NRC: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
A GOOD NRC enforcement example:
Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station is a nuclear power plant in Oak Harbor, Ohio. On March 5, 2002, maintenance workers discovered that corrosion had eaten a football-sized hole into the reactor vessel head of the Davis-Besse plant. Corrosion had been clogging the plant’s filters for months, requiring repeated filter replacement, but the cause was not investigated until after a worker leaned against a control rod drive mechanism, and it toppled over. Although the corrosion did not lead to an accident, this was considered to be a serious nuclear safety incident. Some observers have criticized the NRC’s Commission work as an example of regulatory capture [See Note 1] and the NRC has been accused of doing an inadequate job by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission kept Davis-Besse shut down until March 2004, so that FirstEnergy was able to perform all the necessary maintenance for safe operations. The NRC imposed its largest fine ever—more than $5 million—against FirstEnergy for the actions that led to the corrosion. The company paid an additional $28 million in fines under a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice. The NRC closely monitored FENOC’s response and concluded in September 2009 that FENOC met the conditions of the 2004 order. From 2004 through 2009 the NRC reviewed 20 independent assessments conducted at the plant and verified the independent assessors’ credentials. The agency also conducted its own inspections and reviewed FENOC’s reactor vessel inspections conducted in early 2005. NRC inspectors paid particular attention to the order’s focus on safety culture and safety conscious work environment to ensure there were no new signs of weakness. The NRC task force concluded that the corrosion, occurred for several reasons:
· NRC, Davis-Besse and the nuclear industry failed to adequately review, assess, and follow up on relevant operating experience at other nuclear power plants;
· Davis-Besse failed to ensure that plant safety issues received appropriate attention; and
· NRC failed to integrate available information in assessing Davis-Besse’s safety performance.
A BAD NRC enforcement example:
NOTE: NO FINES ARE MENTIONED - WHY?
An UGLY NRC enforcement example?:
Our Safety must override SCE's profits and prevent them from restarting Unit 2.
1: Regulatory capture occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or special concerns of interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Regulatory capture is a form of government failure, as it can act as an encouragement for firms to produce negative externalities. The agencies are called "captured agencies".
2. Human performance errors resulting from the negative safety culture of production (profits) goals overriding public safety obligations.
The full DAB Safety Team's Media Alert 5 Parts:https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BweZ3c0aFXcFZGpvRlo4aXJCT2s/edit?pli=1&docId=15V8BD4YK0MjwUV6gPZt6ILS_lP7CpClzgnZentLfx8U
The complete five (5) part presentation, see the eight (8) titles listed below:
Part 1, First Part https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BweZ3c0aFXcFZGpvRlo4aXJCT2s/edit?pli=1&docId=1GcDuO0NvUdBBRVqCinM3Gr9bhmsJDCIbOg65rwdtjBY
Part 1, Second Part https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BweZ3c0aFXcFZGpvRlo4aXJCT2s/edit?pli=1&docId=1v_UcRLUlwmhtVDbftGcROPkF-cujiGa_-qjUJ7i2WIM
Part 1, Third Part https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BweZ3c0aFXcFZGpvRlo4aXJCT2s/edit?pli=1&docId=1yCOQ_diw8Qix1qG3j7MC6F2VfcqMoFOidxjJdIBpba0
Part 1, Fourth Part https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BweZ3c0aFXcFZGpvRlo4aXJCT2s/edit?pli=1
Part 2 https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BweZ3c0aFXcFZGpvRlo4aXJCT2s/edit?
Part 3 https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BweZ3c0aFXcFZGpvRlo4aXJCT2s/edit?pli=1&docId=16VmGtq9oYGS2-bpR4nBt9d-YB21E2xrjFpIJoxFJ4s4
Part 4 https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BweZ3c0aFXcFZGpvRlo4aXJCT2s/edit?pli=1&docId=0BweZ3c0aFXcFMC1BNlpMeDQyM2M
Part 5 https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BweZ3c0aFXcFZGpvRlo4aXJCT2s/edit?pli=1&docId=0BweZ3c0aFXcFX2gxRDFCRW9CVzg