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DOE Cites CH2M-Washington Group Idaho for Price-Anderson Violations

June 14, 2007 - 1:40pm

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WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today notified CH2M-Washington Group Idaho (CWI) that it will fine the company $55,000 for violations of the Department's nuclear safety requirements.  CWI is the prime contractor responsible for managing the Idaho Cleanup Project at the Idaho National Laboratory site.

The Preliminary Notice of Violation (PNOV) cites violations associated with radiation safety and quality improvement deficiencies identified during a DOE Idaho Operations Office May 2006 assessment of radioactive waste processing activities at the Accelerated Retrieval Project (ARP).  The PNOV cites the following violations: insufficient radiation safety practices for control of contaminated survey instruments, recordkeeping, calibration, repair of airborne radiation monitoring equipment, and changes to procedures controlling surveys of personnel exiting contamination areas; and the failure to identify these and other issues in contractor management assessments of ARP work activities.  The DOE Idaho assessment was conducted in response to a CWI employee's claim that radiation safety practices were deficient at the ARP.

The proposed civil penalty of $55,000 is based on the significance of the violations yet reflects a 50 percent mitigation granted by the Department for corrective actions taken by CWI to prevent recurrence of the identified deficiencies.  CWI is required to respond to the Preliminary Notice of Violation within 30 days and document any additional specific actions taken since DOE's investigation concluded.

The Price-Anderson Amendments Act of 1988 authorizes the Energy Department to undertake regulatory actions against contractors for violations of its nuclear safety requirements.  The Price-Anderson Enforcement program in the Department's Office of Health, Safety, and Security encourages DOE contractors to identify and correct nuclear safety deficiencies at an early stage, before they contribute to or result in more serious events.

Read additional details on this and other enforcement actions at the Office of Enforcement's homepage.

Media contact(s):

Megan Barnett, (202) 586-4940

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