NRC proposes $70,000 fine at TVA’s Sequoyah Nuclear Plant
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has proposed a $70,000 civil penalty against the Tennessee Valley Authority for violations related to fire watches at the Sequoyah nuclear power plant, according to a news release.
An NRC investigation found that on numerous occasions in October and November 2012, some of TVA's contract fire watch workers failed to actually walk through certain areas as required and, along with their supervisors, deliberately recorded that they had completed their rounds.
The violations did not result in any actual safety consequences, since no fires occurred in those areas during the time the fire watches were missed.
“The potential consequences of missed fire watches concern us,” said NRC Region II Administrator Victor McCree.
“Although there are other fire protection features, fire watches are an important part of the plant's overall fire protection strategy, especially in areas where other equipment may be temporarily unavailable.”
The combination of the severity of the violations and the plant's recent enforcement history, the NRC found that a $70,000 fine was warranted.
In a January 2015 letter, the TVA outlined corrective actions that have already been taken. The letter also addressed plans to correct the violations and prevent their recurrence.
The NRC will inspect those corrective actions to ensure that they adequately address the issue. The NRC does not plan to take additional action against any of the individuals responsible.
TVA has 30 days to pay the fine or protest the ruling.