Golden, CO-based Western Nuclear, Inc. is facing a $14,500 civil penalty for providing incomplete and inaccurate information regarding groundwater flow at the company’s Split Rock uranium mill tailings site near Jeffrey City, WY, said officials at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
An NRC investigation determined in May 2015, Western Nuclear submitted information in a technical report on groundwater flow at the Split Rock site that was not complete and accurate in all material aspects.
After a pre-decisional enforcement conference, the NRC determined the violation, determined to be “non-willful,” merited escalated enforcement as a Severity Level III violation under the agency’s enforcement policy.
The NRC’s regulatory program requires timely reports and materially accurate and complete information from applicants and licensees. Western Nuclear’s submission of inaccurate and incomplete information inhibited the NRC’s effective regulatory oversight of a site possessing a significant amount of radioactive material. This violation had a negative impact on the NRC’s ability to ensure adequate protection of public health and safety.
A Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty ended up issued Dec. 19 by the NRC’s Office of Enforcement.
Western Nuclear has 30 days to pay the civil penalty or contest the notice of violation. If the company does not respond, the agency will issue an order imposing the civil penalty.