A Reed College worker is now banned from Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)-licensed activities for three years and also had her senior reactor operator license suspended for deliberately providing incomplete and inaccurate information for applications, as well as violations of facility access control requirements at the Reed Research Reactor (RRR) in Portland, OR, said officials at the NRC.
The NRC has also issued Reed College a Confirmatory Order regarding the case.
The NRC concluded Dr. Melinda Krahenbuhl, the director of the Reed Research Reactor, on two occasions in 2015 deliberately provided the NRC inaccurate and incomplete information for students seeking operator licenses for the reactor.
The agency also concluded Krahenbuhl deliberately violated facility access control requirements for the reactor. These violations did not affect public health or safety. Nevertheless, the NRC determined the significance of the underlying issues, her broad sphere of influence, and the deliberate nature of the actions justify the license suspension and three-year ban.
“The purpose of the investigations, in part, was to determine if you, as the Director of the RRR facility at Reed College (licensee) willfully provided incomplete and inaccurate information to the NRC, and if you willfully failed to fully implement the requirements of the Reed College Renewed Facility Operating License (FOL) R-112,” the NRC said in its report.
Krahenbuhl must respond to the Order in writing and has 30 days to request alternative dispute resolution or a hearing on the matter.
The NRC’s Nov. 19 letter to Reed College regarding the case offered a mediated settlement through the agency’s alternative dispute resolution process. The Confirmatory Order enforces the results of that process, which include Reed College waiving hearing rights on the matters covered in the settlement.
The college committed to revising many of its procedures on qualifying and requalifying reactor operators as well as procedures regarding unescorted access to the Reed Research Reactor. The college also committed to additional training for its staff on the need to provide the NRC with accurate and complete information; additional oversight of the facility by the school’s president and dean of the faculty; and submitting a presentation regarding lessons learned from these events at an upcoming annual conference of research and test reactor licensees. The NRC will review the presentation to ensure it complies with the Confirmatory Order.
As part of the mediation process, the NRC agrees to forego additional enforcement action on this issue. Further details of the settlement are contained in the Confirmatory Order.