February 4, 2003
Preliminary Notice of Violation issued to BNFL, Inc., related to Quality Assurance Issues during Converter Dismantlement Activities at the East Tennessee Technology Park
This letter refers to the Department of Energy's (DOE) investigation of the facts and circumstances concerning quality assurance issues affecting nuclear safety surrounding the July 25, 2001, and June 27, 2002, tube bundle fires at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) during converter dismantlement activities.
The DOE Office of Price-Anderson Enforcement (OE) initiated investigations of these tube bundle fires with a full review of relevant documentation. In addition, discussions that involved DOE and BNFL, Inc. personnel took place at ETTP on March 12-13, 2002, to cover nuclear safety related issues with the July 25, 2001, tube bundle fire. For the tube bundle fire that occurred on June 27, 2002, OE did not conduct onsite discussions, but rather relied heavily on the facts gathered during the course of a Type B Accident Investigation conducted at the request of the DOE Oak Ridge Operations Office. Our findings were provided to you in two Investigation Summary Reports dated May 9, 2002, and November 6, 2002. Enforcement Conferences were held with you and members of your staff on July 2, 2002, to discuss the findings associated with the July 25, 2001, tube bundle fire and on November 22, 2002, to discuss the findings associated with the June 27, 2002, tube bundle fire. Enforcement Conference Summaries covering both Enforcement Conferences are enclosed.