United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-01-216 - Nondestructive & Visual Inspection, Inc.

September 28, 2001

EA-01-216

Mr. William Wainwright, Owner
Nondestructive & Visual Inspection, Inc.
P.O. Box 554
Harvey, Louisiana 70059

SUBJECT:   NRC INVESTIGATION REPORT 4-2001-014 AND NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Dear Mr. Wainwright:

This refers to the investigation initiated on April 10, 2001, by NRC's Office of Investigations (OI) regarding licensed activities conducted by Nondestructive & Visual Inspection, Inc. (NVII) within NRC's jurisdiction, i.e., offshore waters as defined by 10 CFR 150.20. The investigation 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. A final telephonic exit briefing was conducted with you on September 20, 2001.

The purpose of the investigation was to determine whether there was willfulness associated with violations of NRC requirements related to radiography activities conducted in offshore waters. Although you hold Radioactive Materials License LA-5601-L01, issued by the State of Louisiana, activities conducted in offshore waters fall within the jurisdiction of the NRC, as you were informed during the investigation.

During the exit briefing on September 20, 2001, Mr. Mark Shaffer of my staff informed you that the NRC was considering escalated enforcement for an apparent violation involving NVII's failure to apply for and obtain reciprocity from the NRC prior to conducting radiography activities at offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Shaffer also informed you that the NRC 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 NVII did not believe that a predecisional enforcement conference or written response was needed.

Therefore, based on the information developed during the 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, with the appropriate NRC Regional Office prior to conducting licensed activities in areas of Federal jurisdiction. The investigation determined that NVII had conducted radiographic operations in offshore waters 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 NVII 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 radioactive 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 at Severity Level III.

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 action 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 prompt action to file the appropriate reciprocity forms when you became aware of NRC's requirements in February 2001, 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 this letter and in the NRC Form 241 that NVII filed on February 22, 2001. 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). 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.

Sincerely,

/RA/

Ellis W. Merschoff
Regional Administrator

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

Enclosure:   Notice of Violation

cc w/Enclosure:  Louisiana Radiation Control Program Director


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Nondestructive & Visual Inspection, Inc.
Harvey, Louisiana
Docket No. 150-00017
License No. 10 CFR 150.20
EA-01-216

During an NRC investigation completed on June 27, 2001, 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 at least 96 occasions between May 1 and December 18, 2000, Nondestructive & Visual Inspection, Inc., a licensee of the State of Louisiana, conducted radiography activities using curie quantities of iridium-192 in offshore Federal waters without filing 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 the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation and in the NRC Form 241 submitted by NVII on February 22, 2001. However, NVII is required to submit a written statement or explanation pursuant to 10 CFR 2.201 if the description herein 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 28th day of September 2001

 

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