Office of Public Affairs Region III
Contact: Viktoria Mitlyng
November 29, 2007
Web site: www.nrc.gov
NRC PROPOPOSES $65,000 FINE AGAINST THE
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has proposed a $65,000
fine against Exelon Generation Company for failure to properly implement its
program for control and accounting of special nuclear materials at the Dresden
Nuclear Station between 1959 and 2007. The plant is located in
The NRC qualifies the following isotopes as special nuclear material: plutonium, uranium-233, uranium enriched in the isotope U-233 or U-235.
In May 2007, the Dresden Nuclear Station reported to the
NRC that the plant could not account for two fuel pellets and a number of
in-core detectors which totaled less than one gram of fuel material. The
discovery was made during a review of the station’s special nuclear material accounting
records. According to a 1977
These accounting failures, although unacceptable, did not result in a safety or security hazard. The pellets could not have been removed from the plant by individuals without alarming the radiation monitoring equipment. The missing pellets and in-core detectors are likely still on-site or could have been transferred to an NRC-regulated disposal site.
In June 2007, the NRC conducted an inspection of the plant’s Material Control & Accounting program. NRC inspectors found that, contrary to NRC regulations, the utility failed to keep complete records; establish, maintain, and follow written Material Control & Accounting procedures sufficient to account for special nuclear material at the plant; and conduct a physical inventory of all special nuclear material on a yearly basis. The inspection report is not available to the public because it contains plant security information.
“The NRC takes the issue of accounting for nuclear materials very seriously,” said Regional Administrator James Caldwell. “Even though the missing material at Dresden does not represent a danger to the public, the NRC is taking strong measures to make sure that all special nuclear material is accounted for at Dresden and at every nuclear plant in the country.”
Further information about this enforcement action can be accessed at the NRC web site at: http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/regulatory/enforcement/current.html#reactors.
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