[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 166 (Friday, August 28, 2009)]
[Pages 44402-44404]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-20817]



[Docket No.: 07007001; NRC-2009-0377; Certificate No. GDP-1; EA-08-344]

United States Enrichment Corporation, Paducah Gaseous Enrichment 
Plant; Confirmatory Order (Effective Immediately)


    The United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC), a subsidiary of 
USEC Inc., is the holder of NRC Certificates of Compliance (COC) No. 
GDP-1 issued by the NRC pursuant to 10 CFR Part 76 on November 26, 
1996, and renewed on December 22, 2008. The COC is set to expire on 
December 31, 2013. The certificate authorizes USEC to operate the 
Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (Paducah), located near Paducah, 
Kentucky. The certificate also authorizes USEC to receive, and other 
NRC licensees to transfer to USEC, byproduct material, source material, 
or special nuclear material to the extent permitted under the COC.
    This Confirmatory Order is the result of an agreement reached 
during an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mediation session 
conducted on July 2, 2009.


    On December 5, 2008, the NRC's Office of Investigations (OI) 
completed an investigation (OI Case No. 2-2008-023) regarding 
activities at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant located in Paducah, 
Kentucky. The purpose of the investigation was to determine whether one 
or more operators deliberately concealed damaged equipment, falsified 
records, and made false statements to conceal a procedural error while 
moving a uranium hexafluoride (UF6) cylinder.
    Based on the evidence developed during the investigation, the NRC 
staff identified four apparent violations.


    On July 2, 2009, the NRC and USEC met in an ADR session mediated by 
a professional mediator, which was arranged through Cornell 
University's Institute on Conflict Resolution. ADR is a process in 
which a neutral mediator with no decision-making authority assists the 
parties in reaching an agreement or resolving any differences regarding 
their dispute. This confirmatory order is issued pursuant to the 
agreement reached during the ADR process. The elements of the agreement 
consist of the following:
    1. The NRC and USEC agreed that four violations occurred during and 
subsequent to an incident that occurred in late January 2008, while an 
operator was preparing a UF6 cylinder for movement using the 
applicable procedure. The violations involved the following:
    a. On January 29, 2008, an Operator in building C-337A failed to 
follow Step 8.7.37 of checklist ``Cylinder Burping and Cold Pressure 
Procedure'' incorporated into procedure USEC CP4-CO-CN2045a that 
required that the pigtail be disconnected from the cylinder and the 
autoclave manifold prior to cylinder movement. As a result, the pigtail 
and the autoclave manifold were damaged when the cylinder was lifted. 
In addition, the same Operator subsequently willfully placed a waste 
pigtail in a radioactive waste storage bag and hid it in an unrelated 
control panel, instead of storing the waste pigtail in a drum and 
completing the required documentation in accordance with the 
requirements of USEC Procedure CP4-CO-CN2045a, Step 5.27.3. USEC 
Procedure CP4-CO-CN2045a is required by Technical Safety Requirements 
3.1.1, ``Procedures Scope,'' which requires, in part, that written 
procedures shall be implemented to cover activities listed in Appendix 
A to Safety Analysis Report (SAR) section 6.11. Appendix A to SAR 6.11, 
``Organization and Operating Programs,'' lists UF6 cylinder handling as 
an activity that requires implementation of written procedures.
    b. On January 29, 2008, an Operator in the C-337A building 
willfully did not take any action to secure the damaged autoclave 
manifold, contact the appropriate supervisor or manager, or log the 
damage in a work package, narrative logbook, or other quality record. 
The Operator also willfully attempted to repair the autoclave manifold 
so as to conceal the initial failure to disconnect the pigtail from the 
autoclave manifold and the cylinder. In addition, a second Operator 
failed to contact the appropriate supervisor or manager upon learning 
of an incident that resulted in damage to both the pigtail and the 
autoclave manifold, and an Operator-Trainee in the C-337A building also 
failed to contact the appropriate supervisor or manager upon witnessing 
the incident. The actions of the two Operators and Operator-Trainee are 
contrary to USEC procedures CP2-PS-PS1044, ``Use of Procedures'', and 
CP2-CO-CO1032, ``Shift Routines and Operating Practices.''
    c. On January 29, 2008, an Operator in the C-337A building 
willfully prepared and signed his name (i.e., falsified) on a document, 
indicating that the pigtail had been properly disconnected from the 
autoclave manifold, when in fact the Operator knew that the pigtail had 
not been properly disconnected and was damaged. A second Operator in 
the C-337A building also willfully signed his name (i.e., falsified) on 
a document, with knowledge that the pigtail had not been properly 
disconnected from the autoclave. The falsification of documents is 
prohibited by USEC Procedure UE2-OP-OP1030, ``Conduct of Operation.''
    d. On January 30, 2008, two Operators and an Operator-Trainee, 
individuals who were familiar with the circumstances that resulted in 
damage to an autoclave manifold, willfully denied any knowledge of 
these circumstances when questioned by Corporation management. These 
actions are contrary to USEC Procedure UE2-OP-OP1030, ``Conduct of 
    2. At the ADR session, USEC-Paducah representatives agreed that the 
circumstances described in Item 1 above represent violations of 
requirements, and were due, in part, to the willful actions of the two 
Operators and an Operator-Trainee.
    3. Based on USEC-Paducah's review of the incident and NRC concerns 
with respect to precluding recurrence of the violations, USEC took the 
following actions:
    a. In January 2008, cylinders potentially affected by the incident 
were inspected.
    b. In February 2008, the Nuclear Safety & Quality organization 
began conducting surveillances of in-hand

