United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-03-002 - Delta Consulting Engineers, Inc.

January 13, 2003

EA-03-002

Delta Consulting Engineers, Inc.
ATTN: Mr. Carlos Sousa
           Safety Director and Radiation Safety Officer
Tren Urbano Office
PMC Suite 504, Calle Tabonuco B-2
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico 00968-3004

SUBJECT: NOTICE OF VIOLATION (NRC INSPECTION REPORT NO. 52-25415-01/02-01)

Dear Mr. Sousa:

This refers to the inspection conducted by this office on December 3, 2002, at your Guaynabo, Puerto Rico facility. The purpose of the inspection was to determine whether licensed activities were being conducted safely and in accordance with NRC requirements. The results of the inspection, including the identification of one apparent violation, was transmitted to you by letter dated December 31, 2002. A final, telephonic exit briefing was held with you on January 9, 2003. During the telephonic briefing, you were informed that the NRC was considering escalated enforcement action for the apparent violation involving Delta Consulting Engineers' failure to maintain security and control of licensed byproduct material as required by 10 CFR 20.1801 and 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 January 9, 2003, that you did not believe that a predecisional enforcement conference or written response was necessary prior to the NRC's enforcement decision.

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 is described in the subject inspection report. The violation involved Delta Consulting Engineers' failure to control and maintain constant surveillance of a Troxler Model No. 3430 portable moisture density gauge containing approximately 9 millicuries (mCi) of Cesium-137 and 44 mCi of Americium-241. Specifically, on December 3, 2002, the NRC observed that the door to the storage room containing the gauge (located at the temporary job site across from your facility) was left open and unattended. The NRC observed that no Delta Consulting Engineers' personnel were present in the immediate area to preclude unauthorized removal or access to the licensed materials. Based on your review of the circumstances, you were unable to determine the cause of the violation.

The failure to maintain security and control of the licensed byproduct material did not result in any actual safety consequences. However, the potential existed for unauthorized removal or access to the material, which could result in a radiological hazard to members of the public or Delta Consulting Engineers' employees. 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 included the immediate securing of the storage room containing the gauge and plans to conduct additional training of gauge users on the need to properly secure and control licensed material. In addition, you indicated during the telephone exit of January 9, 2003, that you would conduct audits of the security of the gauge during your weekly visits to the temporary job site. 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 violation and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance was achieved is adequately addressed on the docket in 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 enclosure, and 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).

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Douglas M. Collins, Director, Division of Nuclear Materials Safety, at 404-562-4700.

Sincerely,

  /RA/

  Luis A. Reyes
Regional Administrator

Docket No. 030-34587
License No. 52-25415-01

Enclosure: Notice of Violation

cc w/ encl:  Commonwealth of Puerto Rico


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Delta Consulting Engineers, Inc.
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
  Docket No. 030-34587
License No. 52-25415-01
EA-03-002

During an NRC inspection conducted on December 3, 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 20.1801 states that the licensee shall secure from unauthorized removal or access licensed materials that are stored in controlled or unrestricted areas.
10 CFR 20.1802 states that the licensee shall control and maintain constant surveillance of licensed material that is in a controlled or unrestricted area and that is not in storage.
Contrary to the above, on December 3, 2002, a portable moisture-density gauge containing approximately 9 millicuries (mCi) of Cesium-137 and 44 mCi of Americium-241 was left unsecured at the licensee's storage area in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, an unrestricted area. In addition, the licensee did not maintain constant surveillance over the unlocked portable gauge storage area.
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 13th day of January 2003

 

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