United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Violations of 10 CFR 20.207 (a) or (b), "Security of Stored Material in Unrestricted Areas"

HPPOS-056 PDR-9111210233

See the memorandum from J. Lieberman to R. Carlson (and others) dated June 1, 1982. Violations of 10 CFR 20.207 should be considered as Severity Level IV when the likelihood of unauthorized removal is small and the threat to public health and safety is minimal. A sample paragraph is provided for the Notice of Violation.

This health physics position also applies to the "new" 10 CFR Part 20, Sections 20.1801 and 20.1802.

Region I forwarded two cases at hospitals involving violations of 20.207 (a) and (b) [or 10 CFR 20.1801 and 20.1802]. These violations involved the storage of licensed material in unrestricted areas where access was possible and/or constant surveillance was not maintained.

In both cases, the likelihood of unauthorized removal of the material was small and the threat to the health and safety of the public was minimal and remote, since (1) the material was in an area of the hospital where assess by unauthorized personnel was unlikely, (2) the radiation levels near the material were low, (3) the half-life of most of the material was short, and (4) the material was clearly labeled and not in an "attractive" form for theft.

Because of the above, both Region I and the IE Enforcement Staff agreed that Severity Level IV was the appropriate classification for these violations.

In the future for similar cases, the following should be done.

  1. The transmittal letter should contain a paragraph similar to the following: Item A described in the attached NOV involving control of licensed material, is classified as a Severity Level IV violation. As indicated in Supplement VI of the NRC Enforcement Policy significant violations of this type are normally classified as Severity Level III. However, after careful consideration of the factors involved in this specific instance, we have exercised our judgement under the NRC Enforcement Policy and have classified this violation as Severity Level IV. Similar violations of this type in the future may result in additional enforcement action.
  2. An enforcement conference should be held. A telephone enforcement conference should be adequate unless there are other significant violations.
  3. The Notice of Violation can be issued without prior notification of IE Enforcement, but the Director of Enforcement should be included on the distribution.

Regulatory references: 10 CFR 20.207, 10 CFR 20.1801, 10 CFR 20.1802, EGM-82-05

Subject codes: 3.4, 12.7

Applicability: All

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, June 08, 2015