[[Page 44403]]

procedure use at the General Manager's request.
    c. On February 1, 2008, the USEC Section Manager issued a 
memorandum to all UF6 handling personnel describing the 
discovery of the damaged manifold and the need for anyone with 
knowledge to come forward.
    d. On February 4, 2008, the damaged pigtail was retrieved and 
stored per NCS requirements, and the NCS incident evaluation was 
    e. On February 5, 2008, the crane and lifting devices used by 
Operator 1 on January 29, 2008 were tested and inspected.
    f. On February 12, 2008, USEC conducted an ``All Hands Stand Down'' 
meeting with all plant personnel to inform them about the event and to 
reinforce management expectations.
    g. On February 22, 2008, Operations initiated a Long-Term Order 
requiring that two operators be present during cylinder connections and 
    h. On February 29, 2008, the General Manager sent a letter to all 
employees reinforcing the need for procedural compliance.
    i. On February 29, 2008, the General Manager sent a letter to all 
employees reinforcing the need to stop work and report errors.
    j. In March 2008, USEC completed repairs of the 2E autoclave 
    k. In March 2008, a Use of Procedures question bank was distributed 
as a coaching tool plant-wide. The question bank covers the stop work 
requirements and other rules that govern procedure use at the plant.
    l. In April 2008, USEC conducted a session for all supervisors to 
reinforce the responsibilities of line management to establish and 
maintain a strong safety culture. In addition, supervisors were tasked 
with conducting a Nuclear Safety Culture briefing for all workers that 
highlights the safety implication of not reporting mistakes and the 
related guidance in the USEC Code of Conduct.
    m. In August 2008, USEC revised its new employee training materials 
to include additional training on the elements of a Safety Conscious 
Work Environment.
    n. In October 2008, USEC revised the relevant plant procedures to 
require two operators to be present for selected cylinder operations.
    o. In October 2008, USEC developed recurring training for 
Operations and Maintenance supervisors to reinforce ``conduct of'' 
principles and procedure compliance. Training will be conducted for a 
period of 12 months from the date of issuance of the Confirmatory 
    p. In November 2008, USEC conducted briefings for all personnel who 
handle fissile materials on the importance of complying with 
    q. In March 2009, the General Manager and Plant Manager conducted 
over 25 briefings for all employees with regard to safety culture, open 
communications, teamwork to identify vulnerabilities early, procedural 
compliance, and reporting off-normal conditions.
    r. USEC took disciplinary action to address the unacceptable 
performance of the three individuals involved in the incident.
    4. In addition to the actions completed by USEC as discussed above, 
USEC agreed to additional corrective actions and enhancements, as fully 
delineated below in Section V of the Confirmatory Order.
    5. At the ADR session, the NRC and USEC agreed that (1) the actions 
referenced in Section III.3 and Section V, would be incorporated into a 
Confirmatory Order, and (2) the resulting Confirmatory Order would be 
considered by the NRC for any assessment of USEC, as appropriate.
    6. In consideration of the completed corrective actions delineated 
in Section III.3 and the commitments delineated in Section V of this 
Confirmatory Order, the NRC agreed to refrain from proposing a civil 
penalty or issuing a Notice of Violation for all matters discussed in 
the NRC's letter to USEC of February 25, 2009 (EA-08-344).
    7. This agreement is binding upon successors and assigns of USEC.
    On August 12, 2009, USEC consented to issuance of this Order with 
the commitments, as described in Section V below. USEC further agreed 
that this Order is to be effective upon issuance and that it has waived 
its right to a hearing.


