United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-02-241 - Zannino Engineering, Inc.

November 20, 2002

EA-02-214

Zannino Engineering, Inc.
ATTN: Thomas L. Zannino
              President, Radiation Safety Officer
1650-A Mountain Road
Richmond, Virginia 23060

SUBJECT: NRC INSPECTION REPORT NO. 45-25176-01/02-01 AND NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Dear Mr. Zannino:

This refers to the inspection conducted by this office on October 24, 2002, at your facility located in Richmond, Virginia. In addition, a field inspection was conducted at a temporary jobsite located at the Richmond International Airport, 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 you at the completion of the inspection. A final telephone exit briefing was held with you on November 6 , 2002. During the telephone exit briefing, you were informed that the NRC was considering escalated enforcement action for an apparent violation involving Zannino Engineering, Inc.'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 Zannino Engineering, Inc.'s failure to control and maintain constant surveillance of licensed byproduct material. Specifically, the violation occurred at 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, the radiation safety officer (RSO) was able to place the shielding plate back over the source 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 you during the preliminary exit interview of October 24, 2002, included the taking of immediate actions to secure the job site and retrieve the byproduct material, the RSO's immediate actions to place the detached shielding plate back over the source, 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.

An additional violation (Violation B) was identified during the NRC's inspection and involved Zannino Engineering, Inc.'s failure to notify the NRC within 24 hours after the discovery of the above referenced event during which equipment was disabled or failed to function as designed. Violation B has been characterized at Severity Level IV in accordance with the Enforcement Policy because of the low safety significance associated with the event and the fact that it occurred approximately two years ago. The event was revealed to the NRC during the inspection. During the final telephone exit briefing held on November 6, 2002, you stated that corrective actions to prevent recurrence of this violation included retraining of staff on NRC reporting requirements through issuance of a memo to each gauge user and adding a section to the Quality Assurance Manual reiterating the NRC regulatory requirement for reporting events involving damage to a device that is disabled or fails to function as designed. These corrective actions were further reiterated in your letter to the NRC dated November 14, 2002.

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reasons 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 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 choose 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. 030-32557
License No. 45-25176-01

Enclosure: Notice of Violation


cc w/ encls: Commonwealth of Virginia


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Zannino Engineering, Inc.
Richmond, Virginia
Docket No. 030-32557
License No. 45-25176-01
EA-02-214

During an NRC inspection conducted on October 24, 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; an unrestricted area means an area, access to which is neither limited nor controlled by the licensee.

Contrary to the above, on November 2, 2000, the licensee failed to control and maintain constant surveillance of licensed material in use at a temporary job site in Richmond, Virginia. 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 approximately 50 feet away from the gauge, and the gauge was subsequently damaged by the construction equipment.

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

B.   10 CFR 30.50(b)(2) states, in part, that each licensee shall notify the NRC within 24 hours after the discovery of an event in which equipment is disabled or fails to function as designed.

Contrary to the above, from November 3, 2000 to October 24, 2002, the licensee failed to notify the NRC within 24 hours after the discovery of the November 2, 2000 event during which equipment was disabled and failed to function as designed. Specifically, the device was damaged and the shielding plate became completely detached from the gauge and failed to function as designed.

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

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reasons 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 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 20th day of November 2002

 

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012