply with 10 CFR 50, Appendix B, Criterion IX, "Control of Special Processes" which required the licensee to maintain measures to assure that special processes are controlled and accomplished by qualified personnel using qualified procedures in accordance with applicable codes, standards, specifications, criteria, and other special requirements. Specifically, between November 5 and 10, 2012, the licensee did not adequately control the application of the torus coating, a special process, because the requirements associated with wet film thickness measurements and conditions for recoat application were not contained in design specifications and vendor documentation, nor were they included in qualified procedures. The licensee’s failure to establish adequate quality controls during the application of a torus coating resulted in an unqualified torus coating in excess of the emergency core cooling system suction strainer design debris loading margin. This finding did not present an immediate safety concern because the unqualified torus coating in excess of the design margin was removed during an outage before the reactor resumed operation.

Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station) EA-14-192

On April 10, 2015, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Exelon Generation Company, LLC for a Severity Level III Problem involving two related violations identified as a result of an inspection at its Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station (NMP). The first violation involved the failure on multiple occasions to notify the NRC within 30 days of medical conditions of licensed reactor operators (ROs) and senior reactor operators (SROs) that involved permanent disabilities/illnesses as required by 10 CFR 50.74 (c). Specifically, between June 2001 and September 2014, NMP staff was informed that operators were taking prescribed medication for such conditions as hypertension, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit disorder, and asthma. NMP did not report these permanent medical conditions to the NRC when they submitted NRC Form 396 as part of the operators’ license application process. Additionally, NMP did not restrict these same licensed ROs and SROs from performing licensed duties when the individuals had disqualifying medical conditions, in accordance with 10 CFR 55.25. The second violation involved the submittal by NMP of information to the NRC that was not complete and accurate in all material respects as required by 10 CFR 50.9. Specifically, on multiple occasions between September 2002 and February 2012, NMP submitted applications for operators that certified the medical fitness of the applicants and that did not identify any needed license operator restrictions regarding disqualifying medical conditions or related prescription medication. Each of the applicants had medical conditions that did not meet the minimum standards of 10 CFR 55.33(a)(1). Subsequently, the NRC based in part on this inaccurate information, issued reactor operator licenses without the required restricting license conditions.

Tennessee Valley Authority (Watts Bar, Unit 2) EA-14-179

On April 7, 2015, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Tennessee Valley Authority, for a violation, identified as a result of an inspection and investigation at its Watts Bar Nuclear Plant, Unit 2, involving the licensee employees' willful failure to follow a procedure for activities affecting quality in accordance with 10 CFR 50, Appendix B, Criterion V, "Instructions, Procedures, and Drawings". Specifically, on or about December 19, 2011, contract employees assigned to install anchor bolts for overhead base plates, which support safety related ventilation in the containment building, willfully failed to remove and replace, or obtain site engineering approval for, newly installed wedge bolt anchors that exceeded 5 degrees of perpendicular, as required by the licensee's procedure. Out of tolerance anchor bolts on two hangers were bent (straightened) to within 5 degrees of perpendicular utilizing a non-approved modified tool. All four overhead base plates of the two hangers had at least one bent (weakened) bolt.

Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc. (Vogtle Electric Generating Plant) EA-14-158

On March 30, 2015, he NRC issued a Notice of Violation associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding to Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., for the licensee's failure to maintain accurate records of radioactive waste being stored in designated areas which resulted in a violation of Vogtle Electric Generating Plant Technical Specification 5.4.1. Specifically, information regarding the location and contents of the high integrity containers was not updated when the contents of process shield #10 were changed. This failure to maintain accurate records resulted in a shipment of Type B quantity of radioactive material being shipped in a container that was not approved or tested for that purpose. The significance of this event was based on the increased risk to the public and accident hazard posed when a Type B quantity of radioactive material was shipped in a container that was not approved or tested for that purpose.

Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Dresden Nuclear Power Station, Unit 3) EA-15-001

On March 26, 2015, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding to Exelon Generation Company, LLC, for a violation, identified as a result of an inspection at its Dresden Nuclear Power Station, Unit 3, involving the failure to establish measures to ensure the suitability of materials, parts, equipment, and processes essential to the safety-related functions of structures, systems, and components as required by 10 CFR 50, Appendix B, Criterion III. Specifically, the licensee failed to ensure that the application of the Automatic Depressurization System electromatic relief valve (ERV) actuators, which are essential to perform the safety-related reactor vessel depressurization and overpressure protection functions, remained suitable for operation. As a result, multiple failures of the 3E ERV occurred during testing prior to operating cycle D3C23, as well as an indeterminate period of inoperability and unavailability greater than allowed by the Unit 3 Technical Specifications during operating cycle D3C23. The 3E ERV inoperability during the operating cycle was identified after the failure of the valve during its first operational test following the Unit 3 shutdown for refueling.

Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Indian Point Energy Center, Unit 3) EA-14-180

On March 16, 2015, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation, characterized as a Severity Level III Problem to Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy) for a violation of 10 CFR 50.9, "Completeness and accuracy of information," and 10 CFR 55.3, "License requirements." This violation involved the failure to provide information to the Commission that was complete and accurate in all material respects and the failure to notify the NRC of a change in a licensed operator's medical condition. Specifically, Entergy submitted an NRC licensed operator renewal application that certified the medical fitness of an applicant. This information was inaccurate in that the applicant had a medical condition that did not meet the minimum standards of 10 CFR 55.33(a)(1), that required a restricting license condition to use a therapeutic device. Entergy also did not report this change in a permanent medical condition to the NRC within 30 days nor did Entergy request an amended license with a condition to account for the medical issue.

Tennessee Valley Authority (Sequoyah Nuclear Plant) EA-14-003

On March 9, 2015, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty in the amount of $70,000 to Tennessee Valley Authority for a Severity Level III Problem involving two violations. The first violation involved the failure to conduct compensatory fire watches as required by TVA corporate procedures and 10 CFR 50.48. Specifically, on multiple occasions during October and November 2012, hourly fire watches required as compensatory measures for fire protection equipment that was out of service in the Emergency Diesel Generator Building were not performed. In addition, the designated fire watch foremen willfully failed to have proper oversight of fire watch activities. The second violation involved the failure to maintain complete and accurate records as required by 10 CFR 50.9(a). Specifically, on multiple occasions during the same time frame, fire watch patrol records were falsified when individuals initialed that fire watches were completed when in fact, these fire watches had not been performed.

Exelon Generation Company, LLC (R. E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant) EA-14-235

On February 24, 2015, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Exelon Generation Company, LLC for a Severity Level III Problem involving two related violations identified as a result of an inspection at its R. E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant (Ginna). The first violation involved the submittal by Ginna of information to the NRC that was not complete and accurate in all material respects as required by 10 CFR 50.9. Specifically, on October 8, 2008, Ginna submitted a senior reactor operator application which did not specify that the applicant had a medical condition that required medication for hypertension. Subsequently, the NRC issued a senior reactor operator license to the individual without a medical restriction. The second violation involved the failure to notify the NRC within 30 days of a permanent disability of a licensed senior operator as required by 10 CFR 50.74 (c). Specifically, Ginna staff was informed in July 2008 that the operator was taking prescribed medication for hypertension. Ginna did not report this permanent medical condition to the NRC when they submitted NRC Form 396 as part of the senior operator license application in October 2008, and during subsequent biennial requalification medical examinations in 2010 and 2012. Ginna also did not request an amended license with a condition to account for the medical issue until July 16, 2014.

Entergy Operations, Inc. (Palisades Nuclear Plant) EA-14-168

On February 23, 2015, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding to Entergy Operations, Inc., for two violations involving the failure to comply with the requirements of 10 CFR 20.1201(c) and Technical Specification 5.4.1.a during control rod drive housing replacement activities between February 6 and March 8, 2014 at the Palisades Nuclear Plant. Specifically, the licensee failed to (1) properly use the deep-dose equivalent, and (2) determine the effective dose equivalent using a dosimetry method approved by the NRC, as required by 10 CFR 20.1201(c). In addition, the licensee failed to establish a procedure for personnel monitoring covering all practical worker positions and shielding geometries as required by Technical Specification 5.4.1.a.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (Diablo Canyon Power Plant) EA-14-010

On February 11, 2015, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Pacific Gas and Electric Company for a Severity Level III violation of 10 CFR 50.54(q), "Conditions of Licenses" involving the failure to apply and receive approval from the Commission for a proposed change that decreased the effectiveness of the approved emergency plan. In addition, a White Significance Determination finding was issued. This White finding, an issue with low to moderate significance to safety, will require additional NRC inspections. The finding involves a change to the emergency plan which decreased its effectiveness. Specifically, on November 4, 2005, without approval from the NRC, the licensee removed instructions in emergency plan implementing procedures for making protective action recommendations for members of the public on the ocean within the 10-mile emergency planning zone, decreasing the plan's effectiveness.

Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. (Millstone Power Station Units 2 and 3) EA-14-126

On February 10, 2015, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. for a Severity Level III violation of 10 CFR 50.59, "Changes, Tests, and Experiments" involving the failure to obtain a license amendment pursuant to 10 CFR 50.90, prior to implementing a change that resulted in more than a minimal increase in the likelihood of occurrence of a malfunction of a Structures, Systems and Components (SSC) important to safety previously evaluated in the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR). Specifically, Dominion allowed a design change to the offsite power system (removal of the severe line outage detection system (SLOD), a system described in the UFSAR), and failed to conduct a written evaluation or provide a basis for the determination that the change did not require a license amendment in accordance with 10 CFR 50.59 (c)(2).

Entergy Operations, Inc. (Arkansas Nuclear One, Unit 1 & 2) EA 14-088

On January 22, 2015, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation associated with a Yellow Significance Determination Process finding to Entergy Operations, Inc. (Entergy). The finding was associated with the failure to design, construct, and maintain the Arkansas Nuclear One, Unit 1 & 2 auxiliary building and emergency diesel fuel storage building flood barriers so that they could protect safety-related equipment from flooding. Entergy was cited for a violation of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion III, "Design Control" and 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion V, "Instructions, Procedures, and Drawings." Both violations included multiple examples for each violation.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, April 01, 2016