September 21, 1998
Preliminary Notice of Violation issued to the University of California related to Multiple Events involving Radiation Protection and Quality Control Requirements at the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, (EA-98-10)
This letter refers to the Department of Energy's (DOE) evaluation of the facts and circumstances related to a series of events at the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research (CMR) Facility which led to a stand-down of all normal operations within CMR on September 2, 1997. The series of events in question occurred following July 7, 1997, when DOE issued an Enforcement Letter to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), concerning potential violations leading to the November 1996 fire and explosion at the CMR Facility. The July 7, 1997, Enforcement Letter noted these potential violations and described DOE's decision to exercise discretion and not take enforcement action at that time due to the plans and commitments by LANL management to correct the work planning and work controls problems that led to the fire and explosion. The letter also indicated that if additional events due to similar breakdowns in work process controls continued to occur, DOE would evaluate taking enforcement action.