[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 222 (Friday, November 16, 2012)]
[Pages 68851-68854]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-27930]



[NRC-2012-0279; IA-12-044]

Mr. Brandon D. Neff, [HOME ADDRESS DELETED UNDER 10 CFR 2.390]; 
Order Prohibiting Involvement in NRC-Licensed Activities


    Mr. Brandon D. Neff was formerly employed as a contract Condenser 
Replacement Project Superintendent at Energy Northwest's Columbia 
Generating Station (CGS or Licensee). The Licensee holds License NPF-21 
issued by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) pursuant to Part 
50 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), which was 
issued on April 13, 1984, and renewed on May 22, 2012. The license 
authorizes the operation of Columbia Generating Station in accordance 
with the

[[Page 68852]]

conditions specified therein. The facility is located on the Licensee's 
site in Richland, Washington.


    The NRC's Office of Investigations, Region IV, initiated an 
investigation from June 3, 2011, through May 14, 2012, at Columbia 
Generating Station, Richland, Washington. The purpose of the 
investigation was to review the circumstances surrounding a fitness-
for-duty (FFD) matter that occurred at CGS on June 2, 2011. The 
incident involved Mr. Brandon D. Neff's willful attempt to subvert a 
FFD drug test. During the investigation, several individuals including: 
Ms. Hansen, FFD Laboratory Technician II; Ms. Witt, FFD Leader; and Mr. 
Gloyn, Supervisor of Security Compliance, informed the investigator 
that on June 2, 2011, Mr. Neff submitted a synthetic urine sample as 
specimen Y22362385, and documented in writing on the Licensee's Federal 
Drug Testing Custody and Control Form that the specimen collected was 
not adulterated in any manner. Through Mr. Neff's own testimony, he 
admitted to taking prescription medication during the 2011 Memorial Day 
holiday weekend and that the medication had been prescribed to another 
    Furthermore, Mr. Neff admitted that he knew the ramifications of 
taking another individual's medication because he was familiar with the 
regulatory requirements under 10 CFR part 26, and the licensee's site-
wide procedure SWP-FFD-01, ``Fitness for Duty Program Requirements'' 
that relate to FFD and drug use. As a result of his decision to take 
another individual's prescription medication, Mr. Neff took several 
coordinated steps in an attempt to circumvent a FFD drug test in the 
event he was selected.
    Based on the statements of Mr. Brandon D. Neff and the results of 
the investigation, it was determined that Mr. Neff had deliberately 
submitted a synthetic urine sample as a specimen for a FFD drug test 
and deliberately provided false information by signing the Licensee's 
Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form attesting that the 
specimen collected was not adulterated in any manner.
    In a letter dated September 14, 2012, the NRC provided Mr. Neff the 
results of the investigation, which was initiated by the NRC's Office 
of Investigations. The letter informed Mr. Neff that the NRC was 
considering escalated enforcement action against him for an apparent 
violation due to failure to provide complete and accurate information 
to CGS when attesting that the specimen collected during the FFD drug 
test was not adulterated in any manner. As part of the letter, the NRC 
offered Mr. Neff a choice to attend a Predecisional Enforcement 
Conference or to request Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) through 
the use of mediation to resolve any possible disagreement over: (1) 
Whether the violation occurred; and (2) the appropriate enforcement 
action. Mr. Neff initially responded that he would like ADR. Mr. Neff, 
however, did not respond to any NRC staff's subsequent communication 


    The NRC concluded that Mr. Neff violated 10 CFR 50.5(a)(2) by 
deliberately submitting to the Licensee information that he knew to be 
incomplete and inaccurate in some respect material to the NRC. The NRC 
concluded that Mr. Neff's actions were deliberate and that he took 
several coordinated steps to subvert a FFD test in the event that he 
was selected for a FFD drug test, as a result of his decision to take 
another individual's prescription medication.
    The NRC must be able to rely upon the Licensee, its employees, and 
contractors to comply with the NRC requirements, including the 
requirement to maintain a drug-free workplace and a workplace free of 
the effects of such substances, and to provide information and maintain 
records that are complete and accurate in all material respects. Mr. 
Neff's actions, in violating 10 CFR 50.5 and his misrepresentations to 
the licensee, have raised serious doubts as to whether he can be relied 
upon to comply with the NRC requirements and to provide complete and 
accurate information to the NRC or its licensees.
    Consequently, I lack the requisite reasonable assurance that Mr. 
Neff can conduct NRC-licensed activities in compliance with the NRC's 
requirements, and that the health and safety of the public will be 
protected if Mr. Neff were permitted at this time to be involved in 
NRC-licensed activities. Therefore, the public health, safety, and 
interest require that Mr. Neff be prohibited from any involvement in 
NRC-licensed activities for a period of 3 years from the effective date 
of this Order. Additionally, Mr. Neff is required to notify the NRC of 
his employment in NRC-licensed activities for a period of 1 year 
following the prohibition period.


