United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-01-240 - Redondo Construction Corporation

November 6, 2001

EA-01-240

Redondo Construction Corporation
ATTN: Mr. Jorge Redondo
             President
GPO Box 364185
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-4185

SUBJECT:   NOTICE OF VIOLATION (NRC INSPECTION REPORT NO. 52-24834-01/01-01)

Dear Mr. Redondo:

This refers to the inspection conducted on August 28 and 30, 2001, at your San Juan, Puerto Rico facility. The purpose of the inspection was to examine activities conducted under your license as they related to safety and compliance with the Commission's rules and regulations and with the conditions of your license. The results of the inspection, including one apparent violation, were discussed with you on August 30, 2001, and formally transmitted to you by letter dated October 2, 2001. This letter also provided you the opportunity to either respond to the apparent violation in writing or request a predecisional enforcement conference. The NRC confirmed your desire not to attend a predecisional enforcement conference, and by letter dated October 11, 2001, your Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) provided Redondo Construction Corporation's (RCC) response to the apparent violation and addressed the causes and corrective actions to prevent recurrence. We have reviewed the response and have concluded that sufficient information is available to determine the appropriate enforcement action in this matter.

Based on the information developed during the inspection 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 in detail in the subject inspection report. The violation involved the unauthorized transfer of three portable gauges to Redondo/Entrecanales, S.E., contrary to the requirements of 10 CFR 30.41(b)(5). The three portable gauges, each containing millicurie quantities of Cesium-137 and Americium-241, were transferred on March 8, 2000, to Redondo/Entrecanales, S.E. (RESE), an entity that was not authorized to receive such byproduct material under the terms of a specific or general license issued by the Commission or an Agreement State. In its response, RCC acknowledged and expanded on the circumstances that led to the unauthorized transfer of the gauges, and indicated its belief that the cause of the violation was the lack of effective communication due to the repetitive turnover of the Radiation Safety Officer, and the dissolution of a joint venture project involving RCC and RESE.

In this case, there were no actual consequences associated with the unauthorized transfer because the gauges were handled by qualified individuals who took appropriate safety precautions. However, the unauthorized transfer of licensed radioactive material is of concern to the NRC because such transfer can result in improper handling of radioactive material and potential radiation exposures to unauthorized persons. In addition, it impedes our ability to perform our regulatory responsibilities. These responsibilities include oversight of the use of the material, to provide adequate assurance to the public that radioactive materials are used safely. In this case, the NRC was unaware of RCC's transfer of the gauges, and as such could not assure that the recipient would use or store licensed byproduct material safely. As such, this violation is being categorized at Severity Level III in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedures for NRC Enforcement Actions - May 1, 2000" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, as amended on December 18, 2000.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $2750 is considered for a Severity Level III violation occurring prior to November 5, 2000. Because your company has not been the subject of escalated enforcement action within the last two inspections, the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process described in Section VI.C.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Your corrective action included, in part, the prompt and proper transfer of the gauges to an entity authorized to receive such byproduct material, improved communication between RCC project managers and the RSO regarding the acquisition and transfer of radioactive material, and employee training regarding the procedure for acquisition and custody of radioactive material. Based on the above, NRC concluded that your actions were prompt and comprehensive, and credit was warranted for the factor of Corrective Action.

Therefore, to encourage prompt and comprehensive correction of violations and in recognition of the absence of previous escalated enforcement action, I have been authorized to propose that no civil penalty be assessed in this case. However, similar violations in the future could result in further escalated enforcement action and substantial civil penalties. In addition, issuance of this Notice constitutes 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 this letter and in RCC's October 11, 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).

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/

  Bruce S. Mallett
Acting Regional Administrator

Docket No. 030-29105
License No. 52-24834-01

Enclosure:  Notice of Violation

cc w/encl:  Commonwealth of Puerto Rico


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Redondo Construction Corporation
San Juan, Puerto Rico
  Docket No. 030-29105
License No. 52-24834-01
EA-01-240

During an NRC inspection conducted on August 28 and 30, 2001, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedures for NRC Enforcement Actions - May 1, 2000," NUREG-1600, the violation is listed below:

10 CFR 30.41(b)(5) provides, in part, that no licensee shall 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 March 8, 2000, the licensee transferred byproduct material consisting of Cesium-137 and Americium-241 contained in three portable gauges to Redondo/Entrecanales, S.E., an entity that was 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 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 (Notice) and in Redondo Construction Corporation's letter of October 11, 2001. 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 II within 30 days of the date of the letter transmitting this 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.

Because any 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 6th day of November 2001

 

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