NRC issues confirmatory order to FirstEnergy regarding Davis-Besse

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a Confirmatory Order to FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. (FENOC). The company has committed to a series of actions following an investigation that concluded that a licensed operator at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station deliberately failed to provide complete and accurate medical information as is required by the NRC.

The plant is located in Oak Harbor, Ohio, 21 miles east southeast of Toledo.

The order stems from a settlement reached under the NRC’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Process (ADR), requested by plant-owner FENOC to address the violations identified in the NRC’s investigation. The ADR process involves mediation facilitated by a neutral third party to assist the NRC and a licensee to reach an agreement regarding an enforcement action.

The NRC determined that on multiple occasions between February 2013 and July 2014, a licensed operator failed to comply with requirements for medical qualifications, which are a condition of the NRC’s reactor operator license, and deliberately provided inaccurate medical information to the Davis-Besse facility. As a result of the operator’s actions, the plant provided the NRC with false medical records violating the agency’s requirement for complete and accurate information.

As a result of the ADR meeting, the company agreed to:

reinforce knowledge of and compliance with requirements for medical qualifications and completeness and accuracy of information with plant operators at Davis-Besse and across the FENOC fleet;

• complete an effectiveness review of those actions;

• revise existing procedures on updating operators’ medical records;

• communicate about this issue across the nuclear industry;

• update the NRC on the status of those actions by the dates noted in the order.

Prior to the NRC’s offer to engage in ADR, FirstEnergy had already taken several actions to address the causes of the violations which include:

• addressing the situation with the licensed operator in question;

• making sure licensed operators at Davis-Besse understand requirements for maintaining medical qualifications and medical reporting;

• reinforcing expectations and requirements in this area with Davis-Besse and FENOC management;

• conducting an independent survey to verify the effectiveness of these communication efforts;

• completing a review of corrective actions to identify potential trends in medical reporting.