United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-02-200 - ECS, Ltd.

October 3, 2002

EA-02-200

ECS, Ltd.
ATTN: Mr. Kevin L. Parris
             Vice President, Richmond Branch Manager
2119-D North Hamilton Street
Richmond, Virginia 23230

SUBJECT: NRC INSPECTION REPORT NO. 45-25239-01/02-02 AND NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Dear Mr. Parris:

This refers to the inspection conducted by this office on September 11, 2002, at your facility located in Richmond, 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 these areas, the inspection consisted of selected examination of procedures and representative records, and interviews with personnel. A preliminary exit briefing was held with Lincoln Swineford, Radiation Safety Officer, and other members of your staff at the completion of the inspection. A final telephone exit briefing was held with you on September 27, 2002. During the telephone exit briefing, you were informed that the NRC was considering escalated enforcement action for an apparent violation involving ECS, Ltd.'s 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 exit briefing that you did not believe that a predecisional enforcement conference or written response was necessary prior to NRC taking enforcement action.

Therefore, based on the information developed during the inspection, the NRC has determined that a violation of NRC requirements occurred. The violation is described in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice), and the circumstances surrounding it are described in the subject inspection report. The violation involved ECS Ltd.'s failure to control and maintain constant surveillance of licensed byproduct material. Specifically, the violation occurred during an event at the Stony Point Fashion Mall Project in Richmond, Virginia, a temporary job site, when a portable moisture density gauge was damaged by construction equipment. The cause of the event was attributed, in part, to a momentary lapse in 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 release of radiation 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 Mr. Swineford during the preliminary exit interview of September 11, 2002, included the taking of immediate actions to secure the job site and retrieve the byproduct material, and the retraining of staff on the importance and practice of controlling and maintaining surveillance of licensed material. 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.

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violation, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violations and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance was achieved is adequately addressed on the docket in the referenced inspection report and this letter. Therefore, you are not required to respond to this letter unless the description herein 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 (should you chose to provide one) 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 M. Collins, Director, Division of Nuclear Materials Safety, at (404) 562-4700.

Sincerely,

  /RA/

  Luis A. Reyes
Regional Administrator

Docket No. 030-33097
License No. 45-25239-01

Enclosure: Notice of Violation

cc w/ encls:  Commonwealth of Virginia


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

ECS, Ltd.
Richmond, Virginia
  Docket No. 030-33097
License No. 45-25239-01
EA-02-200

During an NRC inspection conducted on September 11, 2002, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions - May 1, 2000," NUREG-1600, (Enforcement Policy), the violation is listed below:

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 24, 2002, the licensee failed to control and maintain constant surveillance of licensed material in use at a temporary job site, Stony Point Fashion Mall Project in Richmond, Virginia, an unrestricted area. Specifically, a gauge operator set a portable moisture density gauge, containing 8 millicuries (mCi) of cesium-137 and 40 mCi of americium-241, next to construction equipment, walked a short distance from the gauge, and the gauge was subsequently damaged by the construction equipment.
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 the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation (Notice). 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.

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 10th day of October 2002

 

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