United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-02-161 - Adams Construction Company

August 14, 2002

EA-02-161

Adams Construction Company
ATTN: Mr. Ron R. Robson
             Safety Director
P.O. Box 12627
Roanoke, Virginia 24027

SUBJECT: NOTICE OF VIOLATION (NRC INSPECTION REPORT NO. 45-17887-01/02-01)

Dear Mr. Robson:

This refers to the inspection conducted by this office on July 11, 2002, at your facilities located in South Boston and Roanoke, Virginia. The enclosed report presents the results of the inspection. The inspection was an examination of activities as they relate to safety and compliance with the Commission's rules and regulations and with the conditions of your license. Within those areas, the inspection consisted of selected examination of procedures and representative records, and interviews with personnel. A preliminary exit briefing was held with you and other members of your staff at the completion of the inspection. A final, telephonic exit briefing was held with you on August 8, 2002. During the telephonic briefing, you were informed that the NRC was considering escalated enforcement action for an apparent violation involving Adams Construction Company's (ACC) failure to maintain security and control of licensed byproduct material as required by 10 CFR 20.1802. Additionally, you were informed that the NRC had sufficient information regarding the apparent violation and your corrective actions to make an enforcement decision without the need for a predecisional enforcement conference or a written response from you. You indicated during the telephone conversation of August 8, 2002, that ACC did not believe that a predecisional enforcement conference or written response was necessary prior to taking enforcement action.

Therefore, based on the information developed during the inspection, the NRC has determined that two violations of NRC requirements occurred. The violations are described in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice), and the circumstances surrounding them are described in the subject inspection report. Violation A involved ACC's failure to control and maintain constant surveillance of licensed byproduct material. Specifically, the violation occurred during an event at the William M. Tuck Airport in South Boston, Virginia, a temporary job site, when the gauge was damaged by construction equipment. The cause of the event was attributed, in part, to a momentary lapse in the control of the gauge by the certified gauge operator. The failure to secure the gauge did not result in any actual safety consequences since the licensed material was still intact within the shielding and there was no radiation release or contamination. Nonetheless, the failure to maintain appropriate control of licensed material, which resulted in its being damaged by construction equipment, created the potential for unnecessary radiation exposure. Therefore, this violation has been categorized in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" NUREG-1600, (Enforcement Policy) at Severity Level III.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a civil penalty with a base value of $3,000 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Because your facility has not been the subject of escalated enforcement action since the last two NRC inspections or 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. The corrective actions described by you during the preliminary exit interview of July 11, 2002, included the taking of immediate actions to secure the job site and retrieve the byproduct material, retraining of staff on the importance and practice of controlling and maintaining surveillance of licensed material, and instructions to all project superintendents and equipment operators regarding the need to maintain surveillance of portable gauging devices in use. Based on this, the NRC has determined that credit was warranted for corrective actions.

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, to propose that no civil penalty be assessed 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 constitutes escalated enforcement action that may subject you to increased inspection effort.

An additional violation (Violation B) was identified during the NRC's inspection and involved ACC's failure to use (store) licensed material at a storage location listed on the license or at a temporary job site, as required by License Condition 10 of the ACC license. The licensed material was a sealed source in a portable gauging device that contained approximately 8 millicuries of Cesium 137. During the NRC inspection, the inspector observed that the portable gauge was stored at an asphalt plant in South Boston, Virginia. This location was not listed on the license, and was not a temporary job site. Violation B has been characterized at Severity Level IV in accordance with the Enforcement Policy because of the low safety significance, in that the actual storage location provided an acceptable level of control.

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 is necessary to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter, its enclosures, and your response will be 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 should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be made available to the Public without redaction.

If you have any questions about this inspection, please contact Mr. Douglas Collins, Director, Division of Nuclear Materials Safety, at (404) 562-4700.

Sincerely,

  /RA/

  Luis A. Reyes
Regional Administrator

Docket No. 030-13589
License No. 45-17887-01

Enclosures:
1. Notice of Violation
2. Inspection Report No. 45-17887-01/02-01

cc w/ encls:
Commonwealth of Virginia


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Adams Construction Company
Roanoke, Virginia
  Docket No. 030-13589
License No. 45-17887-01
EA-02-161

During an NRC inspection conducted on July 11, 2002, violations of NRC requirements were identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions - May 1, 2000," NUREG-1600, (Enforcement Policy), 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.

Contrary to the above, on July 1, 2002, the licensee failed to maintain control and constant surveillance of licensed material in use at a temporary job site, William M. Tuck Airport in South Boston, Virginia, an unrestricted area. Specifically, a gauge operator set a portable gauge, containing 8 millicuries of cesium-137, next to construction equipment and it was subsequently damaged by the construction equipment.

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

B.   Condition 10 of NRC License No. 45-17887-01, states that licensed material may be used at the licensee's facilities at 7315 Wood Haven Road and Rocky Dale Quarry, Old Rocky Mount Road, Roanoke, Virginia; and at temporary job sites of the licensee anywhere in the United States where the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission maintains jurisdiction for regulating the use of licensed material.

Contrary to the above, as of July 11, 2002, the licensee had been using portable gauges containing licensed material at several locations in Virginia that were not permitted by the license. Specifically, portable gauge operators were using gauges containing licensed material after dispatching them to work locations from the licensee's asphalt plants in South Boston and Grottoes, Virginia, which were neither the licensee's facilities listed on the license nor temporary job sites.

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

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, Adams Construction Company 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 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), 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. 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 14th day of August 2002

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