United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-03-187 - 21 st Century Technologies, Inc.

August 30, 2004

EA-03-187

Mr. Kevin Romney
President & CEO
21st Century Technologies, Inc.
2700 West Sahara Avenue
Suite 440
Las Vegas, Nevada 89102

SUBJECT: ORDER IMPOSING CIVIL MONETARY PENALTY - $6,000

Dear Mr. Romney:

This refers to the April 13, 2004, Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty (Notice) issued by the NRC, and the May 11, 2004, response from James R. Tourtellotte on behalf of 21st Century Technologies, Inc.

Our letter and Notice described four violations identified after an NRC inspection and an investigation conducted by the NRC's Office of Investigations. Two of the violations, each involving distribution of products not authorized by 21st Century's license, were classified collectively as a Severity Level III problem. To emphasize the importance of distributing to the public only those products reviewed and approved by the NRC, and the NRC's concern about 21st Century's history of non-compliance with such requirements, a civil penalty of $6,000 was proposed.(1)

21st Century's May 11 response contested the classification of the violations as a Severity Level III problem, contested the NRC's application of its civil penalty assessment process, and requested remission or mitigation of the proposed civil penalty. The letter also described 21st Century's plans to correct and prevent recurrence of the violations.

NRC gave careful consideration to your response, and has addressed your response in an Appendix attached to the enclosed Order. For the reasons given in the Appendix, the NRC is imposing the civil penalty by Order, and hereby serves the enclosed Order Imposing Civil Monetary Penalty ($6,000) on 21st Century Technologies, Inc. Within 30 days you must either: (1) pay the civil penalty in accordance with Section IV of the Order, or (2) request a hearing in accordance with Section V of the Order.

Given the history of compliance problems with 21st Century's NRC-licensed activities, we note the extensive list of corrective actions that you described in your letter, and urge you to assure continued emphasis on compliance with NRC requirements. We will review the effectiveness of your corrective actions during subsequent inspections.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.390 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. 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. 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/

Frank J. Congel, Director
Office of Enforcement

Docket Nos. 030-36567 & 030-34261
License Nos. 27-23914-01E & 42-23850-02E

Enclosures:
(1) Order Imposing Civil Monetary Penalty
(2) NUREG/BR-0254 Payment Methods (Licensee only)

cc w/ Enclosure 1:
State of Nevada Radiation Control Program Director
State of Texas Radiation Control Program Director


ENCLOSURE 1

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

In the Matter of )
)
21st Century Technologies, Inc.
Las Vegas, Nevada
) Docket No. 030-36567
Docket No. 030-34261
) License No. 27-23914-01E
) License No. 42-23850-02E
) EA-03-187

ORDER IMPOSING CIVIL MONETARY PENALTY

I

21st Century Technologies, Inc. (Licensee) is the holder of Exempt Distribution License No. 27-23914-01E, issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or Commission) on May 19, 2004.(2) The license authorizes the Licensee to distribute products containing byproduct material (i.e, tritium) in accordance with the conditions specified therein.

II

An inspection and investigation of the Licensee's activities were completed in October 2003. The results of the inspection and investigation indicated that the Licensee had not conducted its activities in full compliance with NRC requirements. A written Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty (Notice) was issued to the Licensee by letter dated April 13, 2004. The Notice stated the nature of the violations, the provisions of the NRC's requirements that the Licensee had violated, and the amount of the civil penalty proposed for the violation ($6,000).

The Licensee responded to the Notice in a letter dated May 11, 2004. In its response, the Licensee admitted the violations, provided qualifying information with respect to several of the examples, contested the classification of the violations as a Severity Level III problem, contested the NRC's application of its civil penalty assessment process, and requested remission or mitigation of the proposed civil penalty. The licensee's letter also described 21st Century's plans to correct and prevent recurrence of the violations.

III

After consideration of the Licensee's response, and for the reasons discussed in the Appendix to this Order, the NRC concludes that the severity level of the violations was appropriately determined, that the civil penalty assessment process was correctly followed, and that the licensee has not provided a basis for reducing the severity level of the violations or for mitigating the proposed civil penalty. Therefore, the NRC concludes that the civil penalty proposed for the violations designated in the Notice should be imposed by Order.

IV

In view of the foregoing and pursuant to Section 234 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (Act), 42 U.S.C. 2282, and 10 CFR 2.205, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

The Licensee pay a civil penalty in the amount of $6,000 within 30 days of the date of this Order, in accordance with the payment methods described in NUREG/BR-0254. In addition, at the time of making the payment, the licensee shall submit a statement indicating when and by what method payment was made, to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852-2738.

V

The Licensee may request a hearing within 30 days of the date of this Order. Where good cause is shown, consideration will be given to extending the time to request a hearing. A request for extension of time must be made in writing to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C. 20555, and include a statement of good cause for the extension. A request for a hearing should be clearly marked as a "Request for a Enforcement Hearing" and shall be submitted to the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff, Washington, DC 20555. Copies also shall be sent to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C. 20555, to the Assistant General Counsel for Materials Litigation and Enforcement at the same address, and to the Regional Administrator, NRC Region IV, 611 Ryan Plaza Drive, Suite 400, Arlington, Texas 76011. Because of continuing disruptions in delivery of mail to United States Government offices, it is requested that requests for hearing be transmitted to the Secretary of the Commission either by means of facsimile transmission to 301-415-1101 or by e-mail to hearingdocket@nrc.gov and also to the Office of the General Counsel either by means of facsimile transmission to 301-415-3725 or by e-mail to OGCMailCenter@nrc.gov.

If a hearing is requested, the Commission will issue an Order designating the time and place of the hearing. If the Licensee fails to request a hearing within 30 days of the date of this Order (or if written approval of an extension of time in which to request a hearing has not been granted), the provisions of this Order shall be effective without further proceedings. If payment has not been made by that time, the matter may be referred to the Attorney General for collection.

In the event the Licensee requests a hearing as provided above, the issues to be considered at such hearing shall be:

Whether on the basis of the violations admitted by the Licensee, this Order should be sustained.
FOR THE NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

/RA/

Frank J. Congel, Director
Office of Enforcement

Dated this 30th day of August 2004


1. At the time the enforcement action was issued, the company held License No. 42-23850-02E, Docket No. 030-34261, and was based in Haltom City, Texas.

2. Prior to May 19, 2004, the company held License No. 42-23850-02E, Docket No. 030-34261, and was based in Haltom City, Texas.

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