United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-01-244 - LTV Steel Company, Inc.

October 9, 2001

EA No. 01-244

Mr. John Carroll
Manager - Health, Safety & Medical
LTV Steel Company, Inc.
3100 East 4th Street
Cleveland, OH 44127

SUBJECT:   NOTICE OF VIOLATION (NRC Inspection 99990001/2000009)

Dear Mr. Carroll:

This refers to the inspection conducted by the NRC to review the circumstances associated with a TN Technologies gauge Model 5191 (serial number B1806) that was found abandoned in the State of Alabama in November 2000. The inspection commenced on April 23, 2001, and continued in the Region I office until August 24, 2001, with telephone calls to members of your staff, and included our review of bankruptcy court papers involving Tailings Process Corporation. The enclosed report documents the details of this inspection.

During the inspection, the NRC determined, by reviewing bankruptcy court papers, that the gauge belonged to LTV Steel Company (LTV Steel) in the mid-1980's. On January 11, 2001, Kathy Modes, of this office, sent copies of the bankruptcy papers via facsimile to Mr. Terrence Civic in your corporate office. On July 11, 2001, Mr. Frank Costello and Ms. Modes contacted Mr. Civic via telephone regarding the fact that this gauge had been found in Alabama. Your company agreed to arrange for proper disposal of the gauge, and this agreement was documented in a letter from Mr. Civic dated July 11, 2001. The NRC was notified on August 24, 2001, that the gauge was removed from its temporary storage location and was sent to the manufacturer for proper disposal.

In a telephone conversation on September 24, 2001, Mr. Costello of my staff informed Mr. Ken Griffith of your staff that the NRC had sufficient information regarding an apparent violation of NRC requirements and your company's corrective actions to make an enforcement decision without a predecisional enforcement conference or a written response from your company. Mr. Griffith indicated that LTV Steel did not believe that a predecisional enforcement conference or written response was needed.

Based on the results of this inspection, one violation of NRC requirements was identified and is described in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice). The violation involves the transfer of a gauge, that remained in use at the Nemacolin Mine facility (located in McKeesport, Pennsylvania), to J. W. Industrial in 1989 without providing J. W. Industrial a copy of 10 CFR Part 31, and without informing the NRC of the manufacturer's name and model number of the device transferred, the name and address of the transferee, and the name and/or position of the individual who might constitute a point of contact between the NRC and the transferee. This violation represents a significant concern because it ultimately contributed to loss of control of the gauge which was subsequently abandoned. Although the gauge has since been located and transferred to an authorized recipient, and no known radiation exposures resulted from this occurrence, the potential existed for radiation doses in excess of the limits to members of the public because the abandoned gauge was found buried with the shutter in the open position. Therefore, this violation is classified at Severity Level III in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600 (enclosed). The current Enforcement Policy is included on the NRC's.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy in effect at the time of the violation, a base civil penalty is considered for a Severity Level III violation. The NRC considered whether credit is warranted for Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.C.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Credit for Corrective Action is warranted since your company took appropriate corrective actions after the NRC identified this issue to you. These corrective actions included the proper disposal of gauge B1806 after it was found in Alabama.

Therefore, to encourage prompt and comprehensive correction of violations, I have been authorized to not propose a civil penalty in this case. However, issuance of this Notice constitutes escalated enforcement action and similar violations in the future could result in further escalated enforcement action.

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violation, and the corrective actions taken to correct the violation and prevent recurrence, were already described adequately in this letter and 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 and its enclosures, and your response, if any, will be available electronically for public inspection in the NRC Public Document Room or from the Publically Available Records (PARS) component of the NRC's document system (ADAMS). ADAMS is accessible from the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html (the Public Reading Room).

Sincerely,

  /RA/

  James T. Wiggins
Deputy Regional Administrator

Docket Nos. 030-29510, 030-35098 (terminated)
License Nos. 34-00811-04, 34-00811-05 (terminated)

Enclosure:  Notice of Violation

cc w/encl:
State of Ohio
State of Alabama
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania


ENCLOSURE

NOTICE OF VIOLATION

LTV Steel Company, Inc.
Cleveland, Ohio
  Docket No. General License (10 CFR 31.5)
License No. 999-90002
EA 01-244

During an NRC inspection conducted on April 23, 2001, and continued in the Region I office until August 24, 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 31.5(c)(9) requires, in part, that any person who acquires, receives, possesses, uses or transfers byproduct material in a device pursuant to the general license in 10 CFR 31.5(a) shall transfer the device to another general licensee only where the device remains in use at a particular location. In such cases, the transferor shall give the transferee a copy of 10 CFR Part 31, and, within 30 days of the transfer, report to the Director of the Office of Nuclear Materials Safety and Safeguards, USNRC, the manufacturer's name and model number of the device transferred, the name and address of the transferee, the name and/or position of an individual who may constitute a point of contact between the NRC and the transferee.
Contrary to the above, in January 1989, LTV Steel Company (LTV Steel), a general licensee, transferred a device in accordance with 10 CFR 31.5(c)(9) and failed to provide the transferee a copy of 10 CFR 31.5 and failed to report the transfer to the NRC. Specifically, LTV Steel sold its Nemacolin Mine facility in McKeesport, Pennsylvania to J. W. Industrial Services, Inc. (J. W. Industrial), and in so doing, transferred to J. W. Industrial a gauge (containing 1 curie of Cesium-137), which was a device generally licensed by the NRC. Although the gauge remained in use at that location, LTV Steel did not give J. W. Industrial a copy of 10 CFR Part 31, and, did not report the transfer to the NRC and provide the manufacturer's name and model number of the device transferred, the name and address of the transferee, and the name and/or position of an individual who would constitute a point of contact between the NRC and the transferee.
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 referenced inspection report, as well as the letter transmitting this Notice. 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, you should 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 I, 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.

Dated this 9th day of October 2001

 

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