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Allegation: Material False Statement Regarding Full Power Licensing

Atomic Energy Act, Section 186(a), Revocation: "Any license may be revoked for any material- false statement in the application or any statement of fact required under Section 182, or because of conditions revealed by such application or statement of fact or any report, record, or inspection or other means which would warrant the Commission to refuse to grant a license on-an original application, or for failure to construct or operate a facility in accordance with the terms of the construction permit or license or the technical specifications in the application, or for violation of, or failure to observe any of the terms and provisions of this Act or of any regulation of the Commission."

Code of Federal Regulations, Part 2, Appendix C, Supplement VII, Section B.l: "A material false statement or a reporting failure, involving information which, had it been available to the NRC and accurate at the time the information should have been submitted, would have resulted in regulatory action or would likely have resulted in NRC seeking further information."

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Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Station achieved its first reactor criticality on June 21, 1985. On the evening control room shift of July 1, 1985, Fermi was in the process of a startup to 5% power. The control room personnel consisted of a Shift Supervisor, Assistant Shift Supervisor, Senior Reactor Operator, Reactor Operator, Reactor Engineer, Shift Technical Advisor (STA), STA in training, and a Shift Operations Advisor (SOA). The reactor operator, who was not experienced at operating the Fermi 2 reactor, was to continue the control rod pull started on the afternoon shift. The NRC Senior Resident Inspector who followed plant operations, was scheduled to leave for Washington, DC, at noon on July 3 to attend the July 10 Commission hearing and vote regarding a Fermi 2 full power license.

Chronology of Events

On July 1, 1985, at approximately 11:00 p.m., DECo Reactor Operator William KLINE, took over the already in-process reactor startup procedure at Step 38. KLINE was advised by the previous reactor operator to expect criticality at approximately Step 156. KLINE was performing his first rod pull to criticality on the actual Fermi 2 reactor. His only other experience had been in the Fermi 2 simulator. When KLINE began withdrawing the first group 3 rods, he did not observe the procedure instruction to pull from 00-04, but rather he withdrew 10 group 3 rods to position 48. On the eleventh group 3 rod Step 56, KLINE and the STA in training, John DEWES, noticed the increasing neutron count on the source range monitors. KLINE immediately began to insert the misaligned rods and directed the STA in training to summon the Shift Supervisor, David ANIOL, and the Reactor Engineer, Barry MYERS. ANIOL, who was in the Shift Supervisor office, came out to the 603 panel and directed KLINE to continue inserting the eleven group 3 rods to their proper position. MYERS was advised by the STA in training of an out-of-sequence criticality and he proceeded to log the premature criticality in the Reactor Engineering Log (Exhibits: 1. pgs. 6-15; 2, pgs. 8-15; 3. pgs. 6-9; 4. pgs. 18-29).

ANIOL contacted the Operations Supervisor, Eugene PRESTON, and advised him of the operator error to include a statement that the reactor had not achieved criticality. Contrary to his sworn testimony given to 01, ANIOL did not consult the SOA, STA, or the Reactor Engineer for input to that reactor criticality decision. PRESTON requested that ANIOL prepare a Deviation Event Report (DER) documenting the incident and granted approval to continue the rod pull to achieve a planned startup. ANIOL did prepare a DER, however, he did not document the operator error in his Shift Supervisor Log, nor did he advise the Lead Reactor Operator, Stephen BURT, of the incident; therefore, the operator error was not documented in the Reactor Operator's Log. During the same evening shift, sometime after the rod pull incident occurred, ANIOL became aware of the fact that the Reactor Engineer, MYERS, had entered a premature criticality in the Reactor Engineering Log. ANIOL advised MYERS that his log was incorrect and the reactor had not been declared critical. Based on ANIOL's suggestion, MYERS altered the Reactor Engineering Log to read, "the count rate began to increase on one of the SRM's as if we may have

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been critical (Exhibits: 3, pgs. 6-9; 4, pgs. 19-29; 5, pgs. 14-17; 6, pgs. 9-13; 7, pgs. 7-10; 8, pgs. 8-13; 9, pgs. 8-13; 10, Reactor Engineer Log; 11, DECo NSS Log; 12, DECo NSO Log)."

On July 2, 1985, at approximately 6:00 a.m., PRESTON arrived at the Fermi 2 site and obtained the already prepared DER from ANIOL. ANIOL advised PRESTON that he should be aware of the Reactor Engineering Log entry of criticality. At 7:00 a.m., during the shift turnover meeting, PRESTON advised the Assistant Manager, Nuclear Production, Robert LENART, of the out-of-sequence rod pull error; however, he did not mention the Reactor Engineering Log entry. At 8:00 a.m., during the DECo staff meeting, PRESTON gave the DER to the Assistant Plant Superintendent, Gregg OVERBECK, who read the DER and stated to PRESTON that he would address that DER during the Corrective Action Review Board (CARB) meeting following the staff meeting. At the morning CARB meeting, OVERBECK was cognizant of the dissenting opinion by reactor engineering regarding criticality, and therefore, he assigned reactor engineering the task of analyzing the rod pull event to settle the criticality issue. Concurrently, several other corrective actions relating to operator actions and verification were instituted. No one from the DECo staff cognizant of the operator error, advised the NRC Resident Inspectors of that incident on July 2, 1985 (Exhibits: 4, pgs. 24-27; 9, pgs. 18-25; 13, DECo DER, dtd 07/02/85; 15A, pgs. 3-4; 16, pgs. 5-13).

