United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-00-147 - Braun Intertec Corporation

August 14, 2000

EA-00-147

George Kluempke, President
Braun Intertec Corporation
6875 Washington Avenue South
P. O. Box 39108
Minneapolis, MN 55439

SUBJECT: NOTICE OF VIOLATION AND PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTY -$5500.00 (NRC INSPECTION REPORT 030-21059/2000001(DNMS); NRC OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS CASE NO. 3-2000-006)

Dear Mr. Kluempke:

This refers to the special inspection conducted January 26 through February 24, 2000, and to the Office of Investigation (OI) report issued on May 23, 2000. The inspection reviewed Braun Intertec's radiography operations at a temporary job site in Plymouth, Minnesota. The inspection report transmitted to you on February 24, 2000, identified an apparent violation of NRC requirements for failing to have two qualified individuals present when conducting radiographic operations at temporary job sites. The OI investigation was initiated to review potentially deliberate actions by Braun employees regarding the apparent violation.

On July 11, 2000, a closed, transcribed predecisional enforcement conference was conducted in the Region III Office in Lisle, Illinois with you and members of your staff to discuss the apparent violation, its significance, the root cause, and your corrective actions.

Based on the information developed during the inspection and investigation, and the information that you provided during the conference, the NRC has determined that a violation of NRC requirements occurred. The violation is cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice) and the circumstances surrounding it are described below and in detail in the subject inspection report.

In December 1999, your staff requested an amendment adding two shielded rooms at a client's facility as permanent radiographic installations (PRIs) to your license. Correspondence in support of the amendment request was submitted in response to NRC requests and indicated that these shielded rooms were believed to be previously recognized and approved on another radiography firm's license as PRIs. During a January 12, 2000, telephone conversation, an NRC license reviewer informed the radiation safety officer that the shielded rooms were never reviewed nor approved by the NRC as PRIs. During the subsequent inspection on January 26, 2000, the NRC identified that radiographic operations were performed in the shielded rooms (temporary job sites) with only one radiographer present at each location. The radiation safety officer knew or should have known as a result of the January 12, 2000, telephone conversation that two qualified individuals were required to be present during radiographic operations at each location. Therefore, based on the available evidence, the NRC concludes the individual demonstrated a careless disregard for NRC requirements when he allowed radiographic operations to continue with only one qualified individual present between January 12 and January 26, 2000.

This failure to conduct radiographic operations with two qualified individuals would be categorized as a Severity Level IV violation due to the low safety significance, since the areas appeared to meet the requirements of PRIs or would meet the requirements with minor modifications or limitations on their use. However, the NRC is particularly concerned that the radiation safety officer willfully allowed radiographic operations to continue with only one qualified individual present. It is essential that the NRC be able to maintain the highest confidence that licensees and their employees will abide by requirements designed to protect the health and safety of the public. Therefore, based on the willfulness associated with the violation, NRC has increased the severity level of this violation and the violation has been categorized in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, at Severity Level III.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $5,500 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Because the violation is considered willful, the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for Identification and Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.C.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Credit is not warranted for identification since the violation was NRC identified. Credit is warranted for corrective actions, which included: (1) suspending operations, once informed that you were in violation, until additional qualified individuals were present; and (2) revising Braun Intertec's policy to include operating facilities as a temporary job sites until Braun's license is amended to include the requested location as a PRI.

To emphasize the significance of willful violations and the importance of compliance with regulatory requirements, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, to issue the enclosed Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty (Notice) in the base amount of $5,500. In addition, issuance of this Notice constitutes escalated enforcement action, that may subject you to increased inspection effort.

You are required to respond to this letter and should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice when preparing your response. The NRC will use your response, in part, to determine whether further enforcement action is necessary to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter and its enclosure will be available electronically for public review in the NRC Public Document Room or from the Publicly Available Records (PARS) component of NRC's document system (ADAMS).

ADAMS is accessible from the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html (the Public NRC Library).

