United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-01-219 - Centennial Engineering & Research, Inc.

December 3, 2001

EA-01-219

Thomas L. Barker, President
Centennial Engineering & Research, Inc.
237 North Main Street
Sheridan, Wyoming 82801

SUBJECT: NOTICE OF VIOLATION AND PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTY - $3,000 (NRC Inspection Report No. 030-29654/01-01 and Investigation Report 4-2001-009)

Dear Mr. Barker:

This refers to the predecisional enforcement conference conducted with you and your staff on October 4, 2001, in Sheridan, Wyoming. The conference was conducted to discuss three apparent violations of NRC requirements involving the use of moisture density gauges. At the conclusion of our inspection and investigation activities, a telephonic exit briefing was conducted with you on September 6, 2001, and the findings were documented in the subject inspection report dated September 20, 2001. As we indicated to you during the exit briefing, and documented in the inspection report, we were also concerned that the violations involved willfulness.

Based on the information developed during the inspection and investigation, and the information that you provided during the conference, 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. Specifically, the violations involved failures to: (1) submit a license amendment request prior to designating an individual not listed on the license as the radiation safety officer (RSO); (2) confine possession and use of byproduct material to locations authorized by the license; and (3) ensure the transfer of byproduct material was to a person authorized to receive such byproduct material. During the conference, your current RSO stated that he was fully aware of the requirement to amend your NRC license regarding a change in RSOs (Violation 1), and regarding a field office not listed on the license where licensed material was routinely stored (Violation 2). However, the RSO stated he did not amend the license mainly because he was procrastinating. Based on this, the NRC has concluded that Violations 1 and 2 involved willfulness.

There were no actual or potential safety consequences associated with Violations 1 and 2. Gauges were used in compliance with NRC requirements. However, the significance of these two violations stems from the willfulness involved. Therefore, these two violations are categorized collectively in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600 as a Severity Level III problem.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a civil penalty in the base amount of $3,000 is considered for a Severity Level III problem. Because willfulness was involved in these two violations, 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. In evaluating the Identification factor, the NRC has determined that you did not identify the violations and, therefore, are not deserving of identification credit. However, the NRC has determined that you are deserving of credit for the Corrective Action factor. Your corrective actions included sending the RSO to a course for RSOs, taking time to better familiarize yourself with NRC requirements and your license, submitting the appropriate license amendments, and committing to adhere to NRC requirements in the future.

Therefore, in recognition of the willfulness involved with the two violations, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, to issue the enclosed Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty (Notice) in the base amount of $3,000. In addition, issuance of this Notice constitutes escalated enforcement action that may subject you to increased inspection effort.

Based on the inspection and investigation, and the information you provided during the conference, the NRC has concluded that no willfulness was associated with Violation 3. This violation also had no actual or potential safety consequences associated with it. Therefore, this violation is categorized at Severity Level IV and is cited in the attached Notice.

You are required to respond to this letter and should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice when preparing your response. 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 enclosure, 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).

Sincerely,

/RA/

Ellis W. Merschoff
Regional Administrator

Docket No. 030-29654
License No. 49-26861-01

Enclosure: Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty

cc w/Enclosure: Wyoming Radiation Control Program Director


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
AND
PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTY

Centennial Engineering & Research, Inc.
Sheridan, Wyoming
Docket No. 030-29654
License No. 49-26861-01
EA-01-219

During an NRC inspection and investigation conducted on March 12 through September 6, 2001, violations of NRC requirements were identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the NRC proposes to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Section 234 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (Act), 42 U.S.C. 2282, and 10 CFR 2.205. The particular violations and associated civil penalty are set forth below:

A. Condition 19 of License 49-26861-01 requires, in part, that the licensee shall conduct its program in accordance with the statements, representations, and procedures, including any enclosures , contained in the licensee's letter dated January 23, 1992. Item 14 in the enclosure to the licensee's letter dated January 23, 1992, designated a specific named individual as the radiation safety officer for this license.

