[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 46 (Thursday, March 10, 2005)]
[Pages 12020-12021]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-4670]




In the Matter of Jack J. Spurling; Order Prohibiting Involvement 
in NRC-Licensed Activities

    FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC or Licensee) holds 
License No. NPF-58 issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or 
Commission) pursuant to 10 CFR part 50 on November 13, 1986. The 
license authorizes the operation of the Perry Nuclear Power Plant 
(Perry) in accordance with the conditions specified therein. The 
facility is located on the Licensee's site near Painesville, Ohio.
    From November 8, 1999, to May 1, 2000, Jack J. Spurling was 
employed as the Site Superintendent for the Williams Power Corporation 
(Williams Power), a contractor of the Licensee at Perry.
    The NRC Office of Investigations (OI) conducted an investigation to 
determine if an individual previously employed as a painter by Williams 
Power at Perry was laid off in violation of 10 CFR 50.7 on March 9, 
2000, because the painter had participated in protected activities (OI 
Report No. 3-2000-025). Three painters employed by Williams Power met 
with a FENOC maintenance supervisor at Perry on March 8, 2000, to 
discuss their concerns about directions given by the Williams Power 
general foreman to omit steps, including preparing the surface prior to 
applying paint, required by a licensee painting procedure for the Perry 
Fuel Handling Building. As a result, the FENOC maintenance supervisor 
prepared a condition report on March 9, 2000. The FENOC maintenance 
supervisor made Mr. Spurling aware of the contents of the condition 
report and informed Mr. Spurling that the painters wanted to meet with 
the Perry Ombudsman to discuss their concerns. Mr. Spurling then 
arranged for the painters to meet with the Ombudsman. Subsequently, 
upon the painters' return to the Williams Power work area after their 
March 9, 2000, meeting with the Ombudsman, Mr. Spurling told the 
painters that they could volunteer for a layoff or be terminated. As a 
result, two painters volunteered for layoff and the third was forced to 
resign. Final payroll checks for the painters had been prepared by Mr. 
Spurling that morning before they met with the Ombudsman, indicating 
that the layoff was planned by Mr. Spurling in retaliation for the 
painters' contacts with the FENOC maintenance supervisor and the Perry 
    The painters' contacts with the FENOC maintenance supervisor on 
March 8, 2000, and the Perry Ombudsman on March 9, 2000, to discuss 
their concerns about adherence to procedures by Williams Power were 
activities protected by 10 CFR 50.7. These protected activities were a 
contributing factor to the threats to the three painters to accept 
layoff or be terminated, to the layoff of two painters and to the 
constructive discharge (forced resignation) of the third painter. 
Therefore, a Notice of Violation was issued on this date to Williams 
Power Corporation (EA-082) and a Notice of Violation and Proposed Civil 
Penalty--$55,000 was issued on this date to the licensee (EA-01-083), 
both for an apparent violation of 10 CFR 50.7, ``Employee Protection.''
    During its investigation, OI requested that Williams Power provide 
copies of the termination paychecks which Mr. Spurling had prepared for 
the painters. Williams Power produced two checks dated March 9, 2000, 
and a third check dated March 10, 2000. During a sworn transcribed 
interview with OI on November 2, 2000, and at the predecisional 
enforcement conference (PEC) on September 26, 2001, Mr. Spurling denied 
that he had selected the three painters for layoff because they had 
contacted FENOC with their concerns. Mr. Spurling also denied that he 
had prepared any termination paychecks prior to asking the painters to 
volunteer for layoff, and denied that he had destroyed one of the 
    Following the PEC of September 26, 2001, the Williams Power 
Assistant General Counsel questioned Mr. Spurling about the termination 
paychecks. Mr. Spurling admitted that he had prepared the termination 
paychecks on March 9, 2000, prior to asking the painters to volunteer 
for layoff. Mr. Spurling also admitted that he destroyed a check when 
one of the painters did not volunteer for layoff. The Assistant General 
Counsel for Williams Power initiated an inquiry and determined from 
payroll records that a third check was prepared on March 9, 2000, and 
located a witness who had been contacted by Mr. Spurling and was told 
by Mr. Spurling to delete the third check from the payroll record.
    In a second interview with OI on January 12, 2002, Mr. Spurling 
verified that he had prepared termination paychecks prior to asking the 
painters to volunteer for layoff and that he had destroyed a check when 
one of the painters did not volunteer for layoff. (OI Report No. 3-
    The Office of Investigations presented information to the U.S. 
Department of

[[Page 12021]]

