The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced measures today that the FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in New York must take in order to address problems in the plant’s Radiation Protection Program. The action was taken as a result of violations noted in inspections from 2006 to 2010. The NRC press release noted these deficiencies:
Failure by technicians to perform required respirator fit testing on multiple occasions from 2006 to 2009; a failure to maintain accurate documentation of completed respirator fit tests during the same period; a failure to perform and/or accurately document independent verification of certain valve positions after the valves were manipulated between September 2007 and December 2009; a failure to document a personal contamination event on at least one occasion; a failure to perform a contamination survey, or check, prior to the removal of an item from the plant’s radiologically controlled area; and a failure to carry out daily radiological surveys, on multiple occasions from 2006 to 2009, of a reactor building airlock.
Today’s order will require FitzPatrick’s owner, Entergy Nuclear Operations, to perform a number of actions, not only at FitzPatrick, but some at all nine Entergy nuclear facilities:
• The company will review its existing company-wide general employee training to ensure adequate coverage in the areas of procedural compliance and record-keeping. It will document the results of this review within 60 days.
• Entergy will, within 90 days, review its procedure on nuclear safety culture monitoring processes to determine whether it should have detected the weaknesses that led to the conduct responsible for the violations. If that is not found to be the case, Entergy will develop enhancements and revise the procedure within 120 days of completion of the review. In addition, the company will provide the results of its review to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), an industry trade organization, for its consideration in revising the NEI document “Fostering a Strong Nuclear Safety Culture”. The results of that review will be made available to the NRC.
• Entergy will prepare a case study about what occurred, with top managers at each of the company’s nuclear power plants presenting the report to employees at the respective facilities. These presentations will be completed within 180 days.
• Within 360 days, Entergy will deliver a presentation to managers of other U.S. nuclear power plants on lessons learned and actions taken in response to the issues identified at FitzPatrick.
• The company will, within 360 days, develop and conduct an assessment of the radiation protection departments at all nine of Entergy’s nuclear power plants. The assessment will review the rigor with which members of the departments perform and document routine activities. If those reviews identify performance or documentation issues, the company will enter those issues into the respective plants’ corrective action programs.
• Entergy will send the NRC a letter within 30 days of completion of all corrective actions. The NRC will subsequently conduct confirmatory reviews.