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NRC STAFF PROPOSES $18,750 FINE AGAINST SIEMENS POWER

 NRC STAFF PROPOSES $18,750 FINE AGAINST SIEMENS POWER
 WALNUT CREEK, Calif., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Nuclear


Regulatory Commission staff is proposing to fine Siemens Power Corp. $18,750 for five alleged violations of NRC requirements at the company's Richland, Wash., fuel fabrication facility. NRC Regional Administrator John B. Martin notified the company of the alleged violations by letter on Oct. 23, 1992.
 The alleged violations were identified during a special inspection conducted Aug. 12 to 14, and Aug. 17 to 27, 1992 to review the circumstances of an event that occurred on Aug. 8, 1992. This event involved the transfer of a large mass of low enriched uranium powder from a favorable geometry vessel to an unfavorable geometry vessel prior to verifying that the moisture content of the material was within the limits prescribed in the applicable nuclear criticality safety analysis.
 NRC inspectors identified the following alleged violations:
 1) criticality safety analyses were not adequate to determine that criticality safety criteria were satisfied;
 2) administrative controls for criticality safety -- specifically, gate valve locks and key control procedures -- were not included in criticality safety specifications;
 3) valve key controls identified in facility operating procedures were not followed;
 4) on Aug. 8, 1992, about 750 kilograms of low enriched uranium was transported from one vessel to another before moisture analysis results were obtained and approved by a supervisor; and,
 5) the criticality safety analyses which are the sources for the limits and controls found in a particular criticality safety specification were not identified.
 Collectively, these five violations represent a programmatic breakdown in the Siemens criticality safety program that is a cause for significant regulatory concern.
 The alleged violations have been categorized as a Severity Level III problem on a scale of I to V, with Level I representing a problem or violation of very significant regulatory concern and Level V a problem or violation of minor concern. The base civil penalty for Severity Level III is $12,500. The NRC staff credited the company for prompt and planned corrective actions, but noted that a prior opportunity existed to identify and correct the conditions leading to the violations. The net proposed civil penalty is $18,750.
 Siemens now has 30 days to submit a written statement to the NRC admitting or denying the alleged violations, explaining the reasons for them if admitted, stating the corrective actions which have been or will be taken and the date when full compliance was or will be achieved.
 The company also has 30 days to pay the proposed fine or to protest it, in whole or in part. If the fine is protested and later imposed, Siemens may request a public hearing.
 -0- 10/29/92
 /CONTACT: Greg Cook of U.S. NRC, 510-975-0346, or, home, 707-644-2428/ CO: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Siemens Power Corp. ST: Washington IN: UTI OIL SU:


TM -- SF007 -- 6740 10/29/92 16:06 EST
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Date:Oct 29, 1992
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