Unplanned Events

NRC / Regulator Bans College Employee After Violations At US Research Reactor

By David Dalton
18 March 2020

Regulator Bans College Employee After Violations At US Research Reactor
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued an order banning a college employee in the state of Oregon from NRC-licensed activities for three years and suspending the person’s senior reactor operator licence for deliberately providing incomplete and inaccurate information to the NRC for reactor operator licence applications.

The NRC said the individual also violated facility access control requirements at the Reed Research Reactor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

The commission said in a statement it has issued Reed College with a confirmatory order regarding the case. The order says the NRC has given Reed credit for taking a number of corrective actions.

The college committed to revising many of its procedures on qualifying and requalifying reactor operators as well as procedures regarding unescorted access to the reactor. Further staff training will be given and additional oversight of the facility provided by the college’s president and dean of the faculty.

The employee must respond to the order in writing and has 30 days to request alternative dispute resolution or a hearing on the matter.

The NRC concluded that the employee, the director of the Reed Research Reactor, on two occasions in 2015 deliberately provided the NRC inaccurate and incomplete information for students seeking operator licences for the reactor.

It said the employee deliberately violated facility access control requirements for the reactor.

The Reed Research Reactor has been used for research and educational projects since it began operation in 1968.

The college said that on 16 March it made the decision to temporarily shut down the reactor and suspend operations to address “necessary operational changes”.

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