United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-96-449 - Arctic Slope Inspection Services, Inc.

February 18, 1997

EA 96-449

Mr. John McClellan, President
Arctic Slope Inspection Services, Inc.
301 Arctic Slope Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska 99518

SUBJECT:  NOTICE OF VIOLATION 
          (NRC Inspection Report 030-31760/96-01)

Dear Mr. McClellan:

This refers to the January 23, 1997 letter submitted by your radiation safety officer (RSO) in response to the apparent violations identified in NRC Inspection Report 030-31760/96-01, issued on December 9, 1996. This also acknowledges receipt of a February 3, 1997 letter from your RSO which enclosed a chart showing the position of the RSO within your organization.

The NRC inspection was completed on October 22, 1996. As indicated in the NRC letter transmitting the inspection report, seven apparent violations were identified. Arctic Slope Inspection Services, Inc. (Arctic Slope) was given a choice of requesting a predecisional enforcement conference or submitting a written response to the apparent violations. Arctic Slope chose to submit a written response.

In its written response, Arctic Slope did not dispute the apparent violations and described specific actions taken to correct each of them, many of which were taken or begun at the time of the NRC's site visit in September 1996. These actions included elevating the position of the RSO to report directly to the president, developing a computerized audit program to assure compliance with all NRC requirements, and taking a number of actions to address the specific violations found by the NRC during the inspection.

Based on the information developed during the inspection, and the information that you provided in your response to the inspection report, the NRC has determined that violations of NRC requirements occurred. These violations are cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice) and involve failures to: 1) conduct quarterly audits of radiography personnel; 2) conduct quarterly checks of radiography equipment; 3) maintain records of quarterly inventories of sealed sources; 4) maintain decommissioning-related information; 5) conduct radiation surveys in unrestricted areas; 6) maintain radiation levels in unrestricted areas within limits; and 7) properly label packages.

Although these violations do not appear to have impacted the safety of Arctic Slope's radiography activities, they are important from the NRC's perspective because they clearly indicate inadequate attention to meeting licensed responsibilities. This is evidenced by the fact that several of these violations (1 through 4 above) had either been the subject of a previous Notice of Violation or were described in an inspection report as a violation that was not being cited. Arctic Slope's corrective actions for these previous violations obviously were not effective. While we do not take issue with the corrective actions you have taken since our most recent inspection, we note that your letters blamed some of the violations on a former RSO's negligence. The NRC emphasizes the importance of Arctic Slope management taking full responsibility for assuring that all requirements are being met and for assuring that your RSO and radiography personnel are adequately trained in the requirements of their positions.

In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, the violations described above and in the Notice are being classified in the aggregate as a Severity Level III problem. In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a civil penalty with a base value of $2,500 is considered for a Severity Level III problem. Because your facility has not been the subject of escalated enforcement action within the last 2 years or 2 inspections, 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. Based on our review of the corrective actions you took during and after the inspection, we have determined that credit is warranted.

Therefore, to encourage prompt and comprehensive correction of violations, and in recognition of the absence of previous escalated enforcement action, I have been authorized not to propose a civil penalty in this case. However, Arctic Slope is on notice that significant violations in the future, particularly further recurrence of the violations described in the Notice, could result in a civil penalty. In addition, issuance of this Severity Level III problem constitutes escalated enforcement action which may subject you to increased inspection effort.

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violations, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violations and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance was achieved is already adequately addressed on the docket in Inspection Report No. 030-31760/96-01, and Arctic Slope's letters dated January 23 and February 3, 1997. 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, its enclosure, and any response you choose to submit will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR).

                            Sincerely, 

                            org signed by
                            J. E. Dyer for 

                            L. J. Callan
                            Regional Administrator

Docket No. 030-31760
License No. 50-29015-01

Enclosure: Notice of Violation

cc w/enclosure:
State of Alaska


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
Arctic Slope Inspection Services, Inc.                           Docket No. 030-31760
Anchorage, Alaska                                                License No. 50-29015-01
                                                                 EA 96-449

During an NRC inspection completed October 22, 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. License Condition 17.A requires, in part, that the licensee conduct its program in accordance with the statements, representations, and procedures contained in the application dated January 22, 1991, including any enclosures. Paragraph C.1.1 of Appendix C, "Internal Inspection," of the application dated January 22, 1991, states, "a radiographer or assistant radiographer shall be inspected during radiographic operations on an unannounced basis. Inspection shall not exceed 3 month intervals, or if a radiographer or assistant radiographer has not participated in radiographic operations for more than 3 months, the individuals shall be inspected the first time they perform radiography."

