Thursday, April 10, 2008

FPL fined $130,000 for Turkey Point security lapses

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has fined Florida Power & Light $130,000 for security failures at the Turkey Point nuclear facility in Miami-Dade County.

In a letter dated April 9th and addressed to Mr. J. A. Stall, Senior Vice President, Nuclear and Chief Nuclear Officer at FPL, the commission's Acting Regional Director, Victor M McCree, cited "multiple incidents of inattentiveness" on the part of Wackenhut private security guards at Turkey Point during 2004-06 as the root cause of the fine.

What's more, McCree wrote, the "security officers at Turkey Point were willfully inattentive to duty, or served as lookouts such that other security officers could be inattentive while on duty.
"The NRC considers this matter to be a significant security concern on several levels. Inattentive security force members have a potential negative impact on the ability of FPL to provide high assurance that its security response strategy can be effectively implemented. The willful aspects, and the complicity and facilitation by other security personnel of inattentive behavior on the part of fellow security personnel on duty, is of particular concern to the NRC and cannot be tolerated. In addition, the fact that multiple examples were identified indicates that this behavior was more than an isolated occurrence during the 2004-2006 timeframe."
After previous notifications by the commission, the letter said that FPL was given the opportunity to provide evidence that the security problems had been corrected. But, the letter continued:
"... insufficient information was provided to permit the NRC to conclude that the FPL has determined the root and contributing causes of the violation examples, such that it can conclude that prompt and comprehensive corrective actions were taken that will prevent violations of similar root causes. In particular, based on the docketed correspondence, FPL failed to thoroughly evaluate and address the root and contributing causes of security force inattentiveness and the complicity and facilitation by other security personnel of inattentive behavior, while on duty. In addition, FPL provided insufficient detail as to specific corrective actions that have been taken or planned to address recurring problems with its lack of managerial oversight of its onsite security contractor."
Read the full text of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's letter online, here.