DOE Cites Hanford Contractor
The Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Preliminary Notice of
Violation (PNOV) to CH2M Hill Hanford Group Inc. (CHG) for nuclear
safety violations. CHG is the tank operations contractor for the tank
farms located at DOE's Hanford Site in southeastern Washington state.
The PNOV cites a series of violations that occurred on July 27,
2007, when waste being pumped out of tank S-102 spilled in the vicinity
of the tank's retrieval pump. During waste transfer operations, a
supply line became over-pressurized with tank waste, causing a rupture
in the dilution water supply line and resulted in a spill of
approximately 85 gallons of radioactive waste. Violations include a
technical safety requirement violation; inadequacies in procedures;
failure to follow procedures during activities leading up to the spill
event; failure to follow procedures in response to the spill event;
occupational radiation protection deficiencies; failure to adequately
train personnel; failure to incorporate design requirements; failure to
detect and correct quality problems; and failure to proactively
identify spill event precursors through management assessments.
The proposed civil penalty of $302,500 is based on the significance
of the violations, yet reflects substantial mitigation granted by the
Department due to corrective actions taken by CHG to address the issues
and prevent recurrence, officials said.
The Price-Anderson Amendments Act of 1988 authorizes the Energy
Department to undertake regulatory actions against contractors for
violations of its nuclear safety requirements. DOE's Enforcement
Program encourages Departmental contractors to identify and correct
nuclear safety deficiencies at an early stage, before they contribute
to or result in more serious events.