United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-02-029 - Inspection Testing, LLC

April 16, 2002

EA-02-029

Mr. Michael Gallegos, Production Manager
Inspec Testing, LLC.
1440 Harding Avenue, Suite B
National City, California 91950

SUJBECT:   NOTICE OF VIOLATION (NRC INSPECTION REPORT 150-00004/2001-003 AND NRC INVESTIGATION REPORT 4-2001-050)

Dear Mr. Gallegos:

This refers to the inspection conducted by this office and the investigation conducted by the NRC's Region IV Office of Investigations (OI) involving NRC regulated activities conducted from your National City, California, office. The inspection was conducted on June 21, 2001. The investigation was completed on January 31, 2002. The purpose of the inspection and investigation was to review industrial radiography operations of Inspec Testing, LLC. (IT) while conducting licensed activities onboard the U.S. Navy vessel, USS Dubuque, an area of exclusive Federal jurisdiction. A final telephonic exit briefing was held with you and your staff on March 11, 2002. The enclosed report presents the results of this inspection and investigation.

During the telephonic exit briefing on March 11, 2002, you were informed that the NRC was considering escalated enforcement action for an apparent violation of 10 CFR 34.41(a). This violation involved the performance of radiographic operations at a temporary jobsite by a radiographer without being accompanied by at least one other qualified radiographer or radiographer's assistant. Additionally, you were informed that NRC believed it had sufficient information regarding the apparent violation and your corrective actions to make an enforcement decision without the need for a predecisional enforcement conference. You indicated that IT did not believe that a predecisional enforcement conference or written response was needed.

Therefore, based on the information developed during the investigation and inspection, the NRC has determined that a violation of NRC requirements occurred. The violation is described in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice), and involves a failure to comply with the requirements of 10 CFR 34.41(a), the "two-man rule." This violation is of particular concern because the failure to have two qualified radiography personnel available while conducting radiographic operations could result in safety consequences if the second, untrained individual were not capable of providing immediate assistance to prevent unauthorized entry. 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 civil penalty with a base value of $6,000 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Because your facility 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. This violation was the result of IT not understanding the NRC's regulation. Once IT was informed of what this requirement entailed, IT immediately committed to comply with this rule for all future work in NRC jurisdiction. Based on IT's prompt actions to address the violation, the NRC has determined that your corrective actions warrant credit.

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, 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 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 any response you choose to submit 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, your response (if any) should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be made available to the Public without redaction.

Sincerely,

/RA/

Ellis W. Merschoff
Regional Administrator

Docket No.: 150-00004
License No.: 10 CFR 150.20

Enclosure:  Notice of Violation

cc:  California Radiation Control Program Director


ENCLOSURE 1

NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Inspec Testing, LLC.
National City, California
Docket No. 150-00004
License No. 10 CFR 150.20
EA-02-029

During an NRC inspection completed on March 11, 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 34.41(a) requires, in part, that when industrial 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 met, at a minimum, 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. Radiography may not be performed if only one qualified individual is present.
Contrary to the above, between January 15-17, 2000, the licensee conducted radiography onboard the U.S. Navy vessel, USS Dubuque, a location other than a permanent radiographic installation, and the radiographer was not accompanied by at least one other qualified radiographer, or individual who met the training requirements of 10 CFR 34.43(c).
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 enclosed report. 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). To the extent possible, the response (if any) should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be made available to the Public without redaction.

Dated this 16th day of April 2002

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