Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Press Release
No. I-16-025 July 29, 2016
Contact: Diane Screnci, 610-337-5330 Neil Sheehan, 610-337-5331
NRC Proposes $7,000 Fine Against New Jersey Company for Violations at San Francisco Shipyard
Nuclear Regulatory Commission has cited Tetra Tech EC, Inc., for an
apparent violation of NRC requirements that occurred at the U.S. Navy’s
Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard site in California.
The agency has proposed a $7,000 fine.
Point is being remediated under the Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, with Environmental
Protection Agency oversight. Tetra Tech was contracted by the Department
of the Navy to assist with the regulatory free-release and closure of
the radiologically-impacted buildings and sites at the shipyard, under
the Navy’s Base Realignment and Closure mandate. The NRC has
jurisdiction over the northeast portion of the shipyard. NRC oversight
involves ensuring that contractors with NRC service provider licenses,
such as Tetra Tech, are conducting remediation activities safely. NRC is
not overseeing the decommissioning of the site.
identified discrepancies in the soil sample survey data and Tetra Tech
conducted an investigation to identify the inaccurate records. After the
company reported the discrepancies to the NRC, an NRC investigation was
conducted, which determined that two Tetra Tech workers, who worked
within NRC jurisdiction, deliberately falsified soil samples on a number
of occasions in late 2011 through the summer of 2012. When tasked with
obtaining soil samples to ascertain the amount of residual radioactivity
in certain locations within Parcel C, the workers instead obtained soil
samples from other areas that were suspected to be less contaminated
and then created documents indicating the work had been done as
expected. The company has since taken actions to prevent recurrence.
Tech has been issued a notice of violation for failing to make surveys
within Parcel C that were reasonable to evaluate concentrations of
residual radioactivity in the soil.
“Although the NRC
investigation did not find information to suggest buildings, land or
materials were inappropriately released for unrestricted use, the
failure to perform reasonable surveys is a significant concern because
that potential did exist,” said Region I Administrator Dan Dorman.
Tech is not required to respond to the notice of violation because the
company has already provided information on the reason for the violation
and the actions taken to prevent recurrence. The company has 30 days to
pay the proposed civil penalty or to request in writing that all or
part of it be withdrawn.