United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-02-054 - Jacobs Pan American Corporation

June 12, 2002

EA-02-054
EA-02-055

NMED No. 010143

Jacobs Pan American Corporation
ATTN: Jim Woodard
Regional Manager QA/QC
5995 Rogerdale Road
Houston, TX 77072

SUBJECT:   NOTICE OF VIOLATION (NRC INSPECTION REPORT NO. 55-25502-01/01-01 AND NRC OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS REPORT NO. 2-2001-002)

Dear Mr. Woodard:

This is in reference to inspections at your St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands facility conducted during February through May, 2001, as described in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Inspection Report No. 55-25502-01/01-01, dated June 13, 2001. The purpose of the inspections was to determine whether activities authorized by your license were conducted safely and in accordance with NRC requirements. During the inspection, the NRC became aware of an extremity overexposure that occurred to a Jacobs Pan American Corporation (JPAC) radiographer on January 13, 2001, during his conduct of radiographic activities. The results of the inspection, including six apparent violations, were discussed and forwarded to JPAC by letter dated April 19, 2002. The NRC also conducted an investigation to review certain aspects of the event. The investigation was completed on April 4, 2002, and the results were also forwarded to you in our April 19, 2002, letter.

The NRC's April 19th letter provided you the opportunity to either respond to the apparent violations in writing or request a predecisional enforcement conference. The NRC confirmed your desire not to attend a predecisional enforcement conference, and by letter dated May 16, 2002, you provided JPAC's response to the apparent violations and addressed the causes. We have reviewed your response and conclude 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 you provided in your response to our April 19th letter, the NRC has determined that multiple violations of NRC requirements occurred. These violations are cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice), and the circumstances surrounding them are described in detail in the subject inspection report. Violation (A) involves the failure to limit the extremity exposure of an occupational worker to less than 50 Rem per year, as required by 10 CFR 20.1201(a)(2)(ii). Violation (A) occurred during the conduct of radiographic activities when the radiography source (40 Curies of Iridium-192) was discovered to be in the guide tube and not in the shielded position within a camera used to conduct radiographic activities. Additional violations were associated with this incident, including: Violation (B), the failure to perform an adequate evaluation of potential whole body and extremity exposures as required by 10 CFR 20.1501; Violation (C), the failure to prepare a report after a self reading dosimeter went off scale in accordance with 10 CFR 34.47(d) and 10 CFR 34.83; Violation (D), failure to survey the camera and the guide-tube at the end of a radiographic exposure as required by 10 CFR 34.49(b); and Violation (E), failure to ensure the camera was locked at the end of a radiographic exposure as required by Condition 19 of NRC License No. 55-25502-01 and Item 4.2.10 of Section 5 of the license application. An additional safety significant violation (F) was observed on February 12, 2001, during the NRC inspection. This violation was unrelated to the extremity overexposure event, and involved the failure to secure, limit access to, or maintain constant surveillance of 59 curies of Iridium-192 in a radiographiy exposure device (camera).

The amount of exposure you reported as a result of the overexposure event was not significantly greater than the NRC's extremity radiation exposure limit, which was established to provide a conservative threshold to ensure public safety. However, the NRC considers this overexposure event to be significant because the potential existed for a much greater radiation exposure under different circumstances. Based on the fact that Violations (B) through (E) are related to the overexposure event, the NRC has concluded that these violations should be cited as one Severity Level III problem, in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedures for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600.

