Environment News Service

AmeriScan: February 2, 2000


ROCKY FLATS, Colorado, February 2, 2000 (ENS) - The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a second civil penalty to the contractor in charge of the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology site in Colorado for violating nuclear safety procedures for nuclear waste storage containers. Kaiser-Hill Company, LLC, failed to implement aggressive corrective actions it had committed to as part of an enforcement action in 1999, the DOE says. In August, Kaiser-Hill was fined $82,500 for purchasing 69 defective nuclear waste containers without adequately evaluating the quality controls used by the supplier. An additional $55,000 fine has now been issued because the contractor has not implemented effective quality controls into its purchasing department.

In August, the DOE said it would defer enforcement action on additional violations provided that Kaiser-Hill took action to prevent recurrence of the problems. But a DOE review has found continued problems. For example, in September 1999, workers identified quality problems with garments used to protect them from radioactive contamination. Kaiser-Hill again presented plans to resolve issues, including consolidation of all previous prior action plans into a comprehensive plan, establishment of a procurement review team to evaluate and approve procurement requests for services, and assignment of a dedicated senior floor manager to monitor receiving and inspection activities. The DOE says these actions, if fully implemented, will correct the problem. The DOE’s Preliminary Notice of Violation to Kaiser-Hill is available at: http://tis.eh.doe.gov/enforce.

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