Saturday, December 23, 2017

NRC Issues Confirmatory Order to Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas Facility to Address Issues Related to Scrap Metal Shipment‌

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Press Release
No: II-17-051 December 15, 2017

NRC Issues Confirmatory Order to Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas Facility 

to Address Issues Related to Scrap Metal Shipment

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a confirmatory order to the Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas manufacturing facility in Wilmington, N.C., following an agreement reached during an alternative dispute resolution mediation session completed on Oct. 25.

An NRC inspection report issued in July 2017 documented a September 2016 incident where GNF-A contracted with a company to ship scrap metal piping to a local recycling facility. When the shipment arrived at the facility, the material caused the radiation portal monitor to alarm and the shipment was 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 that the company would participate in the agency’s alternative dispute resolution 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 both 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 NRC will not issue violations or civil penalties because of the detailed corrective actions and enhancements contained in the confirmatory order. 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 that the order has been satisfied within three months of their completion.

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