United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-98-318 - Wisconsin Centrifugal, Inc.

June 17, 1998

EA 98-318

Mr. Larry Koltz, Vice President
QA/Engineering Services
Wisconsin Centrifugal, Inc.
905 East St. Paul Avenue
Waukesha, WI 53186

SUBJECT: NOTICE OF VIOLATION AND NRC INSPECTION REPORT
030-06760/98002(DNMS)

Dear Mr. Koltz:

This refers to the inspection conducted on May 22, 1998, with continuing NRC review through May 26, 1998, at the Wisconsin Centrifugal, Inc., facility in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The purpose of the inspection was to determine whether activities authorized by the license were conducted safely and in accordance with NRC requirements. During the inspection an apparent violation of NRC requirements was identified and considered for escalated enforcement. The apparent violation and areas examined during the inspection are described in the enclosed report.

Based on the information developed during the inspection, the NRC has determined that a violation of NRC requirements occurred. The violation is cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice) and the circumstances surrounding the violation are described in detail in the subject inspection report. The violation addresses the failure to adequately secure and/or maintain constant surveillance of a significant quantity of licensed material.

During the inspection an Amersham 660 camera containing approximately 12.7 curies of Ir-192 was observed unattended and unsecured in a trench used to conduct radiographic operations in the New Fabrication Building. Based on statements made by the radiographer and the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO), cameras containing up to 25 curies of Ir-192 have been routinely left unsecured in the trench when developing film or taking a lunch break. The violation represents a significant departure from NRC regulations dealing with security of licensed material and appears to have been caused by a lack of knowledge and understanding of the regulations. Notwithstanding the fact that the employees working in the area had been informed of the operation and that warning lights and ropes were used during the operation, there remained a potential for unauthorized removal of the camera. This violation is of significant safety concern to the NRC because of the amount of licensed material in the camera. Incumbent upon each NRC licensee is the responsibility to protect public health and safety by ensuring that all NRC requirements are met, and in particular, that NRC licensed material is controlled so that it is not lost or stolen and does not constitute a hazard to the public. Therefore, this violation has been categorized in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, as a Severity Level III violation.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $2,750 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. 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 VI.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Based upon the corrective actions taken following the inspection, credit for Corrective Action was warranted. To address the security issue the licensee has taken or planned the following actions: (1) the staff is now aware of the security requirements and is committed to physically securing the camera, (2) the RSO plans to equip the trench with chains and locks so that radiographers can secure the devices when it is necessary to leave the area, and (3) the licensee plans to convert the trench to a permanent facility by July 1998, in accordance with 10 CFR Part 34.

Therefore, to encourage prompt and comprehensive correction of violations and in recognition of the absence of previous escalated enforcement action, 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. In addition, issuance of the Severity Level III violation constitutes escalated enforcement action that may subject you to increased inspection effort.

The NRC has concluded that the reasons for the violation, and the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence are already adequately addressed. 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, if you choose to provide additional information, you should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice.

Further, NRC has determined that we have sufficient information to make an informed enforcement decision without the need for a predecisional enforcement conference. However, in accordance with the NRC Enforcement Policy, NUREG 1600, Rev. 1, which is enclosed, you may request an enforcement conference to discuss the violation, its severity level or any disputes regarding the violation. If this is your choice, please contact Geoffrey Wright at (630) 829-9602 within seven days of the date of this letter.

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,
Original Signed by
Carl J. Paperiello
Acting Regional Administrator


Docket No.: 030-06760
License No.: 48-11641-01

Enclosures:
1. Notice of Violation
2. Inspection Report 030-06760/98001(DNMS)
3. NRC Enforcement Policy, NUREG 1600, Rev. 1


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
Wisconsin Centrifugal, Inc.
Waukesha, Wisconsin
Docket No. 030-06760
License No. 48-11641-01
EA 98-318

During an NRC inspection conducted on May 22, 1998, with continuing NRC review through May 26, 1998, 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 or access licensed materials that are stored in unrestricted areas. 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, unrestricted area means an area, access to which is neither limited nor controlled by the licensee.
Contrary to the above, on May 22, 1998, the licensee did not secure from unauthorized removal or limit access to a radiography device containing approximately 12.7 curies (470 gigabecquerels) of iridium-192, located in the licensee's New Fabrication Building, which is an unrestricted area, nor did the licensee control and maintain constant surveillance of this licensed material.

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

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. 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.

If you contest this enforcement action, you should also provide a copy of your response, with the basis for denial, to the Director, Office of Enforcement, United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C. 20555-0001.

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

If you choose to respond your response will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR). Therefore, 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 Lisle, Illinois
this 17th day of June 1998

 

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