United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-05-005 - Engineering Consulting Services, Ltd

February 1, 2005

EA 05-005

Mr. Leo J. Titus, Jr.
Office Manager
Engineering Consulting Services, Ltd.
14026 Thunderbolt Place, Suite 100
Chantilly, VA 20151

SUBJECT:   NOTICE OF VIOLATION (NRC Inspection Report No. 030-30462/2004-001)

Dear Mr. Titus:

This letter refers to the routine unannounced NRC inspection conducted on November 30 and December 1, 2004, at your facility in Chantilly, Virginia. The enclosed inspection report documents the findings of the inspection, which were discussed with Mr. Stanley J. Murphy, your Corporate Radiation Safety Officer, on December 1, 2004.

Based on the inspection, the NRC has determined that a violation of NRC requirements occurred. The violation is cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice) and inspection report. During the inspection, the NRC reviewed the circumstances associated with three instances you identified in 1999 involving the failure to secure, control or maintain constant surveillance of portable nuclear gauges containing NRC licensed material. Specifically, on those three occasions, the portable gauges were left unattended in unrestricted areas at temporary job sites in Virginia (Stafford Lakes, Alexandria, and Centerville), and during those times, the gauges were damaged by construction vehicles.

On January 18, 2005, Mr. John Kinneman of my staff informed Mr. Murphy that this violation was being considered for escalated enforcement action, and the NRC did not need any additional information to make an enforcement decision. However, Mr. Kinneman provided Mr. Murphy an opportunity to attend a predecisional enforcement conference or to provide a written response, prior to the NRC determining appropriate enforcement action. During this conversation, Mr. Murphy declined the opportunity to attend a conference or to provide a written response.

Although unauthorized persons did not come into direct contact with the gauges, this violation is of concern to the NRC because (1) the failure to control the gauges containing the radioactive material could result in the loss or theft of the material, or, as occurred in these three cases, damage to the gauges; and (2) unintended radiation doses to members of the public could occur if the damage to the gauges resulted in the sources being in the unshielded position. (Although no member of the public received unintended radiation exposure, in one of these three cases, damage to the gauge resulted in the source being unshielded for a brief time). 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. 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 damaged nuclear gauges at all three sites and returning them to the manufacturer for disposal; (2) retraining authorized users regarding security requirements for portable nuclear gauges; (3) developing training for all corporate employees; and (4) conducting annual audits of authorized users at field sites. There were no additional incidents identified since 1999 of portable gauges being left unsecured in unrestricted areas.

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 without a 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 the enclosed 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 (if you choose to provide one) 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). (Note:Public access to many documents in ADAMS has been temporarily suspended so that security reviews of publicly available documents may be performed and potentially sensitive information removed. Please check the NRC website for updates on the resumption of ADAMS access to all documents.) 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/ JWggins for

  Samuel J. Collins
Regional Administrator

Docket No. 030-30462
License No. 45-24974-01

Enclosures:
1. Notice of Violation
2. NRC Region I Inspection Report 030-30462/2004-001

cc w/encls:
Stanley J. Murphy, Corporate Radiation Safety Officer
Omer Murat Duzyol, Radiation Safety Officer
State of Virginia


ENCLOSURE 1

NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Engineering Consulting Services, Ltd.
Chantilly, VA
Docket No. 030-30462
License No.45-24974-01
EA 05-005

Based on an NRC inspection conducted on November 30 and December 1, 2004, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. The violation was discussed with the licensee during an exit meeting on December 1, 2004. 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 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 three separate occasions, the licensee did not adequately control and maintain constant surveillance of portable nuclear gauges containing licensed material (americium-241 and cesium-137). Specifically,


  1. on August 31, 1999, a CPN Model MC3 portable gauge was left unattended at a location in Stafford Lakes, Virginia;

  2. on November 18, 1999, a CPN Model MC3 portable gauge was left unattended at a location in Alexandria, Virginia; and

  3. in December 1999, a CPN Model MC1DRP portable gauge was left unattended at a location in Centerville, Virginia.

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

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 the letter transmitting this Notice, and in NRC Inspection Report No. 030-30462/2004-001. 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 05-005" 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 of Violation (Notice).

If you contest the violation, 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.

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


Dated this 1ST day of February 2005

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012