[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 93 (Tuesday, May 14, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 28245-28248]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-11396]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2013-0093; Docket No.: 50-348, 50-364; License No.: NPF-2, NPF-8; 
EA-12-145]


In the Matter of Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Farley 
Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2; Confirmatory Order

I

    Southern Nuclear Operating Company (SNC or Licensee) is the holder 
of License Nos. NPF-2 and NPF-8, issued by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC) pursuant to Part 50 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR), on June 25, 1977 and March 31, 1981. The licenses 
authorize the operation of Farley Nuclear Plant (FNP), Units 1 and 2, 
in accordance with conditions specified therein. The facility is 
located on the Licensee's site in Columbia, Alabama.
    This Confirmatory Order is the result of an agreement reached 
during an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mediation session 
conducted on March 15, 2013.

II

    On July 3, 2012, the NRC's Office of Investigations (OI) completed 
an investigation (OI Case No. 2-2011-018) regarding activities at the 
Farley Nuclear Plant. Based on the evidence developed during the 
investigation, the NRC issued a letter to FNP dated January 9, 2013, 
which documented an apparent violation that occurred during calendar 
years 2010 and 2011.
    Specifically, FNP Technical Specification 5.4.1.a, Procedures, 
requires in part, written procedures to be established, implemented and 
maintained covering the applicable procedures recommended in Regulatory 
Guide (RG) 1.33, Revision 2, Appendix A, February 1978. Section 7.e of 
Appendix A to RG 1.33 requires procedures for training workers in 
radiation protection. Farley procedure FNP-0-AP-42, Access Control, 
requires individuals badged as Unescorted Radiation Workers to undergo 
annual radiation worker training (RWT) to maintain radiation controlled 
area (RCA) access authorization. Licensee procedure NMP-TR-208, 
``Examination and Examination Security'' requires examinees to remove 
or store reference material in such a way that it would not compromise 
the exam, to take the exam in an uninterrupted session, and for 
proctors to ensure all rules are followed while an examination is being 
administered. If cheating is observed the proctor is required to stop 
the exam.
    The NRC's letter further stated that, during calendar years 2010 
and 2011, FNP security personnel proctoring the annual RWT exams failed 
to ensure exams were not compromised as required by SNC procedure NMP-
TR-208. Specifically, proctors compromised the integrity of the RWT 
exams by helping other security officers cheat on the exams by either 
suggesting or giving answers, or taking the exam in place of the 
security officers.

III

    On March 15, 2013, the NRC and SNC met in an ADR session mediated 
by a professional mediator, arranged through Cornell University's 
Institute on

[[Page 28246]]

