United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

2019 Reactor Actions

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Vogtle Units 3 and 4 (Southern Nuclear Operating Company) (EA-18-130 | EA-18-171)

On November 20, 2019 the NRC issued a Confirmatory Order to Southern Nuclear Operating Company (SNC) for two willful violations of 10 CFR 52.5, "Employee Protection." This Confirmatory Order was based on: (1) SNC directing a contract employee at the Vogtle Units 3 and 4 construction site be removed in December 2015, in part, for engaging in protected activity. The contract employee was subsequently terminated by his employer on February 3, 2016; and, (2) an SNC official removing a contract employee from the site on July 13, 2017, in part, for engaging in protected activity when he was employed by a different contractor on the site from 2014-2015. The contract employee was subsequently terminated by his employer on July 14, 2017.

Watts Bar Unit 2 (EA-19-042)

On November 19, 2019, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty in the amount of $145,000 to Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA, Licensee) for a Severity Level III violation of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 50.9. TVA submitted inaccurate information for NRC licensing decisions on multiple occasions as part of the licensing of Watts Bar Unit 2 from 2010 through 2013, and as part of a license amendment for Watts Bar Unit 1 in 2015. In multiple correspondence with the NRC from 2010 through 2015, TVA provided incomplete and inaccurate information by stating that appropriate analyses had been performed and demonstrated that the station's offsite electric power system was fully capable of meeting its design and licensing bases; however, a key design feature had not been modeled in the analyses.

St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant (EA-18-066)

On September 12, 2019, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty (CP) in the amount of $232,000 to Florida Power and Light (FPL, Licensee) for a Severity Level II violation of NRC requirements involving employee protection.  The violation involved a company executive deliberately discriminating against a contract employee for engaging in a protected activity in the Spring of 2017.  Specifically, a contract employee who raised safety concerns during the St. Lucie Nuclear Plant (St. Lucie) refueling outage had a scheduled work assignment to the Turkey Point Nuclear Plant cancelled shortly after submitting a condition report at St. Lucie. The NRC determined that the actions of FPL management were, in part, based on the contractor's engagement in a protected activity.

Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation (EA-18-165)

On July 18, 2019, the NRC issued a Confirmatory Order (CO) to Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation (Wolf Creek, licensee) to formalize commitments made as a result of an alternative dispute resolution mediation session held on May 30, 2019. The commitments were made as part of a settlement agreement between Wolf Creek and the NRC based on evidence gathered during an investigation in which the NRC had identified an apparent violation. The violation involved a maintenance worker and a supervisor that willfully documented inaccurate information in a work order. Because licensees are responsible for the actions of its employees and contractors, the NRC concluded that the employee's actions placed Wolf Creek in violation of NRC requirements and licensee procedures. In response to the incident, Wolf Creek agreed to complete additional corrective actions and enhancements, as fully discussed in the CO. In consideration of the corrective actions and commitments outlined in the CO, the NRC agreed not to pursue any further enforcement action (including issuance of a civil penalty) relating to the apparent violation.

River Bend Station EA-18-174

On April 19, 2019, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Entergy Operations, Inc. (Entergy) for violations of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion V, and 10 CFR 50.9 at River Bend Station, associated with a Severity Level III Problem identified through an investigation conducted by the NRC Office of Investigations. Contrary to the requirements, Entergy watchstanders, on numerous occasions, failed to tour all required areas of their watchstations resulting in the licensee's failure to maintain information required by the NRC's regulations that was complete and accurate in all material respects. Credit was given to the licensee for identification and corrective action so no civil penalty was issued to the licensee.

Watts Bar Nuclear Plant (EA-18-182)

On April 15, 2019, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), for a violation of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 50.47, Part 50.54, and Appendix E to 10 CFR Part 50, at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant (Watts Bar) associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding.  TVA's staff at Watts Bar failed to adequately maintain emergency action level thresholds affecting emergency preparedness.  Specifically, since each Watts Bar unit's initial plant startup, the licensee failed to adequately maintain radiation monitor effluent parameter calculations that resulted in non-conservative emergency action level thresholds.

Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 3 (EA-18-138)

On April 5, 2019, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Entergy Operations, Inc. (Entergy) for violations of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion V and 10 CFR 50.9 at Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 3, associated with a Severity Level III Problem identified through an investigation conducted by the NRC Office of Investigations.  Contrary to the requirements, Entergy watchstanders, on numerous occasions, failed to tour all required areas of their watchstations resulting in the licensee's failure to maintain information required by the NRC's regulations that was complete and accurate in all material respects.  Credit was given to the licensee for identification and corrective action so no civil penalty was issued to the licensee.

Clinton Power Station (EA-18-104)

On April 1, 2019, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation to Exelon Generation Company (Exelon) for a violation of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion V at Clinton Power Station, associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding. Contrary to the requirements of numerous quality related procedures, Exelon failed to properly restore an emergency diesel generator (EDG) during shutdown conditions and subsequently began maintenance on the other emergency diesel generator. The resulting plant condition was that no emergency diesel generator was immediately available to provide on-site back-up electrical power for a period more than 3 days. Additionally, the unavailability of the EDG resulted in a violation of Technical Specification 3.8.2, "AC Sources - Shutdown," which requires at least one EDG to be operable in Mode 5, and at least one EDG shall be restored immediately when it is determined that none is operable.

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (EA-18-155)

On March 25, 2019, the NRC issued a Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty (CP) in the amount of $116,000 to Southern California Edison Company for two violations of NRC requirements related to an August 3, 2018 fuel-loading incident at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.  The first violation was Severity Level (SL) II violation involving the failure to ensure important to safety equipment was available to provide redundant drop protection features for a spent fuel canister during downloading operations.  Specifically, the licensee inadvertently disabled the redundant important to safety downloading slings while lowering canister 29 into the storage vault.  During the approximately 45 minute time frame, the canister rested on a shield ring unsupported by the redundant downloading slings at approximately 18 feet above the fully seated position.  This failure to maintain redundant drop protection placed canister 29 in an unanalyzed condition because the postulated drop of a loaded spent fuel canister is not analyzed in the final safety analysis report.

In addition, a SL III violation involving the failure to make a timely notification to the NRC Headquarters Operations Center for the August 3, 2018, disabling of important to safety equipment.  Specifically, the licensee failed to notify the NRC after an event that occurred on August 3, 2018, in which the licensee inadvertently disabled the redundant important to safety downloading slings while lowering spent fuel canister 29 into the storage vault, which resulted in the canister resting on a shield ring unsupported by the redundant downloading slings at approximately 18 feet above the fully seated position for approximately 45 minutes.

Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant (Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc.) EA-18-032

On January 29, 2019, the NRC issued a Confirmatory Order (CO) to Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc. (SNC, licensee) to formalize commitments made as a result of an alternative dispute resolution mediation session held on September 21, 2018. The commitments were made as part of a settlement agreement between SNC and the NRC based on evidence gathered during an investigation in which the NRC had identified an apparent violation involving the licensee’s failure to store Safeguards (SGI) in accordance with regulatory requirements. The violation involved a, now-former, nuclear security officer (NSO) who was employed at the Farley Nuclear Plant, who deliberately failed to store SGI in a locked security storage container while unattended, failed to maintain an inventory of SGI located inside a security storage container, and failed to document the retrieval of SGI when in use. Additionally, the licensee failed to maintain an inventory and document the retrieval of SGI from the security storage container when the NSO reproduced an SGI document, placed the SGI in a binder, and removed it for use from the security storage container. Because licensees are responsible for the actions of their employees and contractors, the NRC concluded that the NSO’s actions placed SNC in violation of NRC requirements and licensee’s procedures. In response to the incident, SNC agreed to complete additional corrective actions and enhancements, as fully discussed in the CO. In consideration of the corrective actions and commitments outlined in the CO, the NRC agreed not to pursue any further enforcement action (including issuance of a civil penalty) relating to the notice of apparent violation.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, May 14, 2020