    Since USEC has completed the actions as delineated in Section 
III.3, and agreed to take the actions as set forth in Section V, the 
NRC has concluded that its concerns can be resolved through issuance of 
this Order.
    I find that USEC's commitments as set forth in Section V are 
acceptable and necessary and conclude that with these commitments the 
public health and safety are reasonably assured. In view of the 
foregoing, I have determined that public health and safety require that 
USEC's commitments be confirmed by this Order. Based on the above and 
USEC's consent, this Order is immediately effective upon issuance.


    Accordingly, pursuant to Sections 104b, 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 and 10 CFR Part 76, It is hereby ordered, 
effective immediately, that Certificate No. GDP-1 be modified as 
    a. USEC agrees to conduct an end-point effectiveness review of 
actions targeting improvement in procedural compliance. USEC will 
review plant data for instances of failing to comply with applicable 
sections of CP2-PS-PS1044, ``Use of Procedures.''
    b. USEC agrees to conduct a mid-point effectiveness review of its 
efforts to enforce compliance with the USEC Code of Conduct. USEC will 
review plant data for instances of intentional procedure or USEC Code 
of Conduct violations. The acceptable success criterion is zero 
instances of intentional procedure or USEC Code of Conduct violations.
    c. Not later than 180 days after the issuance of the confirmatory 
order, USEC will conduct a review of the Assessment Tracking Reports 
classified as either ``Significant Conditions Adverse to Quality'' or 
``Level 1 events'' during the 12 months preceding the issuance of the 
confirmatory order, in addition to this occurrence, to determine if 
weaknesses in any of the 13 safety culture components, as identified in 
NRC Regulatory Information Summary 2006-13, caused or significantly 
contributed to the event.
    d. Within 90 days after conducting the review described in 
paragraph V.d and following completion of the Safety Conscious Work 
Environment assessment, USEC will assess the safety culture component 
weaknesses identified above, integrate the results with the Safety 
Conscious Work Environment assessment, and develop any appropriate 
corrective actions.
    e. USEC-Paducah agrees to complete the items listed in Section V 
within 12 months of issuance of the Confirmatory Order.
    f. Within 3 months of completion of the terms of the Confirmatory 
Order, USEC-Paducah will provide the NRC with a letter discussing its 
basis for concluding that the Order has been satisfied.
    The Regional Administrator, NRC Region II, may relax or rescind, in 
writing, any of the above conditions upon a showing by USEC of good 


    Any person adversely affected by this Confirmatory Order, other 
than USEC,

[[Page 44404]]