Violation (F) resulted from the failure to adequately secure a radiographic camera, and was unrelated to the extremity overexposure incident. On February 12, 2001, the NRC observed that a radiographic camera containing 59 curies of Iridium-192 was located in the bed of a pick-up truck in front of the JPAC's office trailer (an unrestricted area). Controls were not in place to limit access to or properly secure the camera. Based on the amount of the licensed material inside the camera, i.e., significantly greater than 10 CFR Part 20, Appendix C quantities, the potential for unauthorized access to the material is of concern to the NRC because significant exposures could result if the material was improperly handled by unauthorized and/or untrained individuals. Therefore, in accordance with the Enforcement Policy, NUREG-1600, this violation is characterized as a Severity Level III violation.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $3,000 is considered for each Severity Level III violation or problem. Because JPAC 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. The NRC documented certain corrective actions planned or completed by JPAC in response to the incident in a Confirmatory Action Letter (CAL) dated February 22, 2001. JPAC documented additional corrective actions in response to the NRC's CAL by letters dated March 7, March 22, and May 11, 2001. The NRC concluded that these corrective actions adequately addressed the violations in the enclosed Notice. Finally, JPAC's letter of April 19, 2002, documented its intent not to conduct industrial radiography in areas of NRC jurisdiction, and its intent to request the NRC to terminate License No. 55-25502-01. Based on the above and JPAC's intent to submit a request to terminate its NRC license, the NRC concluded that your actions were sufficient to warrant credit 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. Issuance of this Notice constitutes escalated enforcement action, that may subject you to increased inspection effort.

As stated in our April 19th letter, Inspection Report No. 55-25502-01/01-01 documented the NRC's identification of six additional apparent violations, which were not considered for escalated enforcement. Based on our review, the NRC has determined that these issues constitute violations of regulatory requirements. These violations are cited in the enclosed Notice (Violations G through L) , and are characterized at Severity Level IV based on their low safety significance.

Your letter of April 19, 2002, documented your intent to request the NRC to terminate JPAC's NRC license. Upon receipt of a written request from JPAC, the NRC will initiate actions to terminate the license. Should JPAC request the termination of its NRC license, no response to the violations contained in the Notice is required, in that the NRC considers the license termination and other actions taken in response to this incident to be sufficient corrective action. However, should JPAC choose not to terminate its NRC licensee, you are required to respond to this letter and should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice when preparing your response. The NRC will use your response, in part, to determine whether further enforcement action such as an Order to modify or terminate your license is necessary to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. In addition, based on your responses of March 7 and 22 and May 11, 2001, to our CAL dated February 22, 2001, and the results of our inspections in April and May, 2001, the CAL is closed.

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,

  Bruce Mallett for

  Luis A. Reyes
Regional Administrator

Docket No. 030-35287
License No. 55-25502-01

Enclosure: Notice of Violation

cc w/ encl:  United States Virgin Islands


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Jacobs Pan American Corporation
Houston, TX
  Docket No. 030-35287
License No. 55-25502-01
EA-02-054
EA-02-055

During an NRC inspection conducted from February through May, 2001, and an investigation by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Office of Investigations (OI) completed on April 4, 2002, 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 20.1201(a)(2)(ii) requires, with exceptions not applicable here, that the licensee control the occupational dose to any extremity of individual adults to an annual dose limit of 50 rems shallow-dose equivalent.

Contrary to the above, the licensee did not limit the annual dose to the extremity of an adult assistant radiographer to 50 rems shallow-dose equivalent. Specifically, the individual received approximately 80 rems shallow-dose equivalent to the hands as the result of an event on January 13, 2001 during which licensee personnel failed to retract a radiography source to the fully-shielded position in the camera at the end of a radiographic exposure.

B.   10 CFR 20.1501 requires that each licensee make or cause to be made surveys that may be necessary for the licensee to comply with the regulations in Part 20 and that are reasonable under the circumstances to evaluate the extent of radiation levels, concentrations or quantities of radioactive materials, and the potential radiological hazards that could be present.

Pursuant to 10 CFR 20.1003, survey means an evaluation of the radiological conditions and potential hazards incident to the production, use, transfer, release, disposal, or presence of radioactive material or other sources of radiation.

Contrary to the above, as of February 22, 2001, the licensee did not make surveys to assure compliance with 10 CFR 20.1201(a)(2)(ii), which limits radiation exposure to the occupational dose to any extremity of individual adults to an annual dose limit of 50 rems shallow-dose equivalent. Specifically, the licensee's initial dose estimate prepared after the January 13, 2001 event was not adequate in that the estimate determined the maximum dose to the hand of the assistant radiographer was about 700 - 800 mRems.

