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Denver Federal Center nuclear reactor violations lead to fine, short shutdown

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has proposed to have a $7,250 fine levied  Concerns over the operation of a nuclear reactor at the Denver Federal Center has one arm of the federal government proposing to fine another and a reactor supervisor has been reassigned with his access revoked.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has proposed to have a $7,250 fine levied against the U.S. Geological Survey for “research reactor violations,” according to an NRC news release dated Tuesday.

The NRC carried out two separate investigations of the TRIGA (Training, Research, Isotopes, General Atomics) nuclear reactor, which is used for research, and found violations associated with staffing and training requirements, the release stated.

One investigation was completed on Jan. 18, 2018, the other on June 12, 2018, according to a notice of violation letter which identified the supervisor as Brycen Roy.

Roy, who was reached Friday night by phone, declined comment.

The USGS has “implemented corrective actions,” according to the release, but not before “pausing reactor operations to allow for an assessment of the violations and the operational culture of the reactor organization.”

One violation involved “deliberately falsified documentation showing that reactor operators had completed required training, when in fact the training never took place,” the NRC said. The supervisor presented “false documentation” to an NRC inspector, according to the release

A second investigation found that the supervisor “violated staffing requirements by performing certain reactor tests without a second qualified person present, as required by NRC regulations.”

The USGS can dispute the violation and penalty, or could agree to third-party mediation, the release stated.

The Denver Federal Center, a 623-acre campus which houses 28 agencies in 44 buildings, is surrounded by Lakewood. It’s west of Kipling Street, south of West 6th Avenue and north of West Alameda Avenue.

February 11, 2019 - Posted by | safety, USA

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