NRC Proposes $87,500 Fine to BWXT

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: II‑23-024 August 23, 2023
Contact: Dave Gasperson, 404-997-4417
NRC Proposes $87,500 Fine to BWXT
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has proposed an $87,500 civil penalty to BWXT Nuclear Operations Group Inc. for two violations of regulatory requirements related to safety controls at its fuel fabrication facility in Lynchburg, Virginia.
The violations were discovered after a January 19 event when a storage tank at BWXT’s Uranium Recovery Facility overflowed, spilling uranium solution onto the floor and into a ventilation system. Two safety controls designed to prevent such a spill failed, increasing the risk of an accidental criticality. The event did not endanger the plant workers, the public, or the environment.
The NRC identified the proposed violations in March during an inspection that revealed an apparent breakdown of safety controls designed to prevent an accidental criticality at BWXT’s facility.
The NRC held a predecisional enforcement conference with BWXT on June 21, and the company provided its perspective, including the results from its root cause evaluation and corrective actions. The company’s investigation into the spill tracked the underlying reasons for the violations back to 2012.
The NRC reviewed BWXT’s response and determined that while previous incidents did not result in an accidental criticality, BWXT missed opportunities to identify the issues for more than 10 years. However, the NRC did credit actions BWXT has taken to strengthen safety controls in imposing the proposed fine.
The company has 30 days to pay the proposed penalty or contest the penalty in writing.