United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-01-023 - Gulf Coast Testing Laboratory, Inc.

January 24, 2001

EA-01-023

Mr. Donald J. Knuckey, Sr.
Gulf Coast Testing Laboratory, Inc.
5745 Park Boulevard
Pinellas Park, Florida 33781

SUBJECT:  NOTICE OF VIOLATION (NRC INSPECTION REPORT NO. 150-00009/01-01)

Dear Mr. Knuckey:

This refers to an inspection conducted on January 3, 2001, at the Gulf Coast Testing Laboratory, Inc., facility in Pinellas Park, Florida. The purpose of the inspection was to determine whether your activities were conducted in accordance with regulatory requirements. At the conclusion of the inspection, the findings were discussed with Mr. Rick Davis, Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) of your staff. The enclosed report presents the results of this inspection.

Based on the results of this inspection, two violations were identified. The first violation involved your use of a portable moisture density gauge at a location within NRC's jurisdiction without first obtaining an NRC specific or general license. Specifically, the NRC determined that on November 1 and 2, 2000, you conducted soil density measurements with a Troxler Electronics Laboratories, Inc., portable moisture density gauge at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, (Marina Bay Café project), an area of exclusive Federal jurisdiction, without filing an NRC Form-241 for reciprocity pursuant to 10 CFR 150.20 under a general license.

A violation involving the failure to file for reciprocity is a significant concern because it can deny the NRC an opportunity to inspect use of by-product material in areas of exclusive Federal jurisdiction, thereby impeding the NRC's ability to perform its statutory responsibility of verifying that by-product material is used in accordance with NRC requirements. The NRC relies on licensees and their employees to fully understand and comply with NRC requirements prior to performing licensed activities. A violation of this type is usually characterized at Severity Level III in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions - May 1, 2000," , NUREG-1600, as amended on November 3, 2000 (65 Federal Register 59274) (Enforcement Policy). However, the NRC may refrain from citing a Severity Level III violation in accordance with Section VII.B.6 of the Enforcement Policy. In this case, the NRC has concluded that the lack of clarity of Condition 10.A of your Florida license contributed to your misinterpretation that your Florida license permitted the use of licensed material anywhere in the State of Florida, including areas of Federal jurisdiction. Your misinterpretation of the reciprocity requirements is further supported by the fact that your November 2000 activities marked your first use of licensed by-product material in an area of Federal jurisdiction. Therefore, in consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, this violation will not be cited. However, significant violations in the future could result in escalated enforcement action.

The second violation is cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice), and involves the failure of the RSO to wear personnel radiation monitoring devices in accordance with 10 CFR 150.20 and your State of Florida license. Specifically, on November 1, 2000, the RSO performed soil measurements with a Troxler Electronics Laboratories, Inc., Model No. 3430 portable moisture density gauge containing Cesium-137 and Americium-241 at the Marina Bay Café project located on the base without wearing a personnel radiation monitoring device. Based on our discussions with him during the inspection, the NRC has concluded that the RSO's failure to wear a personnel radiation monitoring device was willful. This conclusion was based on the RSO's understanding of the requirement to wear personnel radiation monitoring devices, and his subsequent decision to conduct licensed activities without a monitoring device after realizing the device was left at his residence. Willful violations of regulatory requirements are of particular concern to the NRC, because we rely on the integrity of licensed by-product material users to strictly adhere to requirements to ensure their own health and safety, as well as public health and safety. In this case, the RSO's failure to wear a personnel monitoring device was not safety significant because of the expected low levels of radiation involved with the proper use of your portable gauge. Based on this low safety significance, this violation is characterized at Severity Level IV. Please be advised that willful (e.g., deliberate) violations in the future could result in the NRC's decision to prohibit your use of licensed by-product material.

You are required to respond to this letter and should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice when preparing your response. For your consideration and convenience, a copy of NRC Information Notice (IN) 96-28, "SUGGESTED GUIDANCE RELATING TO DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF CORRECTIVE ACTION," is enclosed. 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, its Enclosures, and 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).

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Douglas M. Collins, Director, Division of Nuclear Materials Safety, at 404-562-4700.

Sincerely,

  /RA/

  Luis A. Reyes
Regional Administrator

Docket No. 150-00009
License No. Florida 1325-1

Enclosure: Notice of Violation

cc w/encl 1:  State of Florida


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Gulf Coast Testing Laboratory, Inc.
Pinellas Park, Florida
  Docket No. 150-00009
License No. Florida 1325-1
EA-01-023

During an NRC inspection conducted on January 3, 2001, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions - May 1, 2000," NUREG-1600, as amended on November 3, 2000 (65 Federal Register 59274), 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 areas of exclusive Federal jurisdiction within Agreement States, provided that the provisions of 10 CFR 150.20(b) have been met.
10 CFR 150.20(b)(5) requires, in part, that any person engaging in activities in areas of exclusive Federal jurisdiction within Agreement States shall comply with all terms and conditions of the specific license issued by the Agreement State except such terms and conditions as are contrary to the requirements of this section.
Condition 18.A. of State of Florida License No. 1325-1, requires, except as specifically provided otherwise by this license, that the licensee shall possess and use licensed material described in Items 6, 7, 8, and 9 of this license in accordance with the statements, representations and procedures contained in the licensee's application dated March 30, 1999.
Item 11 of the license application dated March 30, 1999 requires personnel monitoring devices to be thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD), detecting beta and gamma radiation, that are supplied quarterly by Landauer.
Contrary to the above, on November 1, 2000, the Radiation Safety Officer used a sealed source of radiation in a portable device on MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, an area of exclusive Federal jurisdiction, without wearing a TLD. Specifically, the licensee performed soil measurements with a Troxler Electronics Laboratories, Inc., Model No. 3430 portable moisture density gauge containing Cesium-137 and Americium-241 at the Marina Bay Café project located on the base without wearing a personnel radiation monitoring device. (01014)

This is a Severity Level IV violation (Supplement IV).

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, Gulf Coast Testing Laboratory, Inc. is hereby required to submit a written statement or explanation to the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN: Document Control Desk, Washington, DC 20555, with a copy to the Regional Administrator, Region II, within 30 days of the date of the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation (Notice). This reply should be clearly marked as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation" and should include for each violation: (1) the reason for the violation, or, if contested, the basis for disputing the violation or severity level, (2) the corrective steps that have been taken and the results achieved, (3) the corrective steps that will be taken to avoid further violations, and (4) the date when full compliance will be achieved. Your response may reference or include previously 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 to why the license should not be modified, suspended, or revoked, or why such other action as may be proper should not be taken. Where good cause is shown, consideration will be given to extending the response time.

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.

Because 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), 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. ADAMS is accessible from the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html (the Public NRC Library). 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 24th day of January 2001

 

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