The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a Confirmatory Order to C&D Technologies, a Blue Bell, Pa., maker of safety-related batteries for nuclear power plants. The company has agreed to a series of actions to ensure it complies with requirements to promptly report manufacturing defects.
The confirmatory order is a result of the NRC’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process, which C&D Technologies requested to address three apparent violations related to evaluating and reporting potential manufacturing defects.
An NRC inspection in September 2015 determined that the company failed to properly evaluate a defect in a battery manufacturing process, and therefore failed to meet the NRC’s Part 21 requirements for defect reporting. The defect did not affect safety at any nuclear power plant.
Through the ADR process the company agreed to actions that will ensure ongoing compliance with Part 21 regulations. Some of the commitments outlined in the Confirmatory Order include: ensuring any outstanding Part 21 evaluations meet quality assurance standards; contracting with an independent third party to review C&D Technologies’ corrective action program; ensuring all employees understand the company’s expectations and commitment to meeting NRC requirements; and improving training for all employees on complying with NRC requirements. The company has agreed to the Confirmatory Order’s specific deadlines for these actions. C&D Technologies will regularly update the NRC in writing on completion of the actions.
The ADR process involves mediation facilitated by a neutral third party with no decision-making authority who assists the NRC and a licensee in reaching an agreement when there are differences regarding an enforcement action.