Justice (DOJ) that Mr. Spurling had deliberately provided inaccurate 
information to NRC during a November 2, 2000, interview with OI and 
during the September 26, 2001, PEC. The Office of the United States 
Attorney, Chicago, Illinois, charged Mr. Spurling with a violation of 
18 U.S.C. 1001(a)(2), ``Statements or Entries Generally,'' for the 
false information provided by Mr. Spurling to OI on November 2, 2000, 
while Mr. Spurling was under oath. On July 22, 2004, Mr. Spurling 
appeared in the United States District Court, Northern District of 
Illinois, Eastern Division, Chicago, Illinois, and entered a plea of 
guilty to the violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001(a)(2), a felony. Mr. Spurling 
was sentenced to serve one year of probation, ordered to perform 100 
hours of community service, and ordered to pay a special assessment.
    Based on the above, NRC concludes that Mr. Spurling deliberately 
provided materially inaccurate information to the NRC on November 2, 
2000, and September 26, 2001, when he denied that he had: (1) 
Preselected the three painters for layoff; (2) prepared any termination 
paychecks prior to asking the painters to volunteer for layoff; and (3) 
destroyed one of the termination paychecks. This information was 
material to the NRC because it was capable of influencing a 
determination whether a violation of 10 CFR 50.7 had occurred.
    Based on the above, Jack J. Spurling, an employee of Williams 
Power, a contractor at Perry, caused the Licensee and Williams Power to 
be in violation of 10 CFR 50.7, and deliberately provided materially 
inaccurate information to the NRC, placing both himself and Williams 
Power in violation of 10 CFR 50.5(a)(2). The NRC must be able to rely 
on its licensees, contractors of NRC licensees, and the employees of 
NRC licensees and their contractors to comply with NRC requirements, 
including the requirement to provide information that is complete and 
accurate in all material respects. Mr. Spurling's deliberate 
misrepresentations to the NRC have raised serious doubt as to whether 
he can be relied upon to comply with NRC requirements and to provide 
complete and accurate information to the NRC.
    Consequently, I lack the requisite reasonable assurance that 
licensed activities can be conducted in compliance with the 
Commission's requirements and that the health and safety of the public 
will be protected if Jack J. Spurling were permitted at this time to be 
involved in NRC-licensed activities. Therefore, the public health, 
safety and interest require that Jack J. Spurling be prohibited from 
any involvement in NRC-licensed activities for a period of three years 
from the date of this Order and that he immediately cease NRC-licensed 
activities if currently involved in licensed activities with another 
NRC licensee.
    Accordingly, pursuant to Sections 103, 161b, 161i, 161o, 182 and 
186 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and the Commission's 
regulations in 10 CFR 2.202, 10 CFR Part 50, and 10 CFR 150.20, it is 
hereby ordered that:
    1. Jack J. Spurling is prohibited for three years from the date of 
this Order from engaging in NRC-licensed activities. NRC-licensed 
activities are those activities that are conducted pursuant to a 
specific or general license issued by the NRC, including, but not 
limited to, those activities of Agreement State licensees conducted 
pursuant to the authority granted by 10 CFR 150.20.
    2. If Jack J. Spurling is currently involved with any licensee in 
NRC-licensed activities, he must immediately cease those activities, 
and inform the NRC of the name, address, and telephone number of the 
licensee, and provide a copy of this Order to the licensee.
    The Director, Office of Enforcement, may, in writing, relax or 
rescind any of the above conditions upon demonstration by Jack J. 
Spurling of good cause.
    In accordance with 10 CFR 2.202, Jack J. Spurling must, and any 
other person adversely affected by this Order may, submit an answer to 
this Order, and may request a hearing on this Order, within 20 days of 
the date of this Order. Where good cause is shown, consideration will 
be given to extending the time to request a hearing. A request for 
extension of time must be made in writing to the Director, Office of 
Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555, 
and include a statement of good cause for the extension. The answer may 
consent to this Order. Unless the answer consents to this Order, the 
answer shall, in writing and under oath or affirmation, specifically 
admit or deny each allegation or charge made in this Order and shall 
set forth the matters of fact and law on which Jack J. Spurling or 
other person adversely affected relies and the reasons as to why the 
Order should not have been issued. Any answer or request for a hearing 
shall be submitted to the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Attn: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff, Washington, DC 
20555. Copies also shall be sent to the Director, Office of 
Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555, 
to the Assistant General Counsel for Materials Litigation and 
Enforcement at the same address, to the Regional Administrator, NRC 
Region III, 2443 Warrenville Road, Suite 210, Lisle, Illinois 60532-
4352, and to Mr. Spurling if the answer or hearing request is by a 
person other than Mr. Spurling. Because of continuing disruptions in 
delivery of mail to United States Government offices, it is requested 
that answers and requests for hearing be transmitted to the Secretary 
of the Commission either by means of facsimile transmission to (301) 
415-1101 or by e-mail to [email protected] and also to the Office 
of the General Counsel either by means of facsimile transmission to 
(301) 415-3725 or by e-mail to [email protected]. If a person other 
than Jack J. Spurling requests a hearing, that person shall set forth 
with particularity the manner in which his interest is adversely 
affected by this Order and shall address the criteria set forth in 10 
CFR 2.309.
    If a hearing is requested by Jack J. Spurling or a person whose 
interest is adversely affected, the Commission will issue an Order 
designating the time and place of any hearing. If a hearing is held, 
the issue to be considered at such hearing shall be whether this Order 
should be sustained.
    In the absence of any request for hearing, or written approval of 
an extension of time in which to request a hearing, the provisions 
specified in Section IV above shall be effective and final 20 days from 
the date of this Order without further order or proceedings. If an 
extension of time for requesting a hearing has been approved, the 
provisions specified in Section IV shall be final when the extension 
expires if a hearing request has not been received.

    Dated this 25th day of February, 2005.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Frank J. Congel,
Director, Office of Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 05-4670 Filed 3-9-05; 8:45 am]