United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-97-093 - Professional Service Industries, Inc.

May 22, 1997

EA 97-093

Professional Service Industries, Inc.
ATTN: Mr. Michael Kesselmayer, P.E.
Administrative Coordinator
510 East 22nd Street
Lombard, Illinois 60148

SUBJECT:  NOTICE OF VIOLATION
          (Augmented Inspection Team Report No. 45-25088-01/96-01)

Dear Mr. Kesselmayer:

This letter refers to the special inspection conducted during the period November 13 through December 4, 1996, by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Augmented Inspection Team (AIT) at your Bristol, Virginia; Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Detroit, Michigan; St. Louis, Missouri; and Roanoke, Virginia facilities. The purpose of the inspection was to review the facts and circumstances relating to an apparent radiation overexposure at your Bristol, Virginia facility which was reported to the NRC on November 6, 1996. The results of the inspection were discussed with you on December 4, 1996, and March 6, 1997, and the apparent violations were formally transmitted to you by letter dated March 11, 1997. That letter also provided you the opportunity to respond to the apparent violations in writing or request a predecisional enforcement conference. Subsequently, you declined a conference, and by letter dated April 11, 1997, you submitted additional information to us regarding the apparent violations, the root causes, and your corrective actions to preclude recurrence, as requested in our letter dated March 11, 1997. We have reviewed the inspection results and the additional information you provided and have concluded that sufficient information is available to determine the appropriate enforcement action in this matter.

Based on the information developed during the inspection and the information that was provided in your April 11, 1997, letter, the NRC has determined that violations of NRC requirements occurred. The violations are cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice), and the circumstances surrounding them are described in detail in the subject inspection report. The violations are associated with various instances in which Professional Service Industries, Inc. (PSI) failed to comply with the specific terms and conditions of its byproduct material license issued by the NRC. The violations involved:

(1) the failure to ensure that two technicians were properly trained and certified prior to permitting them to use PSI's moisture/density gauges;

(2) the failure to ensure that a technician received the required, formal classroom training by a PSI certified Radiation Safety Officer/Instructor;

(3) the storage of a gauge at a technician's residence, contrary to license prohibitions on such storage; and (4) the performance of maintenance on a gauge involving source rod extension, contrary to license prohibitions on such activities.

Although the AIT concluded that the apparent overexposure of a technician could not have resulted from the use of a PSI licensed gauge in the manner described by the technician, the violations described above are of significant regulatory concern in that they represent a lack of management oversight and attention to implementation of the radiation safety program. The AIT determined that appropriate training and radiation safety programs were in place procedurally; however, these programs were not being effectively implemented. This lack of management oversight was determined not only to apply to the Bristol, Virginia facility in that weaknesses in management oversight were also identified at the corporate level. The NRC recognizes that the specific violations associated with failure to comply with personnel training, gauge storage, and gauge maintenance requirements may not individually represent issues of significant safety consequence, but collectively, they call into question the rigor with which PSI managed its licensed activities in the areas represented by the violations. Individually, the violations normally would be categorized at Severity Level IV; however, in this case, the violations have been evaluated in the aggregate and assigned a single, increased severity level due to their similar underlying causes. Therefore, the violations are classified in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedures 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 $2500 is considered for a Severity Level III problem occurring on or continuing after November 12, 1996, (61 Federal Register 53554). Because the Bristol, Virginia 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 described in Section VI.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy. As documented in the AIT report issued on January 21, 1997, and your written response of April 11, 1997, the corrective actions taken or planned include: (1) initiation of an investigation into the technician's allegations and prompt notification of the NRC regarding the potential overexposure; (2) immediate suspension from licensed activities of the two technicians whose training and certification were deficient and subsequent re-qualification of them in accordance with the PSI training program for gauge operators; (3) numerous enhancements to the gauge operator training program; (4) incorporation of requirements for storage and maintenance of gauges into the training program; (5) planned revision of the internal inspection procedure; and (6) extensive revision to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for gauge use. Upgrade of the training program and SOP revision are scheduled for completion by June 16, 1997. Based on the above, the NRC determined that your corrective actions were both timely and comprehensive and credit was warranted for this factor.

Therefore, to encourage prompt and comprehensive corrective action for violations, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, not to propose a civil penalty in this case. However, significant violations in the future could result in a civil penalty.

With regard to the two apparent violations associated with personnel monitoring discussed in NRC's March 11, 1997, letter, we have concluded that you adequately demonstrated in your June 29, 1995, license application that personnel were not likely to receive exposures in excess of 10 percent of the regulatory limits, and therefore, individual monitoring was not required. Based on this determination, these apparent violations are withdrawn. However, the corrective actions submitted in your letter of April 11, 1997, are noted, and the NRC will follow-up on your improvements in this area.

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 will be achieved are already adequately addressed on the docket in your letter to the NRC dated April 11, 1997. Therefore, no response to this letter is required 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 your response, should you provide one, will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room.

                             Sincerely,

                             Original Signed by

                             Luis A. Reyes
                             Regional Administrator

Enclosure: Notice of Violation

cc w/encl:
Commonwealth of Virginia
State of Michigan
State of Missouri


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
Professional Service Industries, Inc.                      Docket No. 030-31566   
Bristol, Virginia                                          License No. 45-25088-01
                                                           EA 97-093              

During a special Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspection conducted during the period November 13 through December 4, 1996, violations of NRC requirements were identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedures for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the violations are listed below:

License Condition No. 23 requires that the Professional Service Industries, Inc. (PSI) conduct its program in accordance with the statements, representations, and procedures contained in certain referenced documents and enclosures, including the application dated June 29, 1995.

A. Item 8 of the application, "PSI Training Program for Moisture/Density Operators," requires, in part, that licensed material be used only by individuals who have received specific training in the use of the device and have successfully completed a manufacturer's training course or PSI's in-house radiation safety training program.

Contrary to the above, from early 1996 until identified in November 1996, two technicians were permitted to routinely use moisture/density gauges even though they had not successfully completed a manufacturer's training course or PSI's in-house radiation safety training program. (01013)

B. Item 8 of the application, "PSI Training Program for Moisture/Density Operators", requires, in part, that trainees will receive five to six hours of formal classroom radiation safety training provided by a PSI certified Radiation Safety Officer/Instructor.

Contrary to the above, on March 19, 1996, a technician was certified as a gauge operator by PSI without receiving five to six hours of formal classroom radiation safety training by a PSI certified Radiation Safety Officer/Instructor. (01023)

C. Item 9 of the application, "Facilities and Equipment," requires, in part, that gauges may not be stored at an individual's residence.

Contrary to the above, from approximately August 1 through November 5, 1996, a gauge was stored at a technician's residence, a location which is specifically prohibited by the License. (01033)

D. Item 10 of the application, "Radiation Safety Program - Device Maintenance," requires, in part, that the licensee not perform any maintenance or repairs involving removal of the sealed sources from the device, or removal or extension of the source rod.

Contrary to the above, from approximately August 1 through November 5, 1996, a technician performed maintenance on a gauge which involved extension of the source rod, an activity which is prohibited by the License. (01043)

This is 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 will be achieved are already adequately addressed on the docket in your letter to the NRC dated April 11, 1997. 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 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 II, within 30 days of the date of the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation (Notice).

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

If you choose to provide a response, it will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR), and 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.

Dated at Atlanta, Georgia
this 22nd day of May 1997

 

 

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