United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-97-438 - Jaworski Geotech, Inc.

September 25, 1997

EA 97-438

Gary W. Jaworski, Ph.D.
Principal
Jaworski Geotech, Inc.
150 Zachary Road
Manchester, New Hampshire 03109-5614

SUBJECT:  NOTICE OF VIOLATION 
          (NRC Inspection Report No. 030-34372/97-001)

Dear Dr. Jaworski:

This refers to the NRC inspection conducted on August 5 and 7, 1997, at the above address in Manchester, New Hampshire; the field office at 1 Hartford Square, New Britain, Connecticut; and temporary jobsites in Hamden and Naugatuck, Connecticut, the findings of which were discussed with you during an exit meeting on August 7, 1997. The inspection reviewed the circumstances associated with an event which you reported to the NRC Region I staff on October 14, 1994 involving the loss of a portable nuclear moisture/density gauge at a temporary jobsite in Bristol, Connecticut on October 13, 1994. During the inspection, violations of NRC requirements were identified, as described in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice). On October 25, 1994, you provided the NRC a written report, pursuant to 10 CFR 20.2201, which included your corrective and preventive actions.

Based on the information developed during the inspection and the information you provided in your October 25, 1994 report, the NRC has determined that violations of NRC requirements occurred. The violations are cited in the enclosed Notice. The most significant violation (Violation A in the enclosed Notice), involves the failure to control and maintain constant surveillance of licensed material not in storage in an unrestricted area at the temporary jobsite. This failure contributed to the gauge, which contained 9 millicuries of cesium-137 and 50 millicuries of americium-241, apparently being stolen from the temporary jobsite. Specifically, the technician who was using the gauge for compaction measurements at the jobsite, left the gauge unattended for approximately 30 minutes to examine work to be conducted in a ditch.

The NRC recognizes that you took prompt corrective actions which were examined at the time of the inspection. Nonetheless, this violation represents a significant regulatory concern because the failure to maintain appropriate security of material resulted in the loss of the gauge. The violation is classified in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, at Severity Level III.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy in effect at the time this violation occurred, a base civil penalty in the amount of $2,500 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Because your facility has not been the subject of an escalated enforcement action within the last two years, 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 for corrective actions is warranted because your corrective actions were both prompt and comprehensive. These actions, which were described in your letter to the NRC, included: (1) conduct of in-house training sessions with all gauge operators within the week following the event; (2) review of the Radiation Safety Program by management; (3) circulation of a memorandum to all users of gauges concerning the loss of the gauge and importance of maintaining security of material; and (4) placing newspaper, radio, and television announcements at the time along with a reward offer in an effort to retrieve the gauge.

Therefore, to encourage prompt and comprehensive correction of violations, I have been authorized to not propose a civil penalty in this case. However, similar violations in the future could result in further escalated enforcement action.

In addition to Violation A, three other violations of NRC requirements were also identified. These violations (Violations B.1, B.2 and C in the Notice) involve (1) failure of a driver and carrier to clearly distinguish the shipping paper when it is carried with other papers by either tabbing it or by having it appear first; (2) failure to block and brace packages containing hazardous materials so that they cannot change position during conditions normally incident to transportation; and (3) failure to complete the source utilization log each time a portable gauge was removed from and returned to the storage location. These violations are each classified individually at Severity Level IV.

You are required to respond to this letter and should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice when preparing your response. The NRC will use your response, in part, to determine whether further enforcement action is necessary to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. However, the NRC has concluded that information regarding the reasons for Violation A, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance was achieved is already adequately addressed on the docket in your October 25, 1994 letter to the NRC. Therefore, you are not required to respond to Violation A 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.

Related to the violations, your response should also address how you keep track of the location of each of your gauges, and under which license they are possessed since you also possess Agreement State licenses from New Hampshire and Massachusetts in addition to your NRC license. Therefore, in your response to the enclosed Notice, please describe what procedures you have in place to better track under which license each of your portable gauges is possessed at any given time.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter and its enclosure, will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR).

                             Sincerely, 

                             ORIGINAL SIGNED BY
                             WILLIAM L. AXELSON for

                             Hubert J. Miller
                             Regional Administrator

Docket No. 030-34372
License No. 28-30018-02

Enclosure: Notice of Violation

cc w/encl:
State of New Hampshire
State of Connecticut
Commonwealth of Massachusetts


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
Jaworski Geotech, Inc.                                     Docket No. 030-34372
Manchester, New Hampshire                                  License No. 28-30018-02
                                                           EA 97-438

During an NRC inspection conducted on August 5 and 7, 1997, violations of NRC requirements were identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," (Enforcement Policy), NUREG 1600, the violations are listed below:

A. 10 CFR 20.1801 requires that the licensee secure from unauthorized removal or access licensed materials that are stored in controlled or unrestricted areas. 10 CFR 20.1802 requires that the licensee control and maintain constant surveillance of licensed material that is in a controlled or unrestricted area and that is not in storage. As defined in 10 CFR 20.1003, controlled area means an area, outside of a restricted area but inside the site boundary, access to which can be limited by the licensee for any reason; and unrestricted area means an area, access to which is neither limited nor controlled by the licensee.

Contrary to the above, on October 13, 1994, the licensee did not secure from unauthorized removal or limit access to a portable moisture/density gauge (containing approximately 9 millicuries of cesium-137 and 50 millicuries of americium-241) located in Bristol, Connecticut at a temporary jobsite, which was 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).

B. 10 CFR 71.5 requires, in part, that each licensee who transports licensed material outside the site of usage, as specified in the NRC license, or where transport is on public highways, comply with the applicable requirements of the Department of Transportation regulations in 49 CFR Parts 170 through 189 appropriate to the mode of transport.

Pursuant to 49 CFR 172.101, radioactive material is classified as a hazardous material.

1. 49 CFR 177.817(e) requires, in part, that the driver and the carrier clearly distinguish the shipping paper, if it is carried with other shipping papers or other papers of any kind, by either distinctively tabbing it or by having it appear first.

Contrary to the above, on August 7, 1997, during the transport of a portable moisture/density gauge to a temporary jobsite in Hamden, Connecticut, the driver and the carrier did not clearly distinguish the shipping paper when it was carried with other papers by either distinctively tabbing it or having it appear first. (02014)

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

2. 49 CFR 177.842(d) requires that packages must be so blocked and braced that they cannot change position during conditions normally incident to transportation.

Contrary to the above, on August 7, 1997, a package containing a portable moisture/density gauge (with approximately 8 millicuries of cesium-137 and 44 millicuries of americium-241 radioactive materials), was transported in the trunk of a vehicle to a temporary jobsite in Naugatuck, Connecticut, and the package was not blocked so that it could not change position during conditions normally incident to transportation. (03014)

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

C. Condition 19 of License No. 28-30018-02 requires, in part, that the licensee conduct its program in accordance with the statements, representations and procedures contained in its application dated March 8, 1996.

Item 10.2.B.1. of the application requires that a utilization log be used to control the gauge's whereabouts by signing the gauge out and back in when returning the gauge from the field.

Contrary to the above, on several occasions in 1997, the utilization log was not used to control the gauge's whereabouts by signing the gauge back in when returning the gauge from the field. For example, the utilization log was not completed when a gauge was returned from the field on July 13, 15, and 23, 1997, and the period of July 30, 1997 to August 6, 1997. On these dates, a gauge was taken to a field site, and brought back to the storage location each day. (04014)

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

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, Jaworski Geotech, Inc. is hereby required, except for Item A., 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 I, 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.

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 King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
this 25th day of September 1997

 

 

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