IA-98-048 - Michael Perry

September 18, 1998

IA 98-048

Michael Perry
UNDER 10 CFR 2.790]

Dear Mr. Perry:


This letter refers to an investigation conducted by the NRC Office of Investigations (OI) concerning your alleged involvement on June 29, 1996, in the apparent compromise of an NRC licensing examination. The examination was scheduled to be administered on July 8, 1996, to you and other applicants for NRC reactor operator licenses at the Commonwealth Edison Company's (ComEd) Dresden Station. The OI investigation found that you, an applicant for a senior reactor operator (SRO) license, and another applicant, obtained and photocopied the NRC examination prior to be it being administered to your class of license applicants. OI coordinated the results of the investigation with the U.S. Attorney's Office, Chicago, Illinois. As a result, you were convicted on May 13, 1998, in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, of a misdemeanor associated with the compromise of an NRC reactor licensing examination. One of the items listed in your Plea Agreement was, ". . . defendant also agrees to never reapply for a position of employment with any facility under the jurisdiction, administration, or control of the NRC . . ."

Based on the OI investigation and your criminal conviction, the NRC has concluded that you violated the NRC's rules prohibiting deliberate misconduct at a nuclear power facility and the compromise of the integrity of NRC examinations. Specifically, 10 CFR 50.5(a)(1), "Deliberate Misconduct," prohibits any employee of an NRC licensee (ComEd) from engaging in deliberate misconduct that causes or, but for detection would have caused, a licensee to be in violation of any rule or regulation issued by the Commission. 10 CFR 55.49, "Integrity of Examinations and Tests," prohibits applicants and facility licensees (ComEd) from engaging in any activity that compromises the integrity of any test or examination required by 10 CFR Part 55, "Operator's Licenses." For your information, enclosed is the Notice of Violation issued to ComEd for the compromise of the NRC examination that was based, in part, on your deliberate actions.

Had this violation not been identified, you may have been issued an SRO license without fulfilling all of the requirements to obtain that license. You are reminded that the American public and the NRC place a special trust and confidence in an applicant for, and a subsequent holder of, an SRO license. This trust and confidence confers upon a reactor operator the responsibility for safe operation of a nuclear power plant. Inherent to that position is a significant expectation that an operator of a nuclear power plant be above reproach and conduct himself with the utmost integrity at all times. That was not the case here because you deliberately violated the NRC-requirement that you were not to engage in any activity that compromises an NRC reactor operator examination.

The NRC staff considered issuing a significant enforcement action to you. However, the NRC recognizes that you admitted the violation and cooperated with the investigations by OI and the U.S. Attorney. Further, ComEd terminated your employment and your Plea Agreement prohibits you from ever applying for employment at NRC-licensed activities. Therefore, The NRC is not proposing any enforcement action involving you and considers this matter closed.

Questions concerning this letter may be addressed to James Lieberman at telephone number (301) 415-2741.

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violation, the corrective actions taken to correct the violation and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance was achieved were adequately addressed in the OI investigation, your Plea Agreement, and the court's judgement. Therefore, you are not required to respond to this letter unless the description therein does not accurately reflect your position. Should you choose to respond, clearly mark the response as a "Reply to IA 98-048," and send it to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN: Document Control Desk, Washington, DC 20555-0001 with a copy to the Regional Administrator, NRC Region III, 801 Warrenville Road, Lisle, Illinois 60532-4351, within 30 days of the date of this letter.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's Rules of Practice, documents compiled for enforcement purposes are placed in the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR). A copy of this letter and your response, should you choose to reply, will be placed in the PDR with your home address deleted unless you provide a sufficient basis to withdraw this letter.



William D. Travers
Deputy Executive Director for
   Regulatory Effectiveness

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