United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-01-215 - X-Ray Inspection, Inc.

September 27, 2001

EA-01-215

Mr. Ken Tholan, President
Team, Inc.
dba X-Ray Inspection, Inc.
200 Hermann Drive
Alvin, Texas 77512

SUBJECT:   NRC INSPECTION REPORT 150-00017/01-06 AND NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Dear Mr. Tholan:

This refers to the inspection conducted on June 27, 2001, at a temporary jobsite located in Bitter Creek, Wyoming. The inspection was an examination of activities conducted under an NRC General License issued pursuant to 10 CFR 150.20 as they relate to radiation safety and to compliance with the Commission's rules and regulations and with the conditions of the general license. Within these areas, the inspection consisted of selected examination of procedures and representative records, and interviews with personnel. The preliminary inspection findings were discussed with members of your staff at the conclusion of the onsite portion of the inspection, and with Mr. Neil Marks during a telephonic briefing on July 3 and on August 21, 2001. A final telephonic exit briefing was conducted with you on September 13, 2001.

During the exit briefing on September 13, 2001, Mr. Mark Shaffer of my staff informed you that the NRC was considering escalated enforcement for an apparent violation involving the failure to ensure that one of two qualified individuals required to be present at a temporary jobsite location had observed radiographic operations. Mr. Shaffer also informed you that we 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 X-Ray Inspection, Inc. (XRI) did not believe that a predecisional enforcement conference or written response was needed.

Based on the information developed during the inspection, the NRC has determined that violations of NRC requirements occurred. These violations are cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice) and the circumstances surrounding them are described in detail in the subject inspection report. As discussed above, one violation involved the failure to ensure that one of two qualified individuals required to be at a temporary jobsite during radiographic operations had observed the operation and was capable of providing immediate assistance to prevent unauthorized entry. This is of concern because the failure to comply with this requirement could have resulted in significant health and safety consequences to the individuals involved or to members of the general 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, at Severity Level III. A second violation categorized at Severity Level IV, was also identified during the inspection and involved the failure to post an area or room where radioactive material is used or stored.

Discussions with members of your staff prior to the telephonic exit briefing indicated that XRI had instituted immediate corrective actions to address the violations identified during this inspection. Specifically, as described in the enclosed inspection report, XRI has ensured that while working in areas of NRC jurisdiction, one qualified individual will oversee radiographic operations while the other qualified individual is performing radiography. Additionally, XRI has ensured that the required posting has been placed on the radiography truck when used for storage of byproduct material.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a civil penalty with a base value of $6,000 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Because your facility has not been the subject of escalated enforcement actions within the last 2 years, 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 your corrective actions as described above, the NRC has determined that your corrective actions warrant credit. 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 NRC inspection.

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 the enclosed inspection report. 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 enclosures, 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). To the extent possible, any response you choose to submit should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be made available to the Public without redaction.

Should you have any questions about this inspection, please contact Mr. Mark Shaffer at (817) 860-8287 or Mr. Gregory Morell at (817) 860-8169.

Sincerely,

/RA/

Ellis W. Merschoff
Regional Administrator

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

Enclosure:   Notice of Violation

cc w/enclosure:
Mr. Neil Marks
Radiation Safety Officer
X-Ray Inspection, Inc.
102 Row 3 Canebrake
Lafayette, Louisiana 70505

Louisiana Radiation Control Program Director
Wyoming Radiation Control Program Director


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

X-Ray Inspection, Inc.
Alvin, Texas
Docket No. 150-00017
License No. 10 CFR 150.20
EA-01-215

During an NRC inspection conducted on June 27, 2001, two violations of NRC requirements were identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the violations are listed below:

A.   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 non-Agreement States, provided that the provisions of 10 CFR 150.20(b) have been met.

10 CFR 150.20(b) states, in part, that notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in any specific license issued by an Agreement State to a person engaging in activities in a non-Agreement State under the general licenses provided in 10 CFR 150.20(a), the general licenses are subject to all the provisions of 10 CFR Parts 19, 20 and 71 and Subparts C through H of 10 CFR Part 34.

10 CFR 34.41(a) requires that whenever radiography is performed at a location other than a permanent radiographic installation, the radiographer must be accompanied by at least one other qualified radiographer or an individual who has at a minimum met the requirements of 10 CFR 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, on several occasions between June 1 and June 27, 2001, the licensee conducted radiography under the provisions of 10 CFR 150.20 at a temporary jobsite in NRC jurisdiction and failed to have an additional qualified individual observing the operations. Specifically, during interviews with licensee personnel performing radiographic operations at a temporary jobsite located in Bitter Creek, Wyoming, on June 27, 2001, the NRC inspector was informed that, although two qualified individuals were present at the temporary jobsite, the second individual remained within the licensee's portable dark room facility to develop film during radiographic operations and, therefore, was not observing the operations.

This is a Severity Level III violation (Supplement VI).

B.   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 non-Agreement States, provided that the provisions of 10 CFR 150.20(b) have been met.

10 CFR 150.20(b) states, in part, that notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in any specific license issued by an Agreement State to a person engaging in activities in a non-Agreement State under the general licenses provided in 10 CFR 150.20(a), the general licenses are subject to all the provisions of 10 CFR Parts 19, 20 and 71 and Subparts C through H of 10 CFR Part 34.

10 CFR 20.1902(e) requires that the licensee post each area or room in which certain amounts of licensed material, specified in §20.1902(e), are used or stored, with a conspicuous sign or signs bearing the radiation symbol and the words "CAUTION, RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL(S)" or "DANGER, RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL(S)."

Contrary to the above, on several occasions from June 1 through June 27, 2001, the portable radiography darkroom, an area in which approximately 80 curies of iridium-192 contained in a radiographic exposure device was stored, was not posted with a conspicuous sign or signs bearing the radiation symbol and the words "CAUTION, RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL(S)" or "DANGER, RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL(S)."

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

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violations, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violations and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance was achieved is already adequately addressed on the docket in NRC Inspection Report 150-00017/01-06. 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.

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 are required to post this Notice within two working days.

Dated this 27th day of September 2001

 

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