United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-04-165 - Dominion Geotechnical Services, Inc.

October 14, 2004

EA 04-165

William D. Idoni
Dominion Geotechnical Services, Inc.
5110 Southpoint Parkway
Fredericksburg, Virginia, 22408

SUBJECT: NOTICE OF VIOLATION (NRC Inspection Report No. 030-36463/2004-001)

Dear Mr. Idoni:

This letter refers to the NRC inspection conducted on August 30 and September 10, 2004, at your facility located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, to review the circumstances associated with an event which occurred involving the damage to a Troxler moisture density gauge. The event was reported to the NRC Operations Center on August 23, 2004. As described in the NRC inspection report enclosed with this letter, one apparent violation of NRC requirements was identified during the NRC inspection and was discussed during an exit meeting on September 10, 2004. The violation involved the failure to control and maintain constant surveillance of licensed material at a temporary job site at the St. Georges Estates in Fredericksburg, Virginia. As a result, a front end loader ran over the Troxler moisture density gauge (containing 9 millicuries of cesium-137 and 44 millicuries of americium-241) and damaged it.

On September 21, 2004, Mr. Tom Decker and Ms. Orysia Masnyk Bailey of the NRC Region I staff, Atlanta Office, held a telephone conversation with you indicating that the NRC did not need any additional information to make an enforcement decision regarding the violation. However, we provided you an opportunity to attend a predecisional enforcement conference or to provide a written response prior to the NRC determining appropriate enforcement action in this case. During that conversation, you declined the opportunity to attend a conference or to provide 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 it are described in detail in the subject inspection report. This violation involved the failure to maintain control of the portable moisture density gauge which occurred when the gauge operator walked approximately 10 feet away from the gauge prior to it being run over by a front end loader. Although the licensed material remained in its shield and no leakage occurred in this case after the gauge was damaged, this violation is of concern to the NRC because it created the potential for a significant direct radiation hazard as well as a potential contamination issue. Therefore, this violation is categorized at Severity Level III in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $3,000 is considered for a Severity Level III violation involving the loss of control of radioactive material with this level of radioactivity. Because your facility has not been the subject of escalated enforcement action within the last two years or 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 for corrective actions is warranted because your corrective actions were considered prompt and comprehensive. These corrective actions included, but were not limited to: (1) immediately securing the job site and retrieving the moisture density gauge; (2) providing additional training to gauge operators; and (3) revising procedures to specifically address security requirements on the job site.

Therefore, to encourage prompt and comprehensive correction of violations, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, to issue the enclosed Notice of Violation with no civil penalty for this Severity Level III violation. However, you should be aware that significant violations in the future could result in a civil penalty. In addition, issuance of this Notice constitutes escalated enforcement action that may subject you to increased inspection effort.

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reasons 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 this letter and inspection report. Therefore, you are not required to respond to this violation 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 2.390 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter, its enclosures, 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). 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 http://www.nrc.gov; select What We Do, Enforcement, then Significant Enforcement Actions.

 

Sincerely,

  /RA/ Original signed by James. T. Wiggins for

  Samuel J. Collins
Regional Administrator

Docket No. 03036463
License No. 45-30860-01

Enclosures:
1. Notice of Violation
2. NRC Region I Inspection Report 030-36463/2004-001

cc w/encl:
State of Virginia


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Dominion Geotechnical Services, Inc.
Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
  Docket No. 030-36463
License No. 45-30860-01
EA 04-165

 

During an NRC inspection conducted on August 30 and September 10, 2004, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, the violation is set forth below:

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. 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 August 20, 2004, the licensee did not control and maintain constant surveillance of licensed material that was in an unrestricted area that was not in storage. Specifically, while working at a temporary job site at the St. Georges Estates in Fredericksburg, Virginia, a gauge operator placed a portable moisture density gauge containing 9 millicuries of cesium-137 and 44 millicuries of americium-241 on the ground and walked 10 feet away, at which time it was run over by a front end loader.

This is a Severity Level III violation (Supplement IV).

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violations, and the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violations and prevent recurrence are already adequately addressed on the docket in the NRC letter transmitting this Notice. Therefore, no response to this Notice of Violation (Notice) is required. 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, EA 04-165" 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 I, 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.

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.

Dated this 14 th day of October 2004

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