Sincerely,

/RA/

J. E. Dyer
Regional Administrator

Docket No. 030-21059
License No. 22-16537-02

Enclosure:  Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
AND
PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTY

Braun Intertec Corporation
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Docket No. 030-21059
License No. 22-16537-02
EA-00-147

During an NRC inspection conducted between January 26 and February 24, 2000, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, dated May 1, 2000, the NRC proposes to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Section 234 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (Act), 42 U.S.C. 2282, and 10 CFR 2.205. The particular violation and associated civil penalty are set forth below:

10 CFR 34.41(a) requires that whenever radiography is performed at a location other than a permanent radiographic installation, i.e., a temporary job site, the radiographer must be accompanied by at least one other qualified radiographer or an individual who has at a minimum met the requirements of 34.43(c). The additional qualified individual shall observe the operations and be capable of providing immediate assistance to prevent unauthorized entry. Radiography may not be performed if only one qualified individual is present.
Contrary to the above, between January 12, 2000, and January 26, 2000, radiography was performed at a temporary job site, a location other than a permanent radiographic installation, with only one qualified individual present. Specifically, radiography was performed within two rooms at a client's facility in Plymouth, Minnesota, by only one qualified radiographer at each room and these facilities were not reviewed and approved by the NRC to qualify as permanent radiographic installations.(010103)
This is a Severity Level III violation (Supplement VI).
Civil Penalty - $5,500

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, Braun Intertec Corporation (Licensee) is hereby required to submit a written statement or explanation to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, within 30 days of the date of this Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty (Notice). This reply should be clearly marked as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation" and should include for each alleged violation: (1) admission or denial of the alleged violation, (2) the reasons for the violation if admitted, and if denied, the reasons why, (3) the corrective steps that have been taken and the results achieved, (4) the corrective steps that will be taken to avoid further violations, and (5) the date when full compliance will be achieved. Your response may reference or include previous docketed correspondence, if the correspondence adequately addresses the required response. If an adequate reply is not received within the time specified in this Notice, an order or a Demand for Information may be issued as why the license should not be modified, suspended, or revoked or why such other action as may be proper should not be taken. Consideration may be given to extending the response time for good cause shown.

Within the same time as provided for the response required above under 10 CFR 2.201, the Licensee may pay the civil penalty proposed above in accordance with NUREG/BR-0254 and by submitting to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a statement indicating when and by what method payment was made, or may protest imposition of the civil penalty in whole or in part, by a written answer addressed to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Should the Licensee fail to answer within the time specified, an order imposing the civil penalty will be issued. Should the Licensee elect to file an answer in accordance with 10 CFR 2.205 protesting the civil penalty, in whole or in part, such answer should be clearly marked as an "Answer to a Notice of Violation" and may: (1) deny the violation listed in this Notice, in whole or in part, (2) demonstrate extenuating circumstances, (3) show error in this Notice, or (4) show other reasons why the penalty should not be imposed. In addition to protesting the civil penalty in whole or in part, such answer may request remission or mitigation of the penalty.

In requesting mitigation of the proposed penalty, the factors addressed in Section VI.C.2 of the Enforcement Policy should be addressed. Any written answer in accordance with 10 CFR 2.205 should be set forth separately from the statement or explanation in reply pursuant to 10 CFR 2.201, but may incorporate parts of the 10 CFR 2.201 reply by specific reference (e.g., citing page and paragraph numbers) to avoid repetition. The attention of the Licensee is directed to the other provisions of 10 CFR 2.205, regarding the procedure for imposing a civil penalty.

Upon failure to pay any civil penalty due, which subsequently has been determined in accordance with the applicable provisions of 10 CFR 2.205, this matter may be referred to the Attorney General, and the penalty, unless compromised, remitted, or mitigated, may be collected by civil action pursuant to Section 234c of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2282c.

The response noted above (Reply to Notice of Violation, statement as to payment of civil penalty, and Answer to a Notice of Violation) should be addressed to: William Borchardt, Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852-2738, with a copy to the Regional Administrator, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Region III.

Because your response will be made available to the Public, to the extent possible, it should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be made available to the Public without redaction. If personal privacy or proprietary information is necessary to provide an acceptable response, then please provide a bracketed copy of your response that identifies the information that should be protected and a redacted copy of your response that deletes such information. If you request withholding of such material, you must specifically identify the portions of your response that you seek to have withheld and provide in detail the bases for your claim of withholding (e.g., explain why the disclosure of information will create an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy or provide the information required by 10 CFR 2.790(b) to support a request for withholding confidential commercial or financial information). If safeguards information is necessary to provide an acceptable response, please provide the level of protection described in 10 CFR 73.21.

In accordance with 10 CFR 19.11, you may be required to post this Notice within two working days.

Dated this 14th day of August 2000.

 

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