[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 213 (Thursday, November 5, 2009)]
[Pages 57352-57354]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-26687]



[IA-09-036; NRC-2009-0483]

In the Matter of: Robert C. Robbirds; Order Prohibiting 
Involvement in NRC-Licensed Activities (Effective Immediately)


    Mr. Robert C. Robbirds was employed as a Nuclear Security Officer 
(NSO) at the Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc's (SNC) Joseph M. 
Farley Nuclear Plant (FNP) (Licensee) in June of 2008. The Licensee is 
the holder of License Nos. NPF-2 (Unit 1) and NPF-8 (Unit 2), issued by 
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or Commission) pursuant to 10 
CFR Part 50 on June 25, 1977 and March 31, 1981, respectively, and both 
licenses were renewed on May 12, 2005. The licenses authorize the 
operation of the Farley Nuclear Plant (facility), Units 1 and 2, in 
accordance with the conditions specified therein. The facility is 
located on the Licensee's site in Columbia, Alabama.


    On March 5, 2009, an investigation was completed by the NRC's 
Office of Investigations at the Licensee's facility at Columbia, 
Alabama. The purpose of the investigation was to review the 
circumstances surrounding a fitness-for-duty incident that occurred at 
the Licensee's facility on June 27, 2008. The incident involved Mr. 
Robert C. Robbirds, an NSO at the time, who deliberately consumed 
alcohol for several hours prior to arriving for work at the facility, 
and entered the facility with alcohol concealed in bottles containing a 
mixture of alcohol and water. After Mr. Robbirds had been on duty as an 
armed responder inside the protected area for approximately five to six 
hours, he then consumed alcohol and was found shortly thereafter by 
Licensee personnel to be in an unresponsive state and not fit for duty.
    Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 73.55(f) states 
that each guard, watchman or armed response individual on duty shall be 
capable of maintaining continuous communication with an individual in 
each continuously manned alarm station required by paragraph (e)(1) of 
this section, who shall be capable of calling for assistance from other 
guards, watchmen, and armed response personnel and from local law 
enforcement authorities. On June 27, 2008, Mr. Robbirds, an NSO at the 
Licensee's facility, consumed alcohol

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before reporting for duty and while on post as an armed responder 
inside the protected area, rendering himself incapable of maintaining 
continuous communication with an individual in each continuously manned 
alarm station.


    Based on the above, NRC has concluded that Mr. Robert C. Robbirds, 
formerly an employee of the Licensee, engaged in deliberate misconduct 
in violation of 10 CFR 50.5, ``Deliberate Misconduct'' that caused the 
Licensee to be in violation of 10 CFR 73.55(f). The NRC must be able to 
rely on the Licensee and its employees to comply with NRC requirements, 
including the requirement to maintain continuous communication with an 
individual in each continuously manned alarm station.
    Mr. Robbirds' actions have raised serious doubt as to his 
trustworthiness and reliability and whether he can be relied upon to 
comply with NRC requirements.
    Consequently, I lack the requisite 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 Robert C. Robbirds were permitted at this time to be 
involved in NRC-licensed activities. Therefore, in the interest of the 
public health, safety and the common defense and security, Mr. Robert 
C. Robbirds shall be prohibited from any involvement in NRC-licensed 
activities for a period of three years from the date of this Order. 
Additionally, Mr. Robbirds is required to notify the NRC of his first 
employment in NRC-licensed activities for a period of one year 
following the prohibition period. Furthermore, pursuant to 10 CFR 
2.202, I find that the significance of Mr. Robbirds' conduct described 
above is such that the public health, safety and interest require that 
this Order be immediately effective.


    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 50.5, and 10 CFR 150.20, it is 
hereby ordered, effective immediately, that:
    1. Mr. Robert C. Robbirds is prohibited for three years from the 
date of this Order from engaging in NRC-licensed activities. NRC-
licensed activities are those activities authorized 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 Mr. Robert C. Robbirds is currently involved with another 
licensee in NRC-licensed activities, he must immediately cease those 
activities, and inform the NRC of the name, address and telephone 
number of the employer, and provide a copy of this order to the 
    3. For a period of one year after the three-year period of 
prohibition has expired, Mr. Robert C. Robbirds shall, within 20 days 
of acceptance of his first employment offer involving NRC-licensed 
activities or his becoming involved in NRC-licensed activities, as 
defined in Paragraph IV.1 above, provide notice to the Director, Office 
of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001, of the name, address, and telephone number of the employer 
or the entity where he is, or will be, involved in NRC-licensed 
    The Director, OE, may, in writing, relax or rescind any of the 
above conditions upon demonstration by Mr. Robbirds of good cause.


    In accordance with 10 CFR 2.202, Mr. Robert C. Robbirds must, and 
any other person adversely affected by this Order may, submit an answer 
to this Order within 20 days of its publication in the Federal 
Register. In addition, Mr. Robert C. Robbirds and any other person 
adversely affected by this Order may request a hearing on this Order 
within 20 days of its publication in the Federal Register. Where good 
cause is shown, consideration will be given to extending the time to 
answer or 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 20555-0001, and include a 
statement of good cause for the extension.
    A request for a hearing must be filed in accordance with the NRC E-
Filing rule in the NRC's Rules of Practice (10 CFR 2). The E-Filing 
rule 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, it 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-

[[Page 57354]]

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.
    If a person other than Mr. Robert C. Robbirds 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).
    If a hearing is requested by Mr. Robert C. Robbirds or a person 
whose interest is adversely affected, the Commission will issue an 
Order designating the time and place of any hearings. If a hearing is 
held, the issue to be considered at such hearing shall be whether this 
Order should be sustained. Pursuant to 10 CFR 2.202(c)(2)(i), Mr. 
Robert C. Robbirds, or any other person adversely affected by this 
Order, may, in addition to demanding a hearing, at the time the answer 
is filed or sooner, move the presiding officer to set aside the 
immediate effectiveness of the Order on the ground that the Order, 
including the need for immediate effectiveness, is not based on 
adequate evidence but on mere suspicion, unfounded allegations, or 
error. 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 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 IV shall be final when 
the extension expires if a hearing request has not been received. AN 

    Dated this 29th day of October 2009.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Cynthia A. Carpenter,
Director, Office of Enforcement.
[FR Doc. E9-26687 Filed 11-4-09; 8:45 am]