NRC: Entergy served notice of violation ‘with willful intent’

  • Recorder file photoVermont Yankee.

Recorder Staff
Published: 6/27/2017 4:45:05 PM

VERNON, Vt. — The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant was found in violation of a provision of the plant’s radiation protection program, with a former radiation protection technician found to have willfully failed to perform a daily check of radiation detection equipment.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission notified the Vernon plant’s owners Monday that between January and September 2016, a technician failed to perform daily source checks of contamination monitors on plant workers.

An NRC investigation, completed on March 31, found gaps during that nine-month period with the monitors not source checked, and that the night-shift radiation protection technician denied failing to do the checks and falsifying related records.

Entergy initiated its own review of the problem in response to the NRC investigation, noted the federal regulator’s Division of Nuclear Materials Safety.

The underlying violation “was of minor safety significance,” noted the NRC, since failure to perform daily checks did not affect calibration of the monitors; the current industry practice is to perform source checks of the monitors weekly rather than daily, and the technician never worked more than four nights in a row, so the monitors never went four nights without being checked.

Vermont Yankee ceased operation at the end of 2014 and is in the process of moving spent fuel from its reactor building to dry cask storage.

Entergy Nuclear Operations was given 30 days to respond to the notice of violation, which was raised to Level IV severity since it was committed with deliberate intent and was not identified by Entergy.

“We are reviewing the Notice of Violation and, as instructed by the NRC’s letter, will be providing a response to the NRC no later than July 26, 2017,” responded Joseph Lynch, Entergy’s Government Affairs manager.


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