United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-02-020 - H.C. NUTTING COMPANY

April 2, 2002

EA-02-020

Robert Scott III
President
H.C. Nutting
611 Lunken Park Drive
Cincinnati, Ohio 45226

SUBJECT:   NOTICE OF VIOLATION NRC INSPECTION REPORTS NOS. 03035075/2001-001(DNMS); 03035075/2002-001(DNMS) - H.C. NUTTING COMPANY

Dear Mr. Scott:

This refers to the routine inspections conducted from December 12, 2001 through January 22, 2002, at H.C. Nutting Company offices in Charleston, West Virginia and Lawrenceburg, Indiana. The purpose of the inspections was to determine whether activities authorized by the license were conducted safely and in compliance with NRC requirements. As described in the inspection reports sent to you on February 20, 2002, an apparent violation of NRC requirements was identified involving the failure to secure from unauthorized access or maintain constant surveillance of licensed material.

In the letter transmitting the inspection report, we provided you the opportunity to address the apparent violation identified in the report by either attending a predecisional enforcement conference or providing a written response before we made our final enforcement decision. In a letter dated March 13, 2002, you provided a response to the apparent violation. In a telephone conversation on March 28, 2002, with Mr. Christopher Martin of my staff, your Radiation Safety Officer, Mr. W. Becker, indicated that all corrective actions were completed by March 13, 2002.

Based on the information developed during the inspection and the information that you provided in your response, dated March 13, 2002, 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 below and in detail in the subject inspection reports. During the inspection at the Charleston field office, a violation was identified when an individual left 13 moisture-density gauges unattended and unsecured from unauthorized access for about 30 minutes. One gauge was left on a work bench with neither the storage case nor gauge locked, and 12 additional gauges were left unattended in the unlocked storage room.

Although the violation did not result in any actual safety consequences, the failure to adequately secure or maintain constant surveillance of licensed material is a significant safety issue. Implementation of adequate security measures is intended to prevent: (1) the loss or theft of licensed material; and (2) members of the public from being unknowingly and unnecessarily exposed to radiation. 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 base civil penalty in the amount of $3000 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Because your facility has not been the subject of escalated enforcement actions within the last two 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. Credit was warranted for corrective actions that included: (1) promptly securing the gauges from unauthorized access; (2) discussing gauge security with the authorized gauge user involved in the security lapse; (3) conducting a meeting with all authorized gauge users to reinforce the need to maintain security of licensed materials; and (4) posting notices at the entrance to gauge storage and use areas reminding individuals of their responsibility for the security of gauges.

Therefore, to encourage prompt and comprehensive correction of violations, and in recognition of the absence of recent 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, 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 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, Inspection Reports 03035075/2001; 03035705/2002, and your March 13, 2002, 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 and its enclosure 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/

J. E. Dyer
Regional Administrator

Docket No. 030-35075
License No. 34-18882-02

Enclosure: Notice of Violation


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

H.C. Nutting Company
Cincinnati, Ohio
Docket No. 030-35075
License No. 34-18882-02
EA-02-020

During an NRC inspection conducted from December 12, 2001 through January 22, 2002, 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 20.1801 requires that the licensee secure from unauthorized removal or access licensed materials that are stored in controlled or unrestricted areas. 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.

Contrary to the above, on December 12, 2001, the licensee did not secure from unauthorized removal or limit the access to 13 Troxler Series 3400 moisture density gauges each containing a nominal 10 millicuries of cesium-137 and a nominal 50 millicuries of americium-241 located in the licensee's Charleston, West Virginia, facility maintenance area, a controlled area, nor did the licensee control or maintain constant surveillance of this licensed material.

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

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 Inspection Reports 03035075/2001; 03035075/2002-001, a letter from the licensee, dated March 13, 2002, and in the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation. However, H.C. Nutting Company is 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 20555-0001 with a copy to the Regional Administrator, Region III, 801 Warrenville Road, Lisle, IL 60532-4351, 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.

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

Dated this 2nd day of April 2002.

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