Conflict Resolution. ADR is a process in which a neutral mediator with 
no decision-making authority assists the parties in reaching an 
agreement or resolving any differences regarding their dispute. This 
confirmatory order is issued pursuant to the agreement reached during 
the ADR process. The elements of the agreement consist of the 
following:
    1. NRC and FNP agreed that the issue described above represents a 
violation of regulatory requirements, with the following 
clarifications: Based on the results of FNP's investigation into the 
incidents as described in the NRC's letter of January 9, 2013, FNP 
confirmed that one security officer inappropriately proctored annual 
RWT exams and failed to ensure that exams were not compromised, as 
required by SNC procedure NMP-TR-208 and Technical Specifications. In 
addition, FNP confirmed that one security officer received 
inappropriate assistance on RWT exams. Based on a review of the range 
of elapsed times it took for security officers and other plant 
employees to complete exams, FNP could not conclude that other security 
officers received inappropriate assistance. The NRC acknowledges and 
accepts FNP's explanation with respect to the elapsed times for taking 
RWT exams, and considers the explanation plausible and credible.
    2. During the ADR, FNP described the corrective actions and 
enhancements completed in response to the issues described in the NRC's 
January 9, 2013, letter. These actions included but were not limited to 
the following:
    a. In August 2012 and again in February 2013, FNP management 
briefed all Security Department personnel on pride, professionalism and 
personal accountability with a specific focus on training processes, 
exams procedures and expectations, and professional integrity.
    b. FNP management re-tested all current Security Department 
personnel whose most-recent RWT exams were proctored by the individual 
who admitted to assisting security officers with their exams. All such 
employees passed their exams.
    c. FNP management imposed a requirement that all Security 
Department training and test taking be performed in a training lab to 
minimize distractions during the training and evaluation processes.
    d. FNP management established, as part of the Security Human 
Behavior Program, a monitoring program to ensure that supervision will 
conduct random observations of Security Department personnel during 
computer-based training requalification exams. The monitoring program 
requires that the observations be reviewed by the FNP Security Manager 
each month. This action will continue until December 31, 2014, at which 
time it will be assessed to determine whether continuation is 
necessary.
    e. SNC conducted a thorough investigation of this matter (including 
interviews of 41 employees), which led to findings of certain 
violations of NMP-TR-208, ``Examination and Examination Security,'' and 
irregularities in the exam processes by FNP Security Department 
personnel.
    f. FNP management issued appropriate levels of discipline for 
employees involved in violations and improper behavior, ranging from 
coaching to written discipline to termination.
    g. Actions specifically related to FNP included:
    i. SNC disqualified all FNP computer-based training proctors and 
retrained them on the requirements of NMP-TR-208.
    ii. SNC performed an additional review of the results of the most 
recent FNP Safety Culture assessment in order to determine whether--in 
light of the RWT exam incident--there were areas of concern that had 
not been identified when the results were initially reviewed. The 
additional review of the Safety Culture assessment did not reveal 
indications of problems with training and test-taking practices.
    h. SNC has also completed a Fleet-Wide Action consisting of a 
formal review of the ``Examination and Examination Security'' Procedure 
(NMP-TR-208) by the Training Department, to ensure adequate guidance is 
provided for examination oversight. As a result, revisions to the 
procedure were made to clarify the proctoring requirements.
    3. Based on SNC's review of the incident and the NRC's concerns 
with respect to precluding recurrence of the violation, SNC agrees to 
the following corrective actions and enhancements:
    a. SNC's Licensing Department conducted an assessment of 
opportunities for improvement for all proctored exams. As a result, SNC 
initiated a Condition Report for Fleet Security to evaluate the testing 
environment for the Security Departments at all three sites. The 
results of this evaluation will be assessed to determine whether 
corrective actions need to be implemented.
    b. As a result of the review conducted in Paragraph III.3.a, SNC 
also issued a Fleet-wide Condition Report to evaluate the testing 
environment and compliance with NMP-TR-208 at Corporate and the three 
operating sites. The results of this evaluation will be assessed to 
determine whether corrective actions need to be implemented.
    c. By the later of either June 15, 2013, or 90 days after the date 
of issuance of the Confirmatory Order, SNC will review other procedures 
referenced in NMP-TR-208 that relate to proctoring and determine 
whether revisions are needed to clarify any aspects of the procedures 
pertaining to proctoring.
    d. By the later of either June 15, 2013, or 90 days after the date 
of issuance of the Confirmatory Order, SNC will issue a company-wide 
communication regarding the revisions and clarifications that have been 
made to NMP-TR-208 and other procedures referenced in NMP-TR-208 to the 
extent there were revisions to any procedure identified in Paragraph 
III.3.c.
    e. By the later of either June 15, 2013, or 90 days after the date 
of issuance of the Confirmatory Order, senior management will 
communicate through various effective means such as, but not limited 
to, video, on a fleet-wide basis. Messages will clearly articulate that 
willful misconduct is incompatible with safe nuclear construction and 
operation. The communication will provide recent public examples, 
including those documented in EA-12-240 and EA-12-230, and the impacts 
when there is a loss of integrity and trustworthiness.
    f. By the later of either June 15, 2013, or 90 days after the date 
of issuance of the Confirmatory Order, the senior management 
communication will be followed by a Fleet-wide stand-down with all 
employees to address integrity and trustworthiness. A similar stand-
down will be conducted for operating fleet contractors. For Vogtle 3 
and 4, the briefing will be tailored to the unique management structure 
of the construction project.
    g. By the later of either June 15, 2013, or 90 days after the date 
of issuance of the Confirmatory Order, SNC will modify its guidance 
involving investigations based on allegations to include an initial 
evaluation of potential nuclear safety implications and to identify any 
appropriate immediate mitigating measures to be taken while the 
investigation is ongoing.
    h. By August 31, 2014, SNC will conduct an effectiveness review of 
all corrective actions taken under the Confirmatory Order.
    i. By October 30, 2013, SNC will evaluate and implement appropriate 
actions to reinforce the messages of

