United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-01-099 - Allied Inspection Services, Inc.

June 4, 2001

EA-01-099
EA-01-100

Don Grashaw, President
Allied Inspection Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 268
St. Clair, MI 48079

SUBJECT:    NOTICE OF VIOLATION AND EXERCISE OF DISCRETION (NRC INSPECTION REPORT 030-15055/2001-001(DNMS)); NRC OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS CASE 3-2000-036)

Dear Mr. Grashaw:

This refers to the inspection conducted on September 6, 2000, at Allied Inspection Services, Inc. (AIS), St. Clair, Michigan, and to the NRC's Office of Investigations (OI) Report 3-2000-036. The purpose of the routine inspection was to determine whether activities authorized by the license were conducted safely and in accordance with NRC requirements. The inspection identified an apparent deliberate violation for the failure to conduct depleted uranium (DU) leak testing every 12 months for radiography cameras containing DU shielding. The purpose of the OI investigation was to review potentially deliberate actions by you regarding the apparent violation. The OI investigation was completed on March 20, 2001.

In our April 16, 2001 letter, we provided you the opportunity to address the apparent violation identified during the inspection by either attending a predecisional enforcement conference or by providing a written response before we made our final enforcement decision. In a telephone conversation on April 26, 2001, with Darrel G. Wiedeman of my staff, you indicated that you did not believe that a predecisional enforcement conference was needed, but would provide a written response. In a letter dated May 8, 2001, you provided a response to the apparent violation. Your response stated that your corrective actions included: (1) adding the DU leak test date to your quarterly inspection form; (2) requiring that all leak tests done in the future be marked for DU and the isotope of interest; and (3) using your Radiation Safety/Records Calendar as a reminder of the requirement to perform the DU leak test.

Based on the information developed during the inspection and investigation, and the information that you provided in your response, 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.

During refresher training on February 23, 2000, you learned that AIS's radiography cameras had not been leak tested for depleted uranium (DU) contamination in accordance with 10 CFR 34.27(e). Rather than immediately implementing prompt, effective corrective action, you waited from February 23, 2000 until June 10, 2000, to leak test the first of two cameras (i.e., Serial No. B3028), but did not realize that the leak test kit paperwork was incorrectly completed and the leak test did not evaluate DU contamination. This camera was not leak tested again until September 6, 2000, at the request of the inspector. On July 31, 2000, you successfully leak tested the second camera (i.e., Serial No. B2790). Based on the available evidence, the NRC concludes that you deliberately failed to perform the leak tests for DU contamination in a timely manner once identified.

The failure to perform DU leak tests would be categorized as a Severity Level IV violation, since the purpose of the leak test is to identify the presence of DU, which is an indication of "S" tube wear. "S" tube wear has the potential to lead to the binding of the control cable with the resultant inability to retract the source. In this case, the leak tests results for both cameras were negative for the presence of DU. However, the NRC is particularly concerned that the failure to perform the leak tests was deliberate. 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, this violation has been categorized in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, May 1, 2000, at Severity Level III.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $2750 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 warranted for identification, since the violation was identified by a licensee individual during refresher training. Credit for corrective action is not warranted, since the corrective action was not prompt. The violation was identified in February 2000 and the licensee did not perform the required leak test until June 2000 for one radiography camera, and until September 2000 for the second camera (during the inspection). Although the NRC recognizes that application of the civil penalty assessment process would have resulted in a $2750 civil penalty, the NRC is exercising discretion in accordance with Section VII.B.6 of the Enforcement Policy and is not proposing a civil penalty, since the safety significance of the violation was low; there was no tangible benefit to the individual or licensee; and the individual accepted responsibility, cooperated with the NRC, and voluntarily disclosed the violation to the NRC.

Therefore, to encourage prompt identification, disclosure of violations and cooperation with the NRC, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, not to propose a civil penalty in this case. We have also decided not to take enforcement action against you personally. However, significant violations in the future could result in a civil penalty. In addition, issuance of this Severity Level III violation constitutes an 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 your May 8, 2001 letter. 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 your response, if you choose to provide one, 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).

Sincerely,

  /RA/ James L. Caldwell for

  J. E. Dyer
Regional Administrator

Docket No. 030-15055
License No. 21-18428-01

Enclosure: Notice of Violation


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

 
Allied Inspection Services, Inc.
St. Clair, Michigan
  Docket No. 030-15055
License No. 21-18428-01
EA-01-099

During an NRC inspection conducted on September 6, 2000, and an investigation completed on March 20, 2001, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, May 1, 2000, the violation is listed below:

10 CFR 34.27(e) requires, in part, that each exposure device using depleted uranium (DU) shielding and an "S" tube configuration be tested for DU contamination at intervals not to exceed 12 months.
Contrary to the above, the licensee failed to test for DU contamination at intervals not to exceed
12 months two Amersham Model 660B exposure devices using DU shielding in an "S" tube configuration. Specifically, exposure devices with Serial Nos. B2790 and B3028 were not tested from June 27, 1998 until July 31, 2000, and from June 27, 1998 until September 6, 2000, respectively.
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 your May 8, 2001 letter. 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 III, 801 Warrenville Road, Lisle, IL 60532-4351, 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.

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.

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

Dated this 4th day of June 2001.

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