The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has proposed a $35,000 civil penalty against the Babcock & Wilcox Facility in Lynchburg, Va., claiming the facilities staff failed to declare an alert emergency classification in a timely manner as required by their emergency plan. On July 15, 2009, the firm “failed to declare an emergency for more than two hours after they discovered a band-saw-cooling reservoir did not have the proper criticality controls,” says NRC. While the event posed no threat outside the facility, “the results could have been significant under different circumstances,” says NRC.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.