United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-01-267 - Longview Inspection, Inc.

January 18, 2002

EA-01-267
EA-01-281

Mr. Lloyd A. Gray
Director, Radiation Safety and
Environmental Compliance
Longview Inspection, Inc.
16055 Space Center Boulevard
Houston, Texas 77062

SUBJECT: NRC INSPECTION REPORT 030-34780/2001-003 AND NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Dear Mr. Gray:

This refers to the inspection conducted on October 9, 2001, at a temporary jobsite in Jackson, Michigan. The inspection was an examination of activities conducted under your license as they relate to radiation safety and to compliance with the Commission's rules and regulations and the conditions of your license. Within these areas, the inspection consisted of selected examinations of procedures and representative records, observations of activities, and interviews with personnel. The enclosed report represents the results of this inspection. The preliminary inspection findings were discussed briefly with you on October 16, 2001. A final telephonic exit meeting was conducted with you on January 4, 2002.

During the exit briefing on January 4, 2002, Mr. Robert A. Brown of my staff informed you that the NRC was considering escalated enforcement action for three apparent violations involving the failure to: (1) control and maintain constant surveillance of licensed material that was in a controlled or unrestricted area and that was not in storage, (2) lock a camera at a temporary jobsite, and (3) ensure that radiographic operations were observed by two qualified individuals. Additionally, you were informed that NRC believed it had sufficient information regarding the apparent violations and your corrective actions to make an enforcement decision without the need for a predecisional enforcement conference. You indicated that Longview Inspection, Inc. did not believe that a predecisional enforcement conference or written response was needed.

Therefore, based on the information developed during the inspection, the NRC has determined that three violations of NRC requirements occurred. The violations are described in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice), and the circumstances surrounding them are described in detail in the subject report. As discussed above, the violations involved the failure to control and maintain surveillance of licensed material, failure to lock a radiographic exposure device, and failure to ensure that radiographic operations were observed by two qualified individuals.

The violations are of concern because the failure to comply with these requirements could have resulted in significant health and safety consequences to the individuals involved and members of the public. Therefore, these violations have been categorized in accordance with the General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, dated May 1, 2000, at Severity Level III. Please note that the failure to maintain surveillance of, and lock, a radiographic exposure device have been treated together as a Severity Level III problem.

Discussions with you and members of your staff prior to the telephonic exit briefing indicated that Longview Inspection, Inc. had instituted immediate corrective actions to address the violations identified during this inspection. Specifically, as described in the enclosed inspection report, your corrective actions included: (1) removal of the personnel involved from the temporary jobsite followed by their prompt completion of refresher training and retesting on applicable regulations and operating and emergency procedures, (2) issuance of a corporate radiation safety officer's (RSO's) directive to all staff regarding the apparent violations, (3) a division manager's audit of other personnel at the Jackson, Michigan, temporary jobsite to verify compliance with regulations and operating and emergency procedures, (4) issuance of a Midwest Regional RSO letter to all midwest regional staff to obtain acknowledgment that they understood and complied with applicable requirements, and (5) plans to audit all radiography staff.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a civil penalty with a base value of $6,000.00 is considered for a Severity Level III violation or problem. Because Longview Inspection, Inc. has not been the subject of escalated enforcement action, 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 credit is warranted. 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 and problem constitutes escalated enforcement action that may subject you to increased inspection.

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reasons for the violation and problem, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violation and problem 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.

Sincerely,

/RA/

Ellis W. Merschoff
Regional Administrator

Docket No.: 030-34780
License No.: 42-27593-01

Enclosure: Notice of Violation

cc w/Enclosure: Texas Radiation Control Program Director


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Longview Inspection, Inc.
Houston, Texas
Docket No. 030-34780
License No. 42-27593-01
EA-01-267
EA-01-281

During an NRC inspection conducted on October 9, 2001, three 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 20.1802 requires, that the licensee control and maintain constant surveillance of licensed material that is in a controlled or unrestricted area and that is not in storage. As defined in 10 CFR 20.1003, controlled area means an area, outside of a restricted area but inside the site boundary, access to which can be limited by the licensee for any reason; and, unrestricted area means an area, access to which is neither limited nor controlled by the licensee.

10 CFR 34.23(a) requires, that a camera or its container be locked when at a temporary jobsite and not under the direct surveillance of a radiographer or a radiographer's assistant.

Contrary to the above, on October 9, 2001, the licensee did not control and maintain constant surveillance of a radiography camera containing 133 curies of iridium-192 located at a temporary jobsite, which was an unrestricted area. In addition, a camera was left unlocked and unattended at a temporary jobsite and it was not under the direct surveillance of a radiographer or radiographer's assistant.

These violations represent a Severity Level III problem (Supplements IV and VI).

B. 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.

Contrary to the above, on October 9, 2001, the additional qualified individual did not observe the radiography operations.

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

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 030-34780/2001-003. 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.

Dated this 18th day of January 2002

 

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