On July 3, 1985, reactor engineering advised Operations that a decision had
been reached as to criticality. A meeting was convened with Plant Operations
Managers LENART, OVERBECK, PRESTON, DECo Nuclear Consultant Leo LESSOR, and
from reactor engineering, Hari ARORA, Jon THORPE, and Melvin BATCH. THORPE
made reactor engineering's presentation, which stated that based on computer
models, a review of the source range monitor charts, and his "detailed knowledge
of how the core is loaded and the worth of the control rods at the peripheral
locations as opposed to the anterial locations, the reactor was, in fact,
critical." LENART's nuclear consultant, LESSOR, a former Plant Manager at the
Cooper Nuclear Power Station in Nebraska, stated:

"In my opinion, you were critical...just from my experience of
looking at these charts back in Nebraska, I was just almost certain
that especially after interviewing the operator and what he said, I

just pretty well knew what the results were going to be . It

really doesn't make that much difference, the error. You pulled 11
rods in error, the seriousness of the event is the same, you did not
stop. But as a minimum, you better go right over and talk to the
resident inspector and make him aware of what happened."

LENART stated in an interview with 01, that his gut feeling was that he agreed
with LESSOR, but did not express that opinion at that review meeting. Contrary
to reactor engineering and LESSOR'S advice, OVERBECK defended his operating
staff and reiterated that the reactor had not been declared critical and he
believed the reactor engineering analysis was inconclusive. LENART and
OVERBECK made a decision to ask reactor engineering to perform an additional
analysis, and meanwhile, to officially advise the NRC Resident Inspector,
Michael PARKER, of "the operator error and that we had the meeting that was
held on July 3, and that the issue of criticality was still an open issue, and
there was further analysis going to be done in that regard." LESSOR, not
agreeing with LENART's decision, requested that PARKER also be advised that

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the DECo position on criticality was not unanimous. LESSOR stated, during an interview with 01, that had the NRC Resident Inspector queried him as to the rod pull error, he would not have supported the DECo position, but rather would have confirmed the reactor criticality based on his reading of the SRM charts (Exhibits: 9, pgs. 25-34; 9A, pgs. 16-20; 14, pgs. 9-14; 15, pgs. 6-16; 15A, pgs. 5-8; 16, pgs. 13-20; 16A, pgs. 9-25; 17, pgs. 18-19; 17A, pgs. 6-12; 18, pgs. 7-12).

LENART's decision on the DECo "management position" with regard to premature criticality was admittedly not the conservative approach. LENART stated:

"From this particular incident in question, the most conservative,
after everything was done and over with, the most conservative
approach to take with regard to taking a management position and
erring on the conservative side is to say it went critical."

LENART, rationalizing why he chose the non-critical decision, stated:

"It was also recognized by me to some degree the significance of
that internally and externally, and with regard to any immediate
subsequent actions it really didn't make any difference. In other
words, if on the 3rd that had been the position of that meeting,
it wouldn't have made any difference with regard to the plant
conditions, personnel, or anything else. And therefore, before
that was made, I felt the prudent thing to do was to make sure
that there weren't any mistakes. It's the same old case, you
know. It is always difficult to get an accurate and complete
retraction of something that has already been stated. It was a
judgment call on my part with the information I had available
from experts, both from an Operations viewpoint and the Reactor
Engineering viewpoint. I weighed all of those and made the
decision that I did."

OVERBECK's account of the July 3 meeting and discussion of what to advise the NRC Resident Inspector also revealed DECo management having a problem in deciding how to describe the event. OVERBECK states:

"Because there was a discussion at the end of our meeting on
the 3rd, well, we've got to go tell the Resident Inspector. What
are we going to tell him? Are we going to tell him it's critical
or not critical? The decision was made, supported by Bob LENART,
to tell him that the reactor was not critical, but that we still
had a controversy between our Reactor Engineering people and our
operators, and that we are going to go back and do some more
evaluation. That's exactly what he was told (Exhibits: 15A,
pgs. 12-14; 16A, pgs. 15-16)."

In the early afternoon of July 3, 1985, shortly after the Senior Resident
Inspector (SRI), Paul BYRON, who was following plant operations, left the
Fermi site, PARKER was requested to attend a meeting with OVERBECK and PRESTON.
At that meeting, he was advised the rod pull error had occurred and that
criticality was not achieved, although reactor engineering was reviewing the
event. In addition, PARKER stated that the impression given was that they
would get back to him if and when the Corporate position on criticality had

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