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Entergy, the owners of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, MA, received notification of a non-cited violation in response to something that occurred in January 2013.

Pilgrim initially notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) about the matter and took steps to correct it. The issue in question involved a contract medical assistant who “deliberately failed to conduct required tactile and/or olfactory testing” during the annual physical examination of three licensed operators on January 10, 2013. One of the three operators told a Pilgrim supervisor the medical assistant did not require the olfactory test. Pilgrim supervisors promptly began an investigation and notified the NRC two days later.

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Based on an investigation conducted by the NRC’s Office of Investigations, the medical assistant deliberately did not conduct the required tests, then falsified medical records to “indicate they were performed.”

Due to the medical assistant’s actions, Entergy violated NRC requirements in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 55.27 and in 10 CFR 55.9. CFR 55.27 has to do with the documentation of medical records and 55.9 is about keeping of accurate and complete records.

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NRC has officially graded the violation as a Security Level IV. The violation is minor as the licensed operators ended up officially tested within a few days of the incident. But the NRC did increase the significance of the violation because it was willful and the NRC, according to the letter, bases its regulator program on “licensees and their contractors acting with integrity.”

The NRC has issued a non-cited violation because Entergy, Pilgrim’s owner took corrective action, the violation was not repetitive, the violation was the result of the actions of a contractor, not a supervisor or licensed operator at Pilgrim.

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