ENVIROCARE IN TROUBLE?

From swv1@ctaz.com Fri Jan 30 22:30:49 1998
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 19:07:23 -0700 (MST)
From: Molly Johnson swv1@ctaz.com
To: merlin@rippers.com
Subject: US FR Petition to the US NRC re Envirocare by NRDC

NOTE: From the Radsafe listserve:

This one should be of general interest to those using the waste processing facilities at Envirocare:


Federal Register: January 29, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 19, 4501).

Section: Notices

Agency: NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

Title: Envirocare of Utah, Inc.; Notice of Receipt of Petition for Director's Decision Under 10 CFR 2.206

Action: Notice

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 40-8989; License No. SUA-1559]

Envirocare of Utah, Inc.; Notice of Receipt of Petition for Director's Decision Under 10 CFR 2.206

Notice is hereby given that by petition dated December 12, 1997, Mr. Thomas B. Cochran, Director of Nuclear Programs, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) requested that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) take action with regard to Envirocare of Utah, Inc. (Envirocare). The Petitioner requests that the NRC:

(1) Conduct an immediate investigation of issues raised in the Petition and immediately suspend Envirocare's NRC license;

(2) conduct an investigation of possible criminal violations of section 223 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act);

(3) immediately suspend Envirocare's license with the State of Utah, under section 274j(2) of the Act;

(4) investigate the adequacy of the State of Utah agreement state program to protect whistle blowers;

(5) contact each current and former Envirocare employee personally, on a confidential basis, to advise them of their rights to inform the NRC of unsafe practices and violations, to inform them of the protections available to them, and to ask them if they have any information which they wish to disclose, on a confidential basis or otherwise; and

(6) order a special independent review of Envirocare's relationships with its employees, along the lines of the review ordered by the NRC for the Millstone site.

As a basis for this request, the petitioner states that Envirocare's employee-related practices and contractual provisions constitute a violation of 42 U.S.C. 5851 and the NRC's whistle blower protection regulations under Parts 19 and 40 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (i.e., 10 CFR 19.16, 19.20, and 40.7). Specifically, the petitioner states that current and former Envirocare employees who have provided to governmental authorities information adverse to Envirocare's interests fear for their lives and the lives of their families, should their identities become known to an officer of Envirocare. The petitioner also states that certain provisions in Envirocare's standard employment contract prevent its employees from disclosing to the NRC information concerning unsafe practices and violations under the NRC license and threaten them with severe financial penalties in the event of a disclosure.

The request for an investigation and the suspension of Envirocare's NRC license is being treated pursuant to 10 CFR 2.206 of the Commission's regulations. The request has been referred to the Director of the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. As provided by Sec. 2.206, appropriate action will be taken on this petition within a reasonable time. By letter dated January 16, 1998, the Director denied the petitioner's request for immediate action concerning Envirocare's NRC license. A copy of the petition is available for public inspection and copying at the NRC Public Document Room, in the Gelman Building, 2120 L Street NW., Washington, DC 20555.

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 16th day of January 1998.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Carl J. Paperiello, Director, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.

[FR Doc. 98-2178 Filed 1-28-98; 8:45 am]


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