may request a hearing within 20 days of its publication in the Federal 
Register. 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 directed to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, and include a 
statement of good cause for the extension.
    If a person other than USEC 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 (d) and (f).
    If a hearing is requested by 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 Confirmatory Order should be 
    A request for a hearing must be filed in accordance with the NRC E-
Filing rule, which became effective on October 15, 2007. The NRC E-
filing Final Rule was issued on August 28, 2007 (72 FR 49139), and was 
codified in pertinent part at 10 CFR Part 2, Subpart B. The E-Filing 
process requires participants to submit and serve documents over the 
internet or, in some cases, to mail copies on electronic optical 
storage media. Participants may not submit paper copies of their 
filings unless they seek a waiver in accordance with the procedures 
described below.
    To comply with the procedural requirements associated with E-
Filing, at least five (5) days prior to the filing deadline the 
requestor must contact the Office of the Secretary by e-mail at 
[email protected], or by calling (301) 415-1677, to request (1) a 
digital ID certificate, which allows the participant (or its counsel or 
representative) to digitally sign documents and access the E-Submittal 
server for any NRC proceeding in which it is participating; and/or (2) 
creation of an electronic docket for the proceeding (even in instances 
when the requestor (or its counsel or representative) already holds an 
NRC-issued digital ID certificate). Each requestor will need to 
download the Workplace Forms ViewerTM to access the 
Electronic Information Exchange (EIE), a component of the E-Filing 
system. The Workplace Forms ViewerTM is free and is 
available at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/install-viewer.html. Information about applying for a digital ID certificate 
also is available on NRC=s public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/apply-certificates.html.
    Once a requestor has obtained a digital ID certificate, had a 
docket created, and downloaded the EIE viewer, he/she can then submit a 
request for a hearing through EIE. Submissions should be in Portable 
Document Format (PDF) in accordance with NRC guidance available on the 
NRC public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. 
A filing is considered complete at the time the filer submits its 
document through EIE. To be timely, electronic filings must be 
submitted to the EIE system no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on 
the due date. Upon receipt of a transmission, the E-Filing system time-
stamps the document and sends the submitter an e-mail notice confirming 
receipt of the document. The EIE system also distributes an e-mail 
notice that provides access to the document to the NRC Office of the 
General Counsel and any others who have advised the Office of the 
Secretary that they wish to participate in the proceeding, so that the 
filer need not serve the document on those participants separately. 
Therefore, any others who wish to participate in the proceeding (or 
their counsel or representative) must apply for and receive a digital 
ID certificate before a hearing request is filed so that they may 
obtain access to the document via the E-Filing system.
    A person filing electronically using the agency's adjudicatory e-
filing system may seek assistance through the ``Contact Us'' link 
located on the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html or by calling the NRC Meta-System Help Desk, which is 
available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through 
Friday, excluding government holidays. The Meta-System Help Desk can be 
contacted by telephone at 1-866-672-7640 or by e-mail at 
[email protected].
    Participants who believe that they have good cause for not 
submitting documents electronically must file a motion, in accordance 
with 10 CFR 2.302(g), with their initial paper filing requesting 
authorization to continue to submit documents in paper format. Such 
filings must be submitted by (1) first class mail addressed to the 
Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking and 
Adjudications Staff; or (2) courier, express mail, or expedited 
delivery service to the Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One 
White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852, 
Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Participants filing a 
document in this manner are responsible for serving the document on all 
other participants. Filing is considered complete by first-class mail 
as of the time of deposit in the mail, or by courier, express mail, or 
expedited delivery service upon depositing the document with the 
provider of the service.
    Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in 
NRC's electronic hearing docket, which is available to the public at 
http://ehd.nrc.gov/EHD_Proceeding/home.asp, unless excluded pursuant 
to an order of the Commission, an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, or 
a Presiding Officer. Participants are requested not to include personal 
privacy information, such as social security numbers, home addresses, 
or home phone numbers in their filings. With respect to copyrighted 
works, except for limited excerpts that serve the purpose of the 
adjudicatory filings and would constitute a Fair Use application, 
participants are requested not to include copyrighted materials in 
their works.


    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 V above shall be final 20 days from the date this 
Order is published in the Federal Register without further order or 
proceedings. If an extension of time for requesting a hearing has been 
approved, the provisions specified in Section V shall be final when the 
extension expires if a hearing request has not been received. A request 
for hearing shall not stay the immediate effectiveness of this order.

    Dated this 18th day of August 2009.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Victor M. McCree,
Deputy Regional Administrator for Operations.
[FR Doc. E9-20817 Filed 8-27-09; 8:45 am]