C.   10 CFR 34.47(d) requires, in part, that if an individual's pocket chamber is found to be off-scale, that a determination be made of the individual's radiation exposure by the RSO or the RSO's designee and that the results of this determination must be included in the records maintained in accordance with 10 CFR 34.83.

10 CFR 34.83 requires, in part, that the licensee maintain records of estimates of exposures as a result of off-scale personal direct reading dosimeters.

Contrary to the above, as of February 22, 2001, the licensee did not make a determination or maintain a record of the individual's radiation exposure after the individual's personal direct reading dosimeters went off-scale.

D. 10 CFR 34.49(b) requires, in part, that the licensee, using a survey instrument, conduct a survey of the radiographic exposure device and the guide tube after each exposure when approaching the device or the guide tube. The survey must determine that the sealed source has returned to its shielded position before exchanging films, repositioning the exposure head, or dismantling equipment.

Contrary to the above, during a radiography operation on January 13, 2001, licensee personnel failed to conduct a survey of the radiographic exposure device and the guide tube when approaching the device or the guide tube at the end of an exposure.

E.   10 CFR 34.23(a) requires, in part, that during radiographic operations the sealed source assembly must be secured in the shielded position each time the source is returned to that position.

Condition 19 of NRC License No. 55-25502-01 requires, in part, that the licensee conduct its program in accordance with the statements, representations, and procedures contained in the documents contained in the license application dated December 3, 1999. Item 4.2.10 of Section 5 of the application states, in part, that at the end of a radiographic exposure, radiography personnel will approach the camera carefully and ensure that the red/green indicator on the camera lock indicates that the source has returned to the fully shielded position.

Contrary to the above, during a radiography operation on January 13, 2001, licensee personnel failed to ensure that the sealed source assembly was secured in the shielded position each time the source was returned to that position. Specifically, licensee personnel did not ensure that the red/green indicator on the camera lock indicated that the source has returned to the fully shielded position, indicating that the source had returned to the fully shielded position.

This is a Severity Level III problem (Supplement VI)

F.   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 February 12, 2001, the licensee did not secure from unauthorized removal, or limit access to, 59 curies of iridium 192 contained in a radiographic exposure device located in the bed of a pick-up truck in front of the licensee's office trailer, which is an unrestricted area, nor did the licensee control and maintain constant surveillance of this licensed material.

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

G.   10 CFR 34.31(a) requires, in part, that the licensee perform visual and operability checks on radiographic exposure devices and associated equipment before use on each day the equipment is to be used to ensure that the equipment is in good working condition.

License Condition No. 19 requires, in part, that the licensee conduct its program in accordance with the statements, representations, and procedures contained in the application dated December 3, 1999. Appendix A of the application "Operations and Maintenance Manual for Exposure Devices" describes, in part, the licensee's specific procedures for performing daily and quarterly inspections of radiography cameras and associated equipment. Section 5.2 of Appendix A describes the procedures for performing daily inspections of radiography cameras and associated equipment and states radiographers must check for wear in radiography system components using a "GO-NO GO" gauge.

Contrary to the above, as of February 15, 2001, daily visual and operability checks on radiographic exposure devices and associated equipment were not performed in accordance with licensee procedures. Specifically, radiography system components were not checked for wear using a "GO - NO GO" gauge.

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

H.   10 CFR 34.43(c)(3) states, in part, that the licensee may not permit any individual to act as a radiographer's assistant until the individual has demonstrated understanding of the instructions provided under 10 CFR 34.43 (c)(1) by successfully completing a written test on the subjects covered.

Contrary to the above, as February 13, 2001, the licensee permitted an individual to act as a radiographer's assistant without that individual demonstrating an understanding of the instructions provided under 10 CFR 34.43 (c)(1) by successfully completing a written test on the subjects covered. Specifically, the licensee did not grade a written test completed by an assistant radiographer on November 15, 2000. On 14 occasions subsequent to completing the test, the individual was permitted by the licensee to work as an assistant radiographer. In addition, when the test was graded by the NRC inspector using the licensee's grading key on February 15, 2001, it was found that the individual had failed the written test.

