Violation Tracker Individual Record
On September 2, 2010, a Notice of Violation, Exercise of Enforcement Discretion, and Proposed Imposition of a Civil Penalty in the amount of $140,000 was issued to Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. (NFS). This action was based on a Severity Level III problem involving three violations associated with an event which occurred on October 13, 2009. The three violations involved (1) the failure to have adequate engineered or administrative controls for operations of the bowl cleaning station in violation of 10 CFR 70.61(b); (2) the failure to comply with multiple facility operating procedures regarding the facility system change process; and (3) the failure to maintain records necessary to support NFS's determination that specific facility changes did not require prior NRC approval in violation of 10 CFR 70.72. Specifically, during routine facility operations in the uranium-aluminum line of the Blended Low-enriched Uranium Preparation Facility, nitric acid was added into the bowl cleaning stations which contained small particles of high-enriched uranium scrap material, and the resultant solution produced an unexpectedly high exothermic chemical reaction deforming some of the process piping. The temperatures from the reaction created excess nitrogen compound gases which resulted in the evacuation of the building. Although the failure to have adequate engineered or administrative controls for operations of the bowl cleaning station did not result in any actual personnel exposure consequences in this case, a more significant event could have resulted in a high consequence occupational exposure under different circumstances. In recognition of particularly poor licensee performance and previous escalated enforcement history, the NRC exercised enforcement discretion and doubled the $70,000 Civil Penalty derived from the normal civil penalty assessment process.