Contrary to the above, the licensee did not perform inspections of two radiographers between January 1 and September 18, 1996, and did not perform inspections of two other radiographers before the first time they performed radiography. (01013)

B. 10 CFR 34.28(b) requires, in part, that the licensee conduct a program for inspection and maintenance of radiographic exposure devices at intervals not to exceed 3 months or prior to the first use thereafter to ensure the proper functioning of components important to safety. The licensees shall retain records of these inspections and maintenance for a period of 3 years.

Contrary to the above, between January 1 and June 30, 1996, the licensee did not perform inspections and maintenance of radiographic equipment. (01023)

C. 10 CFR 34.26 requires that a licensee conduct a quarterly physical inventory to account for all sealed sources received and possessed under the license. The records of inventories are to be maintained for a period of 3 years from the date of the inventory and must include the quantities and kinds of byproduct material, the location of sealed sources, and the date of the inventory.

Contrary to the above, the licensee did not maintain a record of a quarterly inventory that included all sealed sources in its possession during the second calendar quarter of 1996. (01033)

D. 10 CFR 20.1301(a)(2) requires that a licensee conduct operations so that the dose in any unrestricted area from external sources does not exceed 0.002 rem (2 millirem) in any one hour.

Contrary to the above, on September 19, 1996, the licensee did not conducted operations in a manner that limited dose rates in unrestricted areas to 2 millirem in any one hour. Specifically, the dose rate outside a camper truck where a radiographic source was stored was six millirem per hour. (01043)

E. 10 CFR 20.1302(a) requires, in part, that a licensee make or cause to be made surveys of radiation levels in unrestricted and controlled areas to demonstrate compliance with the dose limits for individual members of the public in 10 CFR 20.1301.

Contrary to the above, as of September 19, 1996, the licensee had not conducted surveys to determine radiation levels in an unrestricted area outside a storage location to demonstrate compliance with dose limits for individual members of the public. Specifically, the licensee had not done surveys outside the camper truck used to store an exposure device containing 83 curies of iridium-192. (01053)

F. 49 CFR 172.403 requires, in part, with exceptions not applicable here, that each package of radioactive material be labeled, as appropriate, with two RADIOACTIVE WHITE-I, RADIOACTIVE YELLOW-II, or RADIOACTIVE YELLOW-III labels on opposite sides of the package. The contents, activity, and transport index must be entered in the blank spaces on the label.

Contrary to the above, on September 11 and 12, 1996, the licensee transported a radiographic exposure device containing 83 curies of iridium-192, outside the confines of its Fairbanks facility and the package of radioactive material was not labeled, with the appropriate radioactive material labels. (01063)

G. 10 CFR 30.35(g) requires a licensee to keep records of information important to the safe and effective decommissioning of the facility in an identified location until the license is terminated by the Commission. If records of relevant information are kept for other purposes, reference to these records and their location may be used.

Contrary to the above, on January 30, 1997, the licensee was not keeping records of information important to the safe and effective decommissioning of the facility in an identified location. (01073)

These violations represent a Severity Level III problem (Supplement VI).

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violations, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violations and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance was achieved is already adequately addressed on the docket in Inspection Report No.030-31760/96-01 and letters from the Licensee dated January 23, and February 3, 1997. Therefore, no response to this Notice is required. However, Arctic Slope is required to submit a written statement or explanation pursuant to 10 CFR 2.201 if the description therein does not accurately reflect its corrective actions or its position. In that case, or Arctic Slope chooses to respond, clearly mark the 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 IV, 611 Ryan Plaza Drive, Suite 400, Arlington, Texas 76011.

Dated at Arlington, Texas
this 18th day of February 1997

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