Settlement in Radiation-Laced Shipment Dispute

Tuesday, January 2, 2018 @ 01:01 PM gHale


The Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas (GNF-A) manufacturing facility in Wilmington, NC, received a confirmatory order following an agreement reached during a mediation session completed Oct. 25, federal regulators said.

A Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) inspection report issued in July documented a September 2016 incident where GNF-A contracted with a company to ship scrap metal piping to a local recycling facility.

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When the shipment arrived at the facility, the material caused the radiation portal monitor to alarm and the shipment ended up returned to the GNF-A facility.

The NRC inspection report identified several apparent violations, including the failure to properly survey the material before release, failure to comply with U.S. Department of Transportation regulations for the material and failure to notify the NRC when radiation limits on the shipment exceeded regulations.

GNF-A officials advised the NRC the company would participate in the agency’s alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program to resolve the enforcement issues.

The NRC ADR process is facilitated by a neutral third party with no decision-making authority, who assists the NRC and the company in reaching an agreement when there are differences regarding an enforcement action.

The ADR session held in October resulted in GNF-A agreeing with several of the violations and agreeing on corrective actions to preclude recurrence of the violations. Those actions include steps already taken and planned, such as the revision of procedures related to the release of material, additional training, improvements in recordkeeping, and the initiation of a safety culture assessment. In addition, the company has agreed to install a vehicle portal monitor to detect surface radiation levels on future shipments.

The company has one year to complete some of the actions in the order, and GNF-A is required to provide the NRC with a letter discussing its basis for concluding the order has been satisfied within three months of their completion.



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