Nuke Fined for Falsifying Records

Friday, May 3, 2013 @ 05:05 PM gHale


Kewaunee Power Station owner Dominion Resources faces a $70,000 fine for failing to conduct proper fire drills and falsifying records at the Kewaunee, WI, plant, federal officials said.

The actions occurred between August 2009 and December 2011 and Dominion corrected them, including “actions against the former trainer and the individual’s former supervisor,” said a statement from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

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The company conducted an internal audit when the NRC raised the issue, said Kewaunee spokesman Mark Kanz. He said corrective actions were taken, including procedures and processes, “and people got the message. We are going to accept the NRC’s decision.”

The nuclear plant already is under increased NRC scrutiny because of a 30-day period in 2011 when a computer link that provides control room operators with radiation data failed to work. There were backup systems and public safety was not in question, but the NRC finding moved the plant to a more frequent inspection status.

Kewaunee Power Station should shut down Tuesday to begin an up-to-60-year decommissioning process. NRC spokeswoman Prema Chandrathil said inspections will continue beyond Tuesday.

As to the drills, fire brigade members were not putting on gear and conducting physical drills. Some were table-top simulations, even though the fire brigade trainer claimed on forms they completed the drills.

Kanz said a fire team consists of five employees from various departments. At least five fire brigade members must be on duty every shift. The plant conducts two dozen single-team fire drills a year, six unannounced.

Chandrathil said drills went on as intended and the NRC determined the fire teams were capable of fighting a fire.

“The health and safety of the public was maintained,” Kanz said.



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