Department of Energy

Department of Energy Cites CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Violations

April 1, 2019

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today issued a Preliminary Notice of Violation (PNOV) to CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC) for violations of DOE nuclear safety requirements.  DOE’s enforcement program holds contractors accountable for meeting regulatory requirements and maintaining a safe workplace. 

CHPRC has the contract with DOE for environmental remediation of the Plutonium Finishing Plant at the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington.  

The PNOV cites violations associated with the spread of radiological contamination outside of the established radiological boundary of the Plutonium Finishing Plant in 2017 and 2018:  three Severity Level II violations and two Severity Level III violations.  According to 10 C.F.R. Part 820, Procedural Rules for DOE Nuclear Activities, Severity Level II refers to violations that represent a significant lack of attention or carelessness which could, if uncorrected, lead to an adverse impact on public or worker safety at DOE facilities.  Severity Level III violations are less serious but could, if uncorrected, lead to a more serious concern.  

CHPRC is cited in the PNOV for violations of 10 C.F.R. Part 830, Nuclear Safety Management, and 10 C.F.R. Part 835, Occupational Radiation Protection.  DOE had already reduced CHPRC’s total contract fee in fiscal year 2018 by approximately $1.8 million for the deficiencies associated with this event, in addition to a fee reduction of approximately $1 million during fiscal year 2017 associated with a precursor event in June 2017.  As a result, DOE proposed no additional civil penalty for the cited violations.

Section 234A of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, authorizes the Energy Department to pursue regulatory enforcement under 10 C.F.R. Part 820 against DOE contractors for violations of nuclear safety requirements.  DOE’s enforcement program encourages contractors to identify and correct nuclear safety deficiencies at an early stage, before they contribute to or result in more serious safety events.

Additional details on this PNOV is available on the DOE website at: https://www.energy.gov/ea/listings/notices-violation

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