United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-03-101 - Longview Inspection, Inc.

August 18, 2003

EA-03-101

Mr. Lloyd A. Gray
Director, Radiation Safety and
Environmental Compliance
Longview Inspection, Inc.
16055 Space Center Blvd., Suite 650
Houston, TX 77062

SUBJECT: NOTICE OF VIOLATION & PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTY - $6,000 (NRC INSPECTION REPORT NO. 030-34780/2003-003)

Dear Mr. Gray:

This refers to the predecisional enforcement conference between you and NRC representatives in the NRC Region IV office in Arlington, Texas on July 1, 2003. The purpose of the conference was to discuss apparent violations involving an April 11, 2003 failure to control and maintain constant surveillance of an industrial radiographic exposure device in an unrestricted area. The apparent violations and the NRC's intent to consider escalated enforcement action were discussed with you in a telephonic exit briefing on May 19, 2003. The apparent violations were described in the subject inspection report issued May 23, 2003. In particular, we noted that this incident appeared to be very similar to an incident which occurred on October 9, 2001, and resulted in the NRC issuing escalated enforcement action to Longview Inspection, Inc.(1)

At the predecisional enforcement conference, you did not contest the apparent violations, and described several corrective actions being taken by Longview Inspection, Inc. (Longview) to prevent violations of this type from recurring. These included: discussions of this incident with all Longview radiography personnel, a memo to all radiographic personnel reinforcing radiation safety requirements and requiring all personnel to sign and return the document, more frequent and unannounced audits of radiography personnel by radiation safety and management personnel, and incentives for radiographers and regional managers to assure safety requirements are followed.

Based on the information developed during the inspection and investigation, and the information that you provided during the conference, the NRC has determined that violations of NRC requirements occurred. The violations are cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice). The circumstances surrounding the violations were described in more detail in the subject inspection report. In summary, during an inspection of a temporary job site in Janesville, Wisconsin, an NRC inspector determined that Longview radiography personnel did not maintain constant surveillance of a radiographic exposure device in violation of 10 CFR 20.1802, and the device was not kept locked when not under the direct surveillance of a radiographer or a radiographer's assistant, in violation of 10 CFR 34.23(a).

The NRC considers violations involving the security of licensed radioactive material significant because of the importance of maintaining positive control of such material to prevent the possibility of tampering, theft and inadvertent exposures to members of the public. Therefore, these violations have been collectively categorized in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600 as a Severity Level III problem.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a civil penalty with a base value of $6,000 is considered for a Severity Level III problem. Because Longview has been the subject of NRC escalated enforcement action within the last 2 years, the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for both Identification and Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.C.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Since the NRC identified the violations, Longview is not deserving of Identification credit. However, based on the corrective actions discussed above, Longview is deserving of Corrective Action credit. This results in the assessment of a civil penalty at the base value.

Therefore, to emphasize the significance of maintaining direct surveillance of radioactive material, and in recognition of the fact that this lapse in surveillance was identified by the NRC, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, to issue the enclosed Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty (Notice) in the base amount of $6,000 for this Severity Level III problem.

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 enclosure, and your response will be made available electronically for public inspection in the NRC Public Document Room or from the NRC's document system (ADAMS), accessible from the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. The NRC also includes significant enforcement actions on its Web site at www.nrc.gov; select What We Do, Enforcement, then Significant Enforcement Actions.