[[Page 28247]]

Paragraph III.3.e and III.3.f above annually until December 31, 2015.
    j. Upon completion of the terms of Paragraph III.3.a through 
III.3.h of the Confirmatory Order, SNC will provide the NRC with a 
letter discussing its basis for concluding that the Order has been 
satisfied.
    4. The NRC considers the corrective actions and enhancements 
discussed in Paragraph III.2 and III.3 above to be appropriately prompt 
and comprehensive to address the causes which gave rise to the incident 
discussed in the NRC's letter of January 9, 2013.
    5. In consideration of the commitments delineated above, the NRC 
agrees to refrain from proposing a civil penalty or issuing a Notice of 
Violation for all matters discussed in the NRC's letter to FNP of 
January 9, 2013 (EA-12-145). The resulting Confirmatory Order will not 
be considered an escalated enforcement action by the NRC for any future 
assessment of FNP.
    6. This agreement is binding upon successors and assigns of SNC.
    On April 29, 2013, the Licensee consented to issuance of this Order 
with the commitments, as described in Section V below. The Licensee 
further agreed that this Order is to be effective upon issuance and 
that it has waived its right to a hearing.

IV

    Since the Licensee has agreed to take actions to address the 
violation as set forth in Section V, the NRC has concluded that its 
concerns can be resolved through issuance of this Order.
    I find that the Licensee's commitments as set forth in Section V 
are acceptable and necessary and conclude that with these commitments 
the public health and safety are reasonably assured. In view of the 
foregoing, I have determined that public health and safety require that 
the Licensee's commitments be confirmed by this Order. Based on the 
above and the Licensee's consent, this Order is effective upon 
issuance.

