United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-96-043 - Shilts, Graves & Associates, Inc.

April 8, 1996

EA 96-043

Mr. John J. Warner, President
Shilts, Graves & Associates, Inc.
1103 South Bend Avenue
South Bend, IN 46617-1419

SUBJECT:  NOTICE OF VIOLATION
          (NRC INSPECTION REPORT NO. 030-13831/96001(DNMS))

Dear Mr. Warner:

This letter refers to the special inspection conducted from January 25 to February 12, 1996, to review the circumstances surrounding damage to a moisture/density gauge on November 9, 1995, at a highway construction site in South Bend, Indiana. After concluding a measurement, the Shilts, Graves & Associates, Inc. (SGA) technicians walked approximately 15 feet away from the gauge with their backs towards the device. The gauge was struck by a backhoe, breaking the carrying handle, while the technicians were turned away from the instrument. The technicians immediately implemented the emergency procedures and the incident did not cause any contamination or personnel exposures. The technicians' failure to maintain constant surveillance or otherwise control access to the device is a violation of NRC requirements. SGA reported the event to the NRC on November 10, 1995. A copy of the inspection report was mailed to SGA on February 21, 1996.

Based on the information developed during the inspection and the information provided in a letter from SGA dated April 1, 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 inspection report.

The violation 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. Each licensee must ensure that NRC-licensed material is controlled so that it is not damaged and does not become a hazard to the public. The incident on November 9, 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 because SGA provided all gauge technicians with a description of the event and reviewed operating procedures with each technician. Additionally, SGA plans to continue its practice of auditing employees on the use of their assigned gauges.

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.

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. 030-13831/96001(DNMS) and a letter from SGA dated April 1, 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. 030-13831
License No. 13-18528-01

Enclosure: Notice of Violation


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
Shilts, Graves & Associates, Inc.                                 Docket No. 030-13831
South Bend, Indiana                                               License No. 13-18528-01
                                                                  EA 96-043

During an NRC inspection conducted from January 24 to February 12, 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 9, 1995, the licensee did not secure from unauthorized removal or limit access to a Troxler moisture/density gauge containing NRC-licensed material (7.8 millicuries (288.6 MBq) of cesium-137 and 40 millicuries (1480 MBq) of americium-241 in sealed sources) at a highway construction site in South Bend, Indiana, 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. 030-13831/96001(DNMS) and a letter from Shilts, Graves & Associates, Inc., dated April 1, 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 8th day of April 1996

 

 

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012