Contractor Cited for Failing to Correct Nuclear Safety Violations

Kaiser-Hill Co. received its second civil penalty for failing to implement aggressive corrective actions it committed to as part of an enforcement action last year.

The Department of Energy (DOE) issued a second civil penalty to Kaiser-Hill Co., operator of the department's Rocky Flats Technology site in Colorado, for failing to correct nuclear safety violations.

The company was fined $55,000 because it did not adequately implement aggressive corrective actions it had committed to as part of an enforcement action last year.

A civil penalty of $82,500 was issued in August 1999 to Kaiser-Hill for problems with its procurement processes in 1997 and 1998.

In that case, DOE found that the contractor purchased 69 defective nuclear waste containers without adequately evaluating the quality controls used by the supplier.

At the time of last year's action, the department said that it would defer enforcement action on additional similar violations provided that Kaiser-Hill made effective corrective actions that would prevent recurrence of the problems.

However, a recent DOE review found continued procurement-related problems that should have been avoided by the previous corrective actions.

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.

This plan would include the 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.

DOE again determined that these action, if fully implemented, would be appropriate.

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