V

    Accordingly, pursuant to Sections 104b., 161b., 161i., 161o., 182, 
and 186 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and the 
Commission's regulations in 10 CFR 2.202 and 10 CFR Parts 50 and 52, IT 
IS HEREBY ORDERED, THAT LICENSE NOS. NPF-2 AND NPF-8 IS MODIFIED AS 
FOLLOWS:
    a. SNC's Licensing Department conducted an assessment of 
opportunities for improvement for all proctored exams. As a result, SNC 
initiated a Condition Report for Fleet Security to evaluate the testing 
environment for the Security Departments at all three sites. SNC will 
assess the results of this evaluation to determine whether corrective 
actions need to be implemented.
    b. As a result of the review conducted in Paragraph V.a, SNC also 
issued a Fleet-wide Condition Report to evaluate the testing 
environment and compliance with NMP-TR-208 at Corporate and the three 
operating sites. SNC will assess the results of this evaluation to 
determine whether corrective actions need to be implemented.
    c. By the later of either June 15, 2013, or 90 days after the date 
of issuance of the Confirmatory Order, SNC will review other procedures 
referenced in NMP-TR-208 that relate to proctoring and determine 
whether revisions are needed to clarify any aspects of the procedures 
pertaining to proctoring.
    d. By the later of either June 15, 2013, or 90 days after the date 
of issuance of the Confirmatory Order, SNC will issue a company-wide 
communication regarding the revisions and clarifications that have been 
made to NMP-TR-208 and other procedures referenced in NMP-TR-208 to the 
extent there were revisions to any procedure identified in Paragraph 
V.c.
    e. By the later of either June 15, 2013, or 90 days after the date 
of issuance of the Confirmatory Order, senior management will 
communicate through various effective means such as, but not limited 
to, video, on a fleet-wide basis. Messages will clearly articulate that 
willful misconduct is incompatible with safe nuclear construction and 
operation. The communication will provide recent public examples, 
including those documented in EA-12-240 and EA-12-230, and the impacts 
when there is a loss of integrity and trustworthiness.
    f. By the later of either June 15, 2013, or 90 days after the date 
of issuance of the Confirmatory Order, the senior management 
communication will be followed by a Fleet-wide stand-down with all 
employees to address integrity and trustworthiness. A similar stand-
down will be conducted for operating fleet contractors. For Vogtle 3 
and 4, the briefing will be tailored to the unique management structure 
of the construction project.
    g. By the later of either June 15, 2013, or 90 days after the date 
of issuance of the Confirmatory Order, SNC will modify its guidance 
involving investigations based on allegations to include an initial 
evaluation of potential nuclear safety implications and to identify any 
appropriate immediate mitigating measures to be taken while the 
investigation is ongoing.
    h. By August 31, 2014, SNC will conduct an effectiveness review of 
all corrective actions taken under the Confirmatory Order.
    i. By October 30, 2013, SNC will evaluate and implement appropriate 
actions to reinforce the messages of Paragraph V.e and V.f above 
annually until December 31, 2015.
    j. Upon completion of the terms of Paragraph V.a through V.h of the 
Confirmatory Order, SNC will provide the NRC with a letter discussing 
its basis for concluding that the Order has been satisfied.
    The Regional Administrator, NRC Region II, may relax or rescind, in 
writing, any of the above conditions upon a showing by SNC of good 
cause.

VI

    Any person adversely affected by this Order, other than SNC, may 
submit a written answer and/or request a hearing on this Order within 
30 days from the date of this Order. Where good cause is shown, 
consideration will be given to extending the time to answer or request 
a hearing. A request for extension of time must be directed to the 
Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001, and include a statement of good cause for 
the extension.
    If a hearing is requested by a person whose interest is adversely 
affected, the Commission will issue an Order designating the time and 
place of any hearings. If a hearing is held, the issue to be considered 
at such hearing shall be whether this Order should be sustained.
    All documents filed in the NRC adjudicatory proceedings, including 
a request for a hearing, a petition for leave to intervene, any motion 
or other document filed in the proceeding prior to the submission of a 
request for hearing or petition to intervene, and documents filed by 
interested governmental entities participating under 10 CFR 2.315(c), 
must be filed in accordance with the NRC's E-Filing rule (72 FR 49139; 
August 28, 2007). The E-Filing process requires participants to submit 
and serve all adjudicatory documents over the internet, or in some 
cases to mail copies on electronic storage media. Participants may not 
submit paper copies of their filings unless they seek an exemption in 
accordance with the procedures described below.
    To comply with the procedural requirements of E-Filing, at least 10 
days prior to the filing deadline, the participant should contact the 
Office of

[[Page 28248]]