Contrary to the above, from September 29, 2000 through March 12, 2001, Centennial Engineering & Research, Inc. designated another individual as the radiation safety officer for activities under License 49-26861-01 and did not submit an amendment request to reflect the change.

B. 10 CFR 30.34(c) requires, in part, that each licensee confine his possession and use of byproduct material to the locations and purposes authorized by the license.

Contrary to the above, from June 1998 through March 12, 2001, the licensee did not confine its possession of byproduct material to the location authorized by the license. Specifically, the licensee possessed three portable gauging devices containing byproduct material at 400 South Miller Avenue, Gillette, Wyoming, a location not authorized by the license.

This is a Severity Level III problem (Supplement VI ).
Civil Penalty - $3,000.

C. 10 CFR 30.41(a) and (b)(5) require, in part, that no licensee transfer byproduct material except to a person authorized to receive such byproduct material under the terms of a specific or general license issued by the Commission or an Agreement State.

Contrary to the above, on September 29, 2001, the licensee transferred two portable gauging devices containing approximately 40 millicuries of americium/beryllium-241 and 10 millicuries of cesium-137 to Roetech, LLC, a corporation not authorized to receive such byproduct material under the terms of a specific or general license issued by the Commission or an Agreement State.

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

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, Centennial Engineering & Research, Inc., (Licensee) is hereby required to submit a written statement or explanation to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, within 30 days of the date of this Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty (Notice). This reply should be clearly marked as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation" and should include for each alleged violation: (1) admission or denial of the alleged violation, (2) the reasons for the violation if admitted, and if denied, the reasons why, (3) the corrective steps that have been taken and the results achieved, (4) the corrective steps that will be taken to avoid further violations, and (5) the date when full compliance will be achieved. Your response may reference or include previous 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 why the license should not be modified, suspended, or revoked or why such other action as may be proper should not be taken. Consideration may be given to extending the response time for good cause shown. Under the authority of Section 182 of the Act, 42 USC 2232, this response shall be submitted under oath or affirmation.

Within the same time as provided for the response required above under 10 CFR 2.201, the Licensee may pay the civil penalty proposed above in accordance with NUREG/BR-0254 and by submitting to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555, a statement indicating when and by what method payment was made, or may protest imposition of the civil penalty in whole or in part, by a written answer addressed to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Should the Licensee fail to answer within the time specified, an order imposing the civil penalty will be issued. Should the Licensee elect to file an answer in accordance with 10 CFR 2.205 protesting the civil penalty, in whole or in part, such answer should be clearly marked as an "Answer to a Notice of Violation" and may: (1) deny the violations listed in this Notice, in whole or in part, (2) demonstrate extenuating circumstances, (3) show error in this Notice, or (4) show other reasons why the penalty should not be imposed. In addition to protesting the civil penalty in whole or in part, such answer may request remission or mitigation of the penalty.

In requesting mitigation of the proposed penalty, the factors addressed in Section VI.C.2 of the Enforcement Policy should be addressed. Any written answer in accordance with 10 CFR 2.205 should be set forth separately from the statement or explanation in reply pursuant to 10 CFR 2.201, but may incorporate parts of the 10 CFR 2.201 reply by specific reference (e.g., citing page and paragraph numbers) to avoid repetition. The attention of the Licensee is directed to the other provisions of 10 CFR 2.205, regarding the procedure for imposing a civil penalty.

Upon failure to pay any civil penalty due which subsequently has been determined in accordance with the applicable provisions of 10 CFR 2.205, this matter may be referred to the Attorney General, and the penalty, unless compromised, remitted, or mitigated, may be collected by civil action pursuant to Section 234c of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2282c.

The response noted above (Reply to Notice of Violation, statement as to payment of civil penalty, and Answer to a Notice of Violation) should be addressed to: Mr. Frank Congel, Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852-2738, with a copy to the Regional Administrator, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Region IV, 611 Ryan Plaza Drive, Suite 400, Arlington, Texas 76011.

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).

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

Dated this 3rd day of December 2001

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