WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today issued a Preliminary Notice of Violation (PNOV) to BWXT Conversion Services, LLC (BWCS) for violations of DOE worker safety and health requirements.  DOE’s enforcement program holds contractors accountable for meeting regulatory requirements and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace.  

The violations are associated with the inadvertent release of potassium hydroxide (KOH) that resulted in injuries to two workers at Portsmouth DUF6 Conversion Plant in Piketon, Ohio on March 25, 2015.  The PNOV cites four Severity Level I violations and three Severity Level II violations of requirements enforceable under Title 10 C.F.R. Part 851, Worker Safety and Health Program.  BWCS is cited for violations in the areas of: (1) management responsibilities, (2) hazard identification and assessment, (3) hazard prevention and abatement, (4) training and information, (5) recordkeeping and reporting, (6) lockout/tagout (LOTO), and (7) emergency response and occupational medicine.

The DOE Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office withheld from BWCS $207,241 of earned fee in Fiscal Year 2015 for safety and health performance deficiencies that included those revealed by the KOH injury event.  Therefore, in accordance with 10 C.F.R. § 851.5(c), DOE proposed no civil penalties for the Part 851 violations cited in the PNOV.

Section 234C of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, authorizes the Energy Department to pursue regulatory enforcement under 10 C.F.R. Part 851 against DOE contractors for violations of worker safety and health requirements.  DOE’s enforcement program encourages contractors to identify and correct worker safety and health program deficiencies at an early stage, before they contribute to, or result in more serious safety and health events.

BWCS is the project operating contractor for the DUF6 Project to convert more than 800,000 metric tons of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride into Depleted Uranium Oxide.    

Additional details on this PNOV and other enforcement actions are available on the DOE website at: /ea/services/enforcement