the Secretary by email at hearing.docket@nrc.gov, or by telephone at 
301-415-1677, to request (1) a digital identification (ID) certificate, 
which allows the participant (or its counsel or representative) to 
digitally sign documents and access the E-Submittal server for any 
proceeding in which it is participating; and (2) advise the Secretary 
that the participant will be submitting a request or petition for 
hearing (even in instances in which the participant, or its counsel or 
representative, already holds an NRC-issued digital certificate). Based 
on this information, the Secretary will establish an electronic docket 
for the hearing in this proceeding if the Secretary has not already 
established an electronic docket.
    Information about applying for a digital ID certificate is 
available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/apply-certificates.html. System requirements for accessing 
the E-Submittal server are detailed in the NRC's ``Guidance for 
Electronic Submission,'' which is available on the NRC's public Web 
site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. Participants 
may attempt to use other software not listed on the Web site, but 
should note that the NRC's E-Filing system does not support unlisted 
software, and the NRC Meta System Help Desk will not be able to offer 
assistance in using unlisted software.
    If a participant is electronically submitting a document to the NRC 
in accordance with the E-Filing rule, the participant must file the 
document using the NRC's online, Web-based submission form. In order to 
serve documents through the Electronic Information Exchange System, 
users will be required to install a Web browser plug-in from the NRC's 
Web site. Further information on the Web-based submission form, 
including the installation of the Web browser plug-in, is available on 
the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html.
    Once a participant has obtained a digital ID certificate and a 
docket has been created, the participant can then submit a request for 
a hearing or petition for leave to intervene. Submissions should be in 
Portable Document Format (PDF) in accordance with the NRC guidance 
available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. A filing is considered complete at the time the 
documents are submitted through the NRC's E-Filing system. To be 
timely, an electronic filing must be submitted to the E-Filing system 
no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date. Upon receipt of 
a transmission, the E-Filing system time-stamps the document and sends 
the submitter an email notice confirming receipt of the document. The 
E-Filing system also distributes an email notice that provides access 
to the document to the NRC's Office of the General Counsel and any 
others who have advised the Office of the Secretary that they wish to 
participate in the proceeding, so that the filer need not serve the 
document on those participants separately. Therefore, applicants and 
other participants (or their counsel or representative) must apply for 
and receive a digital ID certificate before a hearing request/petition 
to intervene is filed so that they can obtain access to the document 
via the E-Filing system.
    A person filing electronically using the NRC's adjudicatory E-
Filing system may seek assistance by contracting the NRC Meta System 
Help Desk through the ``Contact Us'' link located on the NRC's public 
Web site at http://www.nrc/gov/site-help/e-submittals.html, by email to 
MSHD.Resource@nrc.gov, or by a toll free call to 1-866-672-7640. The 
NRC Meta System Help Desk is available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., 
Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding government holidays.
    Participants who believe that they have a good cause for not 
submitting documents electronically must file an extension request, in 
accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(g), with their initial paper filing 
requesting authorization to continue to submit documents in paper 
format. Such filings must be submitted by: (1) First-class mail 
addressed to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: 
Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; or (2) courier, express mail, or 
expedited delivery service to the Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth 
Floor, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 
20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Participants 
filing a document in this manner are responsible for serving the 
document on all other participants. Filing is considered complete by 
first-class mail as of the time of deposit in the mail, or by courier, 
express mail, or expedited delivery service upon depositing the 
document with the provider of the service. A presiding officer, having 
granted an exemption request from using E-Filing, may require a 
participant or party using E-Filing if the presiding officer 
subsequently determines that the reason for granting the exemption from 
use of E-Filing no longer exists.
    Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in the 
NRC's electronic hearing docket, which is available to the public at 
http://ehd1.nrc.gov/ehd, unless excluded pursuant to an order of the 
Commission, or the presiding officer. Participants are requested not to 
include personal privacy information, such as social security numbers, 
home addresses, or home phone numbers in their filings, unless an NRC 
regulation or other law requires submission of such information. With 
respect to copyrighted works, except for limited excerpts that serve 
the purpose of the adjudicatory filings and would constitute a Fair Use 
application, participants are requested not to include copyrighted 
materials in their submissions.
    If a person other than the licensee requests a hearing, that person 
shall set forth with particularity the manner in which his interest is 
adversely affected by this Order and shall address the criteria set 
forth in 10 CFR 2.309(d) and (f).
    In the absence of any request for hearing, or written approval of 
an extension of time in which to request a hearing, the provisions 
specified in Section V above shall be final 30 days from the date of 
this Order without further order or proceedings. If an extension of 
time for requesting a hearing has been approved, the provisions 
specified in Section V shall be final when the extension expires if a 
hearing request has not been received.

    Dated this 6th day of May 2013.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Frederick D. Brown,
Deputy Regional Administrator for Construction.
[FR Doc. 2013-11396 Filed 5-13-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P