NRC proposes civil penalty on Hawaii Agriculture Research Center

January 17, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has proposed a $16,000 civil penalty to the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center for seven violations of NRC requirements associated with the center’s use of radioactive materials.

The NRC identified the apparent violations of agency requirements during a July 28, 2022, inspection of the facility in Waipahu, Hawaii.

The violations: The infractions involved Hawaii Agricultural Research Center's possession of more radioactive material than authorized under its license, the improper storage of radioactively contaminated waste, and failure to develop and implement a radiation protection program reflecting the scope and extent of licensed activities.

Details of the inspection and the apparent violations were documented in a report dated September 21, 2022. The center responded to the NRC in a letter dated October 21, 2022.

The NRC made its enforcement decision after reviewing the circumstances surrounding the apparent violations, the immediate actions taken in response, the apparent causes, and corrective actions taken to prevent recurrence.

Response: As of January 12, which was the date that the NRC made public the notice of civil penalty, the center has 30 days to pay the fine, dispute the fine, or request involvement from a neutral third-party mediator to resolve the issue.