United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-03-223 - Imaging Subsurface, Inc.

February 6, 2004

EA-03-223

Rakesh Sarman, PhD.
President
Imaging Subsurface, Inc.
P.O. Box 1019
Novi, MI 48376-1019

SUBJECT:    NOTICE OF VIOLATION (NRC ROUTINE INSPECTION REPORT NO. 03034616/2003-001)

Dear Dr. Sarman:

This refers to the inspection conducted on October 17, October 31, and November 12, 2003, at your Detroit, Michigan, facility. The purpose of the inspection was to determine whether activities, conducted under your license, were performed safely and in compliance with NRC requirements. The inspection report was transmitted to you on December 12, 2003, and identified an apparent violation involving the failure to secure from unauthorized access or maintain constant surveillance of licensed material.

In the letter transmitting the inspection report, we provided you the opportunity to address the apparent violation identified in the report by either attending a predecisional enforcement conference or by providing a written response before we made our final enforcement decision. In a letter, dated January 9, 2004, you provided a response to the apparent violation.

Based on the information developed during the inspection and the information that you provided in your response to the inspection report, dated January 9, 2004, the NRC has determined that a violation of NRC requirements occurred. The violation is cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice) and the circumstances surrounding it 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 a controlled area or maintain constant surveillance of the material. During the inspection on October 17, 2003, the NRC identified that your staff had left two unlocked moisture density gauges unsecured and unattended in an unlocked storeroom at your Detroit, Michigan, facility.

Although there were no actual safety consequences associated with this violation, the failure to secure from unauthorized access or maintain constant surveillance of licensed material 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 material 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 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 Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.C.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Credit was warranted for corrective actions that included: (1) immediately locking the gauge cases and the storeroom's outside access door; (2) adding a lock and hasp to the storeroom's inside access door; and (3) instructing the staff on the proper requirements for maintaining security of the gauges.

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, 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 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 already adequately addressed on the docket in Inspection Report No. 03034616/2003-001(DNMS) and your January 9, 2004, letter. Therefore, you are not required to respond to this letter unless the description in our report or your letter 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, 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. 03034616
License No. 21-32050-01

Enclosure: Notice of Violation


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Imaging Subsurface, Inc.
Novi, Michigan
Docket No. 03034616
License No. 21-32050-01
EA-03-223

During an NRC inspection conducted between October 17 and November 12, 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. 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.
License No. 21-32050-01, Condition No. 19, requires that each portable gauge have a lock or outer locked container designed to prevent unauthorized or accidental removal of the sealed source from its shielded position. The gauge or its container must be locked when in transport, storage, or when not under the direct surveillance of an authorized user.
Contrary to the above, on October 17, 2003, the licensee did not secure from unauthorized removal or limit access to licensed material, consisting of nominally 8.0 millicuries of cesium-137 and 40.0 millicuries of americium-241:beryllium in two Troxler portable moisture density gauges, Model No. 3440 with serial numbers 24577 and 30985. The gauges were left unattended in an unlocked storeroom, which is a controlled area. Additionally, both gauges and the containers for the gauges were unlocked.

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 Inspection Report No. 03034616/2003-001(DNMS) and your January 9, 2004, letter. You are not required to respond to 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 in our report or your letter 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-03-223" 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.

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 6th day of February 2004.

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