WASHINGTON, D.C. – On January 13th, 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Preliminary Notice of Violation (PNOV) to Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth LLC (FBP) for violations of DOE nuclear safety requirements. DOE’s enforcement program holds contractors accountable for meeting regulatory requirements and maintaining a safe workplace. FBP is the management and operating contractor for the Portsmouth Site located in Piketon, Ohio.
The violations are associated with radiation protection program implementation deficiencies at the Portsmouth Site from 2011 through 2019. The PNOV cites two Severity Level I violations, two Severity Level II violations, and one Severity Level III violation of requirements of 10 C.F.R. Part 830, Nuclear Safety Management, which are enforceable under 10 C.F.R. Part 820, Procedural Rules for DOE Nuclear Activities. According to 10 C.F.R. Part 820, Procedural Rules for DOE Nuclear Activities, Severity Level I is reserved for violations of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements which involve actual or high potential for adverse impact on the safety of the public or workers at DOE facilities. 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.
Partially in response to the nuclear safety violations associated with this event, DOE administered a contract fee reduction in the amount of $2.6M. As a result, DOE has elected to exercise enforcement discretion and proposes no 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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