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

I.   10 CFR 34.43(e)(1) requires that the licensee implement a program for inspecting the job performance of each radiographer and radiographer's assistant to ensure that the Commission's regulations, license requirements, and the applicant's operating and emergency procedures are followed. This program must include observation of the performance of each radiographer and radiographer's assistant during an actual industrial radiographic operation, at intervals not to exceed six months.

Contrary to the above, as of February 15, 2001, the licensee did not implement a program for inspecting the job performance of each radiographer and radiographer's assistant every six months. Specifically, the performance of three individuals working as radiographers or assistant radiographers, including the RSO and the ARSO, was not observed during an actual industrial radiographic operation at the required six-month interval.

This is a Severity Level IV violation (Supplement VI)

J.   10 CFR 34.43(e)(2) requires that a licensee develop and implement procedures that provide that, if a radiographer or a radiographer's assistant has not participated in an industrial radiographic operation for more than six months since the last inspection, the radiographer must demonstrate knowledge of the training requirements of §34.43(b)(3) and the radiographer's assistant must re-demonstrate knowledge of the training requirements of §34.43(c)(2) by a practical examination before these individuals can next participate in a radiographic operation.

Contrary to the above, as of February 15, 2001, the licensee did not implement procedures to ensure that, if radiographic personnel had not participated in an industrial radiographic operation for more than six months since the last inspection, that individual must demonstrate knowledge of the training requirements of 10 CFR 34.43 by a practical examination before these individuals can next participate in a radiographic operation.

This is a Severity Level IV violation (Supplement VI)

K.   10 CFR 34.79(a) require that each licensee maintain records (of training and certification) for three years after the record is made including records of training of each radiographer and each radiographer's assistant. 10 CFR 34.79(b) further requires that each licensee maintain records of annual refresher safety training and semi-annual inspections of job performance for each radiographer and each radiographer's assistant.

Contrary to above, as of February 15, 2001, the licensee did not maintain complete training records for radiography personnel. Specifically, records documenting the training, observation or practical examination of nine individuals working either as radiographers or assistant radiographers were not available during the inspection.

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

L.   10 CFR 34.101 requires, in part, that the licensee provide a written report to the NRC within 30 days of an event where the radiography source assembly could not be retracted to its fully shielded position and secured in this position.

Contrary to the above, as of February 15, 2001, the licensee had not provided a written report to the NRC on the January 13, 2001 event during which a radiography source assembly could not be retracted to its fully shielded position and secured in this position.

This is a Severity Level IV 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 the NRC's Confirmatory Action Letter (CAL) dated February 22, 2001, JPAC's response to the NRC's CAL of March 7, March 22, and May 11, 2001, and JPAC's letter of April 19, 2002. In addition, JPAC's letter of April 19, 2002, documented its intent not to conduct industrial radiography in areas of NRC jurisdiction, and its intent to request termination of NRC License 55-25502-01. Upon receipt of a written request from JPAC and the NRC's completion of actions to terminate the license, no response to the violations contained in the Notice is required. 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.

Should JPAC choose not to request termination of its NRC licensee, pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, JPAC is hereby required to submit a written statement or explanation 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 of Violation (Notice). This reply should be clearly marked as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation" and should include for each violation: (1) the reason for the violation, or, if contested, the basis for disputing the violation or severity level, (2) the corrective steps that have been taken and the results achieved, (3) the corrective steps that will be taken to avoid further violations, and (4) the date when full compliance will be achieved. Your response may reference or include previously docketed correspondence, if the correspondence adequately addresses the required response. If an adequate reply is not received within the time specified in this Notice, an order or a Demand for Information may be issued as to why the license should not be modified, suspended, or revoked, or why such other action as may be proper should not be taken. Where good cause is shown, consideration will be given to extending the response time.

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 12th day of June 2002

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