United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-03-206 - Hannibal Testing Laboratories

November 28, 2003

EA-03-206

Ronald W. Craven, P.E.
President/Radiation Safety Officer
Hannibal Testing Laboratories
4510 Paris Gravel Road
P.O. Box 387
Hannibal, MO 63401

SUBJECT: HANNIBAL TESTING LABORATORIES - NRC INSPECTION REPORT
(IR 030-21086/2003-001(DNMS)) AND NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Dear Mr. Craven:

This refers to the inspection conducted on October 21, 2003, at Hannibal Testing Laboratories, Hannibal, Missouri, with continued NRC in-office review through November 3, 2003. The in-office review included telephone discussions with you to clarify inspection related issues. The inspection was an examination of activities conducted under your license 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, observations of activities, and interviews with personnel. One apparent violation was identified during the inspection associated with the security and control of licensed materials. The enclosed report presents the results of this inspection.

In a telephone conversation on November 19, 2003, Mr. Ken O'Brien of my staff informed you of the results of the inspection and that the NRC was considering escalated enforcement for the apparent violation involving the failure to secure from unauthorized access or maintain constant surveillance over radioactive materials. Mr. O'Brien also informed you that we 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 that you did not desire an enforcement conference and did not plan on providing a written response.

Based on the information developed during the inspection, the NRC has determined that one violation of NRC requirements occurred. The violation is cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice) and the circumstances surrounding the violation are described in detail in the subject inspection report. The violation involved a failure to secure from unauthorized removal or limit access to licensed material in an unrestricted area or maintain constant surveillance over the material. During the inspection on October 21, 2003, the NRC identified that licensee staff had left two unlocked moisture density gauges unsecured and unattended in two areas of the licensee's facility.

Although there were no actual safety consequences associated with this violation, the failure to secure from unauthorized access or maintain constant surveillance over licensed materials is a significant safety issue. Implementation of adequate security measures, including locking the gauges when not in use, is intended to prevent the loss or theft of licensed materials and to prevent members of the public from being unknowingly and unnecessarily exposed to radiation. Therefore, this violation has been categorized in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, at a Severity Level III.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $3000 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Because your facility has not been the subject of escalated enforcement actions within the last two inspections, the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for Corrective Actions in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.C.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Credit is warranted for corrective actions that included immediately securing and controlling the gauges and conducting training with each of the authorized users to re-enforce policies on the strict security of gauges at all times.

Therefore, to encourage prompt and comprehensive correction of violations, and in recognition of the absence of previous escalated enforcement actions, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, not to propose a civil penalty in this case. However, significant violations in the future could result in a civil penalty. In addition, issuance of this Severity Level III violation constitutes an 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 action taken to correct the violation and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance was achieved, is adequately addressed in the enclosed Inspection Report No. 03021086/2003-001(DNMS). Therefore, you are not required to respond to this letter unless the description in the inspection report 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, if any, 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/ Geoffrey E. Grant for

   James L. Caldwell
Regional Administrator

Docket No. 030-21086
License No. 24-23444-01

Enclosures:
1. Notice of Violation
2. Inspection Report No. 03021086/2003-001(DNMS)

cc:State of Missouri


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Hannibal Testing Laboratories
Hannibal, Missouri
  Docket No. 030-21086
License No. 24-23444-01
EA-03-206

During an NRC inspection conducted between October 21 and November 3, 2003, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the violation is listed below:

10 CFR 20.1801 requires that the licensee secure from unauthorized removal or access licensed materials that are stored in controlled or unrestricted areas. 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 October 21, 2003, the licensee did not secure from unauthorized removal or limit access to two moisture density gauges containing nominally 8.0 millicuries of cesium-137 and 40 millicuries of americium-241:beryllium in unrestricted areas at the licensee's facility in Hannibal, Missouri, nor did the licensee control and maintain constant surveillance of this licensed material.

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 adequately addressed in Inspection Report No. 030-21086/2003-001(DNMS). However, you are required to submit a written statement or explanation pursuant to 10 CFR 2.201 if the description in the inspection report 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; EA-03-206," 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 III, 801 Warrenville Road, Suite 255, Lisle, IL 60532-4351, within 30 days of the date of the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation (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.

If you choose to respond, 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. Therefore, to the extent possible, the response should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be made available to the Public without redaction.

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

Dated this 28th day of November 2003.

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