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NRC STAFF PROPOSES $125,000 FINE AGAINST DUKE POWER FOR ALLEGED VIOLATION OF NRC REQUIREMENTS AT OCONEE

 NRC STAFF PROPOSES $125,000 FINE AGAINST DUKE POWER
 FOR ALLEGED VIOLATION OF NRC REQUIREMENTS AT OCONEE
 ATLANTA, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has proposed a $125,000 civil penalty against Duke Power Company for alleged violations of NRC requirements at the Oconee nuclear power plant, located near Seneca, S.C.
 The NRC said the action was the result of the findings of special Augmented Inspection Team (AIT) inspections at Oconee on Sept. 9-13 and Sept. 20-25, 1991, which looked into circumstances associated with a Sept. 7, 1991, degradation of the Unit 1 decay heat removal system and over-pressurization of the Unit 1 Low Pressure Injection (LPI) System on Sept. 19-20, 1991.
 On Sept. 7, while in a refueling outage, an employee reported from the reactor building to the control room that he saw steam coming from the open reactor vessel and that water in the vessel was churning. It was subsequently determined that an improperly set valve had resulted in heat not being removed from the shutdown reactor water for about four hours. No damage occurred.
 On Sept. 19-20, while still in the refueling outage, personnel in the control room apparently failed to follow a start-up procedure which resulted in the over-pressurization of pipes in portions of the LPI System and the loss of about 12,400 gallons of reactor cooling water to the auxiliary building floor.
 NRC officials sent Duke Power a letter dated Feb. 3, 1992, which said the NRC was concerned because both events indicated inadequate management oversight of shutdown operations and inappropriate execution of operator responsibilities during shutdown operations and that a civil penalty of $125,000 was being proposed.
 The base civil penalty for the violation associated with each event is $50,000, but the NRC said the civil penalty was increased for the first event because of previous problems at Oconee associated with outage activities.
 The company has 30 days from receipt of the Notice of Violation to either pay the fine or to protest it, in whole or in part.
 -0- 2/4/92
 /CONTACT: Ken Clark of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 404-331-5503/ CO: United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Duke Power Company ST: South Carolina IN: UTI SU: EXE


BR-BN -- AT003 -- 6584 02/04/92 10:22 EST
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Date:Feb 4, 1992
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