United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-96-254 - Evart Products Co

September 3, 1996

EA 96-254

Mr. Jim Anderson
Vice President of Operations
Evart Products
631 West Seventh Street
Evart, MI 49631-9468

SUBJECT:  NOTICE OF VIOLATION
          (NRC INSPECTION REPORT NO. 999-90003/9606(DNMS)) 

Dear Mr. Anderson:

This refers to the special safety inspection conducted from June 27 to July 11, 1996, to review the circumstances surrounding the loss on January 20-21, 1996, of three NRD Model No. P-210 static elimination devices possessed by Evart Products under an NRC General License. Each device contained nominally 10 millicuries of polonium-210. On March 29, 1996, Evart Products notified the NRC of the loss. The inspection report was mailed to Evart Products on August 2, 1996, and a predecisional enforcement conference was held on August 9, 1996.

Based on the information developed during the inspection and the information provided by Evart Products during the conference, the NRC has determined that significant violations of NRC requirements occurred. The first violation involves the failure to properly transfer or dispose of generally licensed material in accordance with 10 CFR 31.5(c)(8). The second violation pertains to the failure to notify the NRC within 30 days of the discovery that licensed material was lost, stolen, or missing. The violations are cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation.

Incumbent upon each company possessing byproduct material is the responsibility to protect the public health and safety by ensuring that radioactive materials are controlled at all times. The NRC recognizes that only a small quantity of material was lost. Nevertheless, the loss of any NRC-licensed material is a significant regulatory concern because it can lead to the inadvertent release of radioactive material to the public domain and the possibility of unnecessary exposure of individuals to radiation. While we recognize that Evart has had several organizational changes over the past several years, the company previously lost three similar devices since 1991. The multiple losses indicate that effective corrective actions were not implemented by Evart Products after the earlier losses. The violations represent a continued failure to control access to licensed materials for radiation purposes and the failure to notify the NRC within the specified time. The violations are categorized in the aggregate and in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, as a Severity Level III problem.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $2,500 is considered for a Severity Level III problem. 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 V.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Credit for the Corrective Action factor was warranted because of the timely and thorough actions taken, including, but not limited to: accounting for the devices on a shift-to-shift basis; storing the devices in a locked container whenever the facility was not operating; training supervisors about the control of licensed materials; and developing a safety manual that will include a discussion on radiation safety.

Therefore, to encourage prompt comprehensive correction of violations and in recognition of the absence of previous escalated enforcement action, I have decided not to propose a civil penalty in this case. However, significant violations in the future could result in a civil penalty.

Furthermore, any theft of NRC-licensed material could be referred to the U. S. Department of Justice for investigation and prosecution. Therefore, we request that this letter and the enclosed Notice be posted throughout your facility or published in your employee newsletter to ensure the widest dissemination of this enforcement action to your employees.

You are required to respond to this letter and should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice when preparing your response. In your response, you should document the specific actions taken and any additional actions you plan to prevent recurrence. After reviewing your response to this Notice, including your proposed corrective actions and the results of future inspections, the NRC will determine whether further NRC enforcement action is necessary to ensure compliance with NRC regulatory requirements.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter, its enclosure, and your response will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR). To the extent possible, your response should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be placed in the PDR without redaction.

                                  Sincerely,

                                  /s/ W. L. Axelson (for)

                                  A. Bill Beach
                                  Regional Administrator

Docket No. 999-90003
General License

Enclosure: Notice of Violation


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
Evart Products                                                  Docket No. 999-90003
Evart, Michigan                                                 General License
                                                                EA 96-254

During an NRC inspection conducted from June 27 to July 11, 1996, violations of NRC requirements were identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the violations are listed below:

A. 10 CFR 31.5(c)(8) requires, in part, that any person who acquires, receives, possesses, uses or transfers byproduct material in a device pursuant to a general license shall, except as provided in 10 CFR 31.5(c)(9), transfer or dispose of the device containing byproduct material only by transfer to persons holding a specific license pursuant to 10 CFR Parts 30 and 32 or from an Agreement State to receive the device.

Contrary to the above, on the weekend of January 20-21, 1996, the licensee lost three NRD Model P-2051 air ionizing static elimination devices (Serial Nos. 77599, 79152 and 79156), each device contained a polonium-210 sealed source of nominally 10 millicuries, and this transfer was not made to a person holding a specific license pursuant to 10 CFR Parts 30 and 32 or from an Agreement State to receive the device, and the exceptions in 10 CFR 31.5(c)(9) did not apply. (01013)

(This is a repeat violation.)

B. 10 CFR 31.5(c)(2) requires, in part, that a licensee comply with the requirements of 10 CFR 20.2201 for reporting the theft or loss of licensed material.

10 CFR 20.2201(a)(ii) requires, in part, a licensee report by telephone to the NRC within 30 days after the occurrence of any lost, stolen, or missing licensed material becomes known to the licensee, and the licensed material in a quantity greater than 10 times the quantity specified in Appendix C to 10 CFR Part 20. The quantity specified in 10 CFR Part 20, Appendix C, 0.1 microcurie.

Contrary to the above, on the night of January 21-22, 1996, the licensee learned that three air ionizing static elimination devices, containing NRC-licensed material (polonium-210), were missing. Each device contained nominally 10 millicuries of polonium-210, which is greater than the 0.1 microcurie quantity specified in 10 CFR Part 20, Appendix C, and the licensee did not report the loss to the NRC until March 29, 1996, which is a period greater than 30 days. (01023)

This is a Severity Level III problem (Supplements IV and VI).

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, Evart Products (Licensee) is hereby required to submit a written statement or explanation 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 (Notice). This reply should be clearly marked as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation" and should include for each violation: (1) the reason for the violation, or, if contested, the basis for disputing the violation, (2) the corrective steps that have been taken and the results achieved, (3) the corrective steps that will be taken to avoid further violations, and (4) the date when full compliance will be achieved. Your response may reference or include previous docketed correspondence, if the correspondence adequately addresses the required response. If an adequate reply is not received within the time specified in this Notice, an order or a Demand for Information may be issued as to why the license should not be modified, suspended, or revoked, or why such other action as may be proper should not be taken. Where good cause is shown, consideration will be given to extending the response time.

Under the authority of Section 182 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2232, this response shall be submitted under oath or affirmation.

Because your response will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR), to the extent possible, it should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be placed in the PDR without redaction. However, if you find it necessary to include such information, you should clearly indicate the specific information that you desire not to be placed in the PDR, and provide the legal basis to support your request for withholding the information from the public.

Dated at Lisle, Illinois
this 3rd day of September 1996

 

 

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