NRC Proposes $43,750 Civil Penalty for Shipment of Equipment from Oyster Creek that Exceeded Radiation Limits
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has proposed a $43,750 fine for Holtec Decommissioning International for shipping radioactive materials in a package exceeding regulatory transportation limits.
The package, which contained decommissioning equipment, was shipped in an open transport vehicle from the Oyster Creek site in Lacey Township, New Jersey, to the Indian Point site in Buchanan, New York, where the radiation levels were detected on the outside surface. Holtec owns and is decommissioning both nuclear power plants.
There was no impact to the public as a consequence of this incident. The elevated radioactivity levels were confined to the top of the package and were not accessible to the public while in transit.
“This enforcement action reinforces that the NRC will hold licensees accountable if they don’t meet the requirements,” said NRC Region I Administrator Raymond Lorson. “We expect nuclear plant personnel to be diligent and ensure that no shipments are leaving their facilities that could in any way adversely affect the public.”
The NRC documented the Oyster Creek proposed violation in an August inspection report. In a separate finding, the NRC identified a “Severity Level IV” violation at Indian Point for Holtec’s failure to make a timely report to the NRC when the shipping package radiation level was found to exceed the regulatory limits. Holtec personnel at Indian Point should have reported it immediately but did not notify the NRC until the following day. This violation is lowest of four levels because there were no or relatively inappreciable safety consquences.
Holtec acknowledged the violation in a written response and provided corrective actions it has taken or will put in place to prevent a recurrence.