United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-96-010 - EDP Consultants, Inc.

March 28, 1996

EA 96-010

Mr. John Dingeldein
EDP Consultants, Inc.
9375 Chillicothe Road
Kirtland, OH 44094

SUBJECT:  NOTICE OF VIOLATION
          (NRC INSPECTION REPORT NO. 030-20479/95001(DNMS))

Dear Mr. Dingeldein:

This letter refers to the special inspection conducted from December 22, 1995, to March 13, 1996, to review the circumstances surrounding damage to a moisture/density gauge containing NRC licensed material (8.1 millicuries of cesium-137 (300 Mbq) and 40 millicuries (1480 Mbq) of americium-241 in sealed sources). The device was used by EDP Consultants, Inc. (EDP) at a construction site in Garfield Heights, Ohio, on November 16, 1995. At the conclusion of a measurement, the EDP technician walked approximately 25 feet away from the gauge with his back towards the device. The device was struck by a soil compactor while the technician was away from the gauge, causing damage to the source rod and instrument panel. EDP contacted the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA) and OEMA assisted EDP in recovering from the event. On November 17, 1995, EDP notified the NRC that a gauge had been damaged. The inspection report was mailed to EDP on January 23, 1996.

Based on the information developed during the inspection and the information provided in a letter from EDP dated February 13, 1996, the NRC has determined that a significant violation of NRC requirements occurred. This 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 is attributed to a failure by a gauge technician to secure or maintain constant surveillance of material, and is of significant regulatory concern because a device containing NRC-licensed material was damaged. Incumbent upon each NRC licensee is the responsibility to protect the public health and safety, and the health and safety of its employees, by ensuring that all NRC requirements are met, and in particular, that NRC-licensed material is controlled so that it is not damaged and does not become a hazard to the public. The incident indicates a lack of effective training to ensure that NRC-licensed material is appropriately safeguarded. The incident on November 16, 1995, is considered to be a violation representing a significant failure to control licensed material and 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 $2,500 is considered for a Severity Level III Violation. Your facility has not been the subject of NRC escalated enforcement action; therefore, the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Credit was warranted for the following corrective actions by your Radiation Safety Officer (RSO): all technicians were briefed about the incident; a written description of the event was provided to each technician; and, a formal refresher training course was conducted for all technicians.

Therefore, to encourage prompt and comprehensive corrective actions, I have decided not to propose a civil penalty in this case. However, significant violations in the future could result in a civil penalty.

Several other potential violations were described in the inspection report. These potential violations were the failure to: (1) implement the EDP Emergency Procedure; (2) perform a visual inspection of the damaged device; and, (3) evaluate the radiological hazard. These issues are not cited as violations of NRC requirements. The NRC evaluation of these issues is described in the Appendix to this letter.

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reasons for the violation, and the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence is already adequately addressed on the docket in Inspection Report No. 030-20479/95001(DNMS) and a letter from EDP dated February 13, 1996. Therefore, you are not required to respond to this letter unless the description therein 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, the enclosed Notice, and your response if you choose to respond, will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room.

                                  Sincerely,



                                  Hubert J. Miller
                                  Regional Administrator

Docket No. 030-20479
License No. 34-21301-01

Enclosures:
1. Notice of Violation
2. Appendix


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
EDP Consultants, Inc.                                    Docket No. 030-20479
Kirtland, Ohio                                           License No. 32-21301-01
                                                         EA 96-010

During an NRC inspection conducted from December 22, 1995, to March 13, 1996, 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 licensed materials that are stored in an unrestricted area. 10 CFR 20.1802 requires that the licensee control and maintain constant surveillance of licensed material that is in an unrestricted area and that is not in storage. As defined in 10 CFR 20.1003, an unrestricted area means an area, access to which is neither limited nor controlled by the licensee.

Contrary to the above, on November 16, 1995, the licensee did not secure from unauthorized removal or limit access to a Troxler moisture/density gauge containing NRC-licensed material (nominally 8.1 millicuries (300 MBq) of cesium-137 and nominally 40 millicuries (1480 MBq) of americium-241 in sealed sources) at a construction site in Garfield Heights, Ohio, an unrestricted area, nor did the licensee control and maintain constant surveillance of this licensed material. (01013)

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

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reasons for the violation, and the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence is already adequately addressed on the docket in Inspection Report No. 030-20479/95001(DNMS) and a letter from EDP Consultants, Inc., dated February 13, 1996. However, you are required to respond to the provisions of 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," and send it to the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN: Document Control Desk, Washington, D.C. 20555, with a copy to the Regional Administrator, Region III, 801 Warrenville Road, Lisle, Illinois 60532-4351, within 30 days of the date of the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation.

Dated at Lisle, Illinois
this 28th day of March 1996


Appendix
EDP Consultants, Inc.                                         Docket No. 030-20479
Kirtland, Ohio                                                License No. 32-21301-01
                                                              EA 96-010

Two potential violations of NRC requirements were identified during an NRC inspection conducted from December 22, 1995, to March 13, 1996. Inspection Report No. 030-20479/95001(DNMS) described the potential violations of NRC requirements.

The gauge technician did not implement EDP's emergency procedure by failing to cordon off an area around the damaged gauge and did not perform an adequate inspection to determine that the source housing and shielding were not damaged. Second, EDP did not evaluate the full extent of the radiation hazard posed by the damaged device. The February 13, 1996, letter from EDP disputed these two potential violations. After reviewing the information in that letter and additional contacts with the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA) through March 13, 1996, neither issue will be cited.

While the technician did not literally comply with EDP's emergency procedure by cordoning off the area around the damaged device, the gauge was in an excavated pit and the technician was able to maintain positive control of the incident site, thus meeting the requirements of the emergency procedure through an alternate means. The technician deferred the inspection for damage to the source housing and shielding to the OEMA representative who possessed more sophisticated instrumentation.

Regarding the failure to fully evaluate the radiological hazard posed by the damaged gauge, EDP contended that the shutter of the device was not stuck open at the time of the incident. Rather, EDP believes that the shutter was moved to that position while it was in the EDP facility and being prepared for shipment. After obtaining additional information about the incident, including information about the position of the shutter from OEMA, the NRC has determined that a definitive conclusion could not be reached about the position of the shutter at the time of the incident. Therefore, EDP will not be cited for failing to conduct surveys to evaluate the full extent of the radiological hazard posed by the damaged gauge.

 

 

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