    Accordingly, pursuant to Sections 103, 161b, 161i, 182 and 186 of 
the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and the Commission's 
regulations in 10 CFR 2.202, 10 CFR 50.5, and 10 CFR 150.20. It is 
hereby ordered that:
    1. Mr. Brandon D. Neff is prohibited for 3 years, from the 
effective date of this Order, from engaging in NRC-licensed activities. 
NRC-licensed activities are those activities that are conducted 
pursuant to a specific or general license issued by the NRC, including, 
but not limited to, those activities of Agreement State licensees 
conducted pursuant to the authority granted by 10 CFR 150.20.
    2. This Order shall be effective 30 days following its publication 
in the Federal Register and shall remain in effect until the condition 
of Item 1 has been met.
    3. If Mr. Neff is currently involved with an NRC licensee other 
than Columbia Generating Station, or engaged in any other NRC-licensed 
activities, he must immediately cease those activities, and inform the 
NRC of the name, address, and telephone number of the employer, and 
provide a copy of this order to the employer.
    4. For a period of 1 year after the 3-year period of prohibition 
has expired, Mr. Neff shall, within 20 days of acceptance of his first 
employment offer involving NRC-licensed activities or his becoming 
involved in NRC-licensed activities, as defined in paragraph IV.1 
above, provide notice to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, of the name, 
address, and telephone number of the employer or the entity where he 
is, or will be, involved in the NRC-licensed activities. In the 
notification, Mr. Neff shall include a statement of his commitment to 
compliance with regulatory requirements and the basis why the 
Commission should have confidence that he will now comply with 
applicable NRC requirements.
    The Director, Office of Enforcement, may, in writing, relax or 
rescind any of the above conditions upon demonstration by Mr. Brandon 
D. Neff of good cause.


    In accordance with 10 CFR 2.202, Mr. Brandon D. Neff must, and any 
other person adversely affected by this Order may, submit an answer to 
this Order within 30 days of its publication in the Federal Register. 
In addition, Mr. Neff and any other person adversely affected by this 
Order may request a hearing on this Order within 30 days of its 
publication in the Federal Register. 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

[[Page 68853]]

made in writing to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, and include a statement of good cause for the 
    All documents filed in the NRC adjudicatory proceedings, including 
a request for 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 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 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 ID 
certificate). Based upon 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 NRC's ``Guidance for Electronic 
Submission,'' which is available on the agency'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 
hearing or petition for leave to intervene. Submissions should be in 
Portable Document Format (PDF) in accordance with 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 
documents 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 agency's adjudicatory E-
Filing system may seek assistance by contacting the NRC Meta System 
Help Desk through the ``Contact Us'' link located on the NRC's Web site 
at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html, by email at 
MSHD.Resource@nrc.gov, or by a toll-free call at 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 exemption 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 to use 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 submission.
    If a person other than Mr. Brandon D. Neff 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).
    If a hearing is requested by Mr. Neff or 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. In the absence of any request for hearing or ADR, or written 
approval of an extension of time in which to request a hearing, the 

[[Page 68854]]

specified in Section IV above shall be final 30 days from the date this 
Order is published in the Federal Register without further order or 
proceedings. If an extension of time for requesting a hearing has been 
approved, the provisions specified in Section IV shall be final when 
the extension expires if a hearing request has not been received. If a 
hearing or ADR is requested, the effective date of this Order shall be 
determined in accordance with the hearing or ADR process.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 6th day of November, 2012.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Roy P. Zimmerman,
Director, Office of Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2012-27930 Filed 11-15-12; 8:45 am]