Sincerely,

/RA/

Thomas P. Gwynn
Acting Regional Administrator

Docket No. 030-34780
License No. 42-27593-01

Enclosures:
1. Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty
2. NUREG/BR-0254 Payment Methods (Licensee only)

cc w/Enclosure 1:
Wisconsin Radiation Control Program Director
Texas Radiation Control Program Director


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
AND
PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTY

Longview Inspection, Inc.
Houston, TX
Docket No. 030-34780
License No. 42-27593-01
EA-03-101


During an NRC inspection which concluded on May 19, 2003, violations of NRC requirements were identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the NRC proposes to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Section 234 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (Act), 42 U.S.C. 2282, and 10 CFR 2.205. The particular violations and associated civil penalty are set forth 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.
10 CFR 34.23(a) requires, in part, that a radiographic exposure device camera and/or its container be kept locked when not under the direct surveillance of a radiographer or a radiographer's assistant, with exceptions that are not applicable here.
Contrary to the above, on April 11, 2003, the licensee did not control and maintain constant surveillance of licensed material that was in an unrestricted area. Specifically, licensee employees failed to maintain constant surveillance of a radiographic exposure device containing 121 curies of iridium-192 located at a temporary jobsite, which was an unrestricted area. In addition, the radiographic exposure device was left unlocked while it was not under the direct surveillance of a radiographer or a radiographer's assistant.
These violations represent a Severity Level III problem (Supplements IV and VI).
Civil Penalty - $6,000

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, Longview Inspection, Inc. (Licensee) is hereby required to submit a written statement or explanation to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, within 30 days of the date of this Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty (Notice). This reply should be clearly marked as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation; EA-03-101" and should include for each alleged violation: (1) admission or denial of the alleged violation, (2) the reasons for the violation if admitted, and if denied, the reasons why, (3) the corrective steps that have been taken and the results achieved, (4) the corrective steps that will be taken to avoid further violations, and (5) the date when full compliance will be achieved. Your response may reference or include previous 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. Consideration may be given to extending the response time for good cause shown.

Within the same time as provided for the response required above under 10 CFR 2.201, the Licensee may pay the civil penalty proposed above in accordance with NUREG/BR-0254 and by submitting to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a statement indicating when and by what method payment was made, or may protest imposition of the civil penalty in whole or in part, by a written answer addressed to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Should the Licensee fail to answer within 30 days of the date of this Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty, an order imposing the civil penalty will be issued. Should the Licensee elect to file an answer in accordance with 10 CFR 2.205 protesting the civil penalty, in whole or in part, such answer should be clearly marked as an "Answer to a Notice of Violation" and may: (1) deny the violation listed in this Notice, in whole or in part, (2) demonstrate extenuating circumstances, (3) show error in this Notice, or (4) show other reasons why the penalty should not be imposed. In addition to protesting the civil penalty in whole or in part, such answer may request remission or mitigation of the penalty.

In requesting mitigation of the proposed penalty, the factors addressed in Section VI.C.2 of the Enforcement Policy should be addressed. Any written answer in accordance with 10 CFR 2.205 should be set forth separately from the statement or explanation in reply pursuant to 10 CFR 2.201, but may incorporate parts of the 10 CFR 2.201 reply by specific reference (e.g., citing page and paragraph numbers) to avoid repetition. The attention of the Licensee is directed to the other provisions of 10 CFR 2.205, regarding the procedure for imposing a civil penalty.

Upon failure to pay any civil penalty due which subsequently has been determined in accordance with the applicable provisions of 10 CFR 2.205, this matter may be referred to the Attorney General, and the penalty, unless compromised, remitted, or mitigated, may be collected by civil action pursuant to Section 234c of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2282c.

The response noted above (Reply to Notice of Violation, statement as to payment of civil penalty, and Answer to a Notice of Violation) should be addressed to: Mr. Frank J. Congel, Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852-2738, with a copy to the Regional Administrator, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Region IV, 611 Ryan Plaza Drive, Suite 400, Arlington, Texas 76011-4005.

Because your response will be made available electronically for public inspection in the NRC Public Document Room or from the 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. 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).

In accordance with 10 CFR 19.11, you are required to post this Notice within two working days.

Dated this 18th day of August 2003


1. On January 18, 2002, the NRC issued a Severity Level III violation with no civil penalty based, in part, on a failure to maintain constant surveillance of a radiographic exposure device.

 

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