DOE Cites WIPP Contractors for Nuclear Safety Violations

 DOE Cites WIPP Contractors for Nuclear Safety Violations

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) issued preliminary notices of violation (PNOV) to Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC (NWP) and Los Alamos National Security (LANS) for violations of nuclear worker safety and health and nuclear safety requirements. The issuance of the violations ends DOE’s investigations regarding two events at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico.
 
The violations by NWP at WIPP are associated with two events that happened in February 2014. The first involved a fire in a salt haul truck in the WIPP underground, and the second was a radiological release. The violations by LANS at the lab are associated with processes used by LANS to package and remediate transuranic waste drums, one of which has been linked to the radiological release at WIPP. The NWP PNOV cites four Security Level I violations and seven Security Level II violations related to worker safety and health and nuclear safety requirements. The LANS PNOV cites two Security Level I violations and two Security Level II violations related to nuclear safety requirements.
 
WIPP has been shut down since fiscal year 2014, and NWP has not been able to earn a fee of approximately $7.6 million. NNSA reduced the contract fee and length by two years. Due to the adverse contract changes, DOE did not impose a civil penalty.
 
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