United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-00-300 - Accurate NDE & Inspection, LLC

January 11, 2001

EA-00-300

Mr. Charles Brignac, Operations Manager
Accurate NDE & Inspection, LLC
8849 Highway 182
Opelousas, Louisiana 70570

SUBJECT: NOTICE OF VIOLATION (NRC INSPECTION REPORT 150-00017/2000-004 AND NRC INVESTIGATION REPORT 4-2000-044)

Dear Mr. Brignac:

This refers to the inspection conducted by this office and the investigation conducted by the NRC's Office of Investigations (OI) involving NRC-licensed activities conducted from your Opelousas, Louisiana office. The investigation was conducted at your Opelousas office on September 8, 2000, and included interviews of Accurate NDE & Inspection, LLC (ANDE) personnel. Additionally, an inspection was conducted at your Opelousas facility on November 1, 2000. The inspection included the review of ANDE records and interviews with ANDE personnel. A final telephonic exit briefing was held with you and Mr. Mark R. Shaffer of this office on December 26, 2000.

The purpose of the inspection and investigation was to examine compliance with NRC requirements related to radiography activities conducted within NRC's jurisdiction, specifically to activities conducted in off-shore Federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction. Although you hold Radioactive Materials License LA-10207-L01, issued by the State of Louisiana, activities conducted in off-shore Federal waters fall within the jurisdiction of the NRC, as you were informed during the inspection.

During the telephonic exit briefing on December 26, 2000, you were informed that the NRC was considering escalated enforcement action for an apparent violation involving ANDE's failure to apply for and obtain reciprocity from the NRC prior to conducting licensed activities at off-shore platforms and lay-barges in the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, you were informed that NRC believed it had sufficient information regarding the apparent violation and your corrective actions to make an enforcement decision without the need for a predecisional enforcement conference or a written response from you. You indicated that ANDE did not believe that a predecisional enforcement conference or written response was needed.

Therefore, based on the information developed during the inspection and investigation, the NRC has determined that a violation of NRC requirements occurred. The violation is described in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice), and involves your failure to file copies of NRC Form 241, "Report of Proposed Activities in Non-Agreement States," to the appropriate NRC Regional Office prior to conducting licensed activities in areas of exclusive Federal jurisdiction. The inspection and investigation determined that ANDE had conducted radiographic operations in off-shore Federal waters, in areas of exclusive Federal jurisdiction, during calendar year 2000 without notifying the NRC of these activities. While the investigation did not conclude that there was any willfulness on the part of ANDE personnel, the NRC still considers this type of violation important because it prevents the NRC from conducting inspections at temporary jobsites to assure that licensed material is being used safely and in accordance with NRC rules and regulations. Therefore, this violation has been categorized in accordance with the General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, dated May 1, 2000, at Severity Level III.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a civil penalty with a base value of $5,500 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Because your facility has not been the subject of escalated enforcement action, the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.C.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Based on ANDE's immediate action to restore compliance the same day that it was notified of its failure to have applied for reciprocity, the NRC has determined that the licensee's corrective actions warrant credit. ANDE restored compliance by filing a Form 241 on August 17, 2000. This results in no civil penalty being assessed.

Therefore, to encourage prompt and comprehensive correction of violations, and in recognition of the absence of previous escalated enforcement action, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, not to propose a civil penalty in this case. However, you are on notice that significant violations in the future could result in a civil penalty. In addition, issuance of this Severity Level III violation constitutes escalated enforcement action that may subject you to increased inspection effort.

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violation, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence and the date when full compliance was achieved is already adequately addressed on the docket in this report and in the Form 241 ANDE filed on August 17, 2000. Therefore, you are not required to respond to this letter unless the description therein does not accurately reflect your corrective actions or your position. In that case, or if you choose to provide additional information, you should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter, its enclosure, and any response you choose to submit will be available electronically for public inspection 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,

/T. P. Gwynn/ for

Ellis W. Merschoff
Regional Administrator

Docket No. 150-00017
License No. General License of 10 CFR 150.20

Enclosure: Notice of Violation

cc w/enclosure: Louisiana Radiation Control Program Director


ENCLOSURE

NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Accurate NDE & Inspection, LLC
Opelousas, Louisiana
Docket No. 150-00017
License No. 150.20
EA-00-300

During an NRC inspection and investigation completed on December 26, 2000, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the violation is listed below:

10 CFR 150.20(a) provides, in part, that any person who holds a specific license from an Agreement State is granted an NRC general license to conduct the same activity in offshore waters provided that the provisions of 10 CFR 150.20(b) have been met.
10 CFR 150.20(b)(1) requires, in part, that any person engaging in activities in offshore waters, shall, at least 3 days before engaging in each such activity, file four copies of NRC Form 241, "Report of Proposed Activities in Non-Agreement States," with the Regional Administrator of the appropriate NRC regional office.
Contrary to the above, on several occasions in calendar year 2000, Accurate NDE & Inspection, LLC, a licensee of the State of Louisiana, conducted radiographic operations using iridium-192 on off-shore oil/gas platforms in waters off the Gulf Coast of Mexico in areas of Federal jurisdiction, without filing NRC Form 241 with the NRC.
This is a Severity Level III violation (Supplement VI).

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violation, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance was achieved is already adequately addressed on the docket in this report and NRC Form 241, dated August 17, 2000, "Report of Proposed Activities In Non-Agreement States, Areas of Exclusive Federal Jurisdiction, Or Off-shore Waters", received from Accurate NDE & Inspection, LLC, on August 17, 2000. However, you are required to submit a written statement or explanation pursuant to 10 CFR 2.201 if the description therein does not accurately reflect your corrective actions or your position. In that case, or if you choose to respond, clearly mark your response as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation," and send it to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN:  Document Control Desk, Washington, DC 20555 with a copy to the Regional Administrator Region IV, within 30 days of the date of the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation (Notice).

If you contest this enforcement action, you should also provide a copy of your response, with the basis for your denial, to the Director, Office of Enforcement, United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

Under the authority of Section 182 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2232, any response you choose to submit shall be submitted under oath or affirmation.

If you choose to respond, your response will be made available electronically for public inspection 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). Therefore, to the extent possible, the response should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be made available to the Public without redaction.

Dated this 11th day of January 2001

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