United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-98-377 - KTI Construction Services, Inc.

July 20, 1998

EA 98-377

Otto J. Kruger
Vice President
KTI Construction Services, Inc.
9003 West 51st Street
Merriam, KS 66203

SUBJECT: NOTICE OF VIOLATION AND NRC INSPECTION REPORT 030-30164/98001(DNMS)

Dear Mr. Kruger:

This refers to the inspection conducted on June 22 and 23, 1998, with continuing NRC review through July 7, 1998, at KTI Construction Services, Inc., (KTI) in Merriam, Kansas, and Knob Noster, Missouri. The purpose of the inspection included review of the reported incident involving damage to a moisture/density gauge. The inspection findings 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 violations of NRC requirements occurred. These 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 include: (1) failure to maintain control of licensed material; (2) licensed material used by an unauthorized person; (3) failure to wear a film badge; and (4) failure to follow emergency procedures as required.

Collectively, the violations demonstrate a programmatic breakdown in the control of your licensed activities. The root cause of this breakdown stems from inadequate lines of communication among the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO), the Construction Services Supervisor, and Field Engineers. The workers misunderstood the Operating and Emergency procedures and the authorization process for gauge users. The RSO delegated radiation safety responsibilities to the Supervisor and did not audit or otherwise follow-up to ensure that the radiation safety program was being implemented safely. The violations are of significant concern to the NRC because they represent the major requirements of the KTI's radiation safety program and failure to follow them increases the risk to workers and members of the public of unsafe use of radioactive materials. Incumbent upon each NRC licensee is the responsibility to ensure that all requirements of the NRC license are met and any potential violations of NRC requirements are identified and corrected expeditiously. Therefore, these violations are classified in the aggregate 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 $2,750 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 VI.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Based upon the prompt and comprehensive actions taken following the inspection, credit for Corrective Action was warranted. In addition to addressing each of the individual violations, the corrective actions planned or taken to address the root cause included: (1) updating and re-issuing to the operators written Operating and Emergency procedures; (2) revising, posting, and distributing to all workers the list of authorized users with emphasis that only those on the list may have access to the gauges; (3) sending four operators to the manufacturers training course; and (4) training two field engineers to provide program oversight at each of the licensee's offices. These individuals will report directly to the Radiation Safety Officer.

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, significant violations in the future could result in a civil penalty. In addition, issuance of the Severity Level III problem constitutes escalated enforcement action that may subject you to increased inspection effort.

The NRC has concluded that the reasons for the violations, and the corrective actions taken and/or planned to correct the violations and prevent recurrence have been 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.

The 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, you may request an enforcement conference to discuss the violations and/or any disputes regarding them. 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. 030-30164
License No. 24-25827-01

Enclosures: As stated


NOTICE OF VIOLATION  
KTI Construction Services, Inc.
Knob Noster, Missouri
  Docket No. 030-30164
License No. 24-25827-01
EA 98-377

During an NRC inspection conducted on June 22 and 23, 1998, with continuing NRC review through July 7, 1998, 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 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 April 11, 1998, the licensee did not secure from unauthorized removal or limit access to a portable moisture/density gauge containing 8 millicuries of cesium-137 and 40 millicuries of americium-241 located at a temporary jobsite, an unrestricted area, nor did the licensee control and maintain constant surveillance of this licensed material.

B. Condition 12 of License No. 24-25827-01, requires, in part, that licensed materials shall only be used by, or under the supervision and in the physical presence of Pamela J. Kruger, or individuals who have successfully completed the manufacturer's training program for gauge users, have been instructed in the licensee's routine and emergency operating procedures, and who have been designated by the Radiation Safety Officer.

Contrary to the above, on April 11, 1998, licensed materials were used by an individual who was not in the physical presence of Pamela J. Kruger or individuals who had successfully completed the manufacturer's training program for gauge users, nor was the individual designated (as an authorized user) by the Radiation Safety Officer.

C. C. Condition 20 of License No. 24-25827-01 requires that licensed material be possessed and used in accordance with the licensee's application dated September 29, 1992.

  1. Item 10.1 of the referenced application entitled "Personnel Monitoring Equipment," states, in part, that all personnel will wear a film badge. Item 10.6 of the referenced application entitled "Operating and Emergency Procedures," topic 1, indicates that all personnel who use the device should wear their personal dosimeters when they are working with the device.

Contrary to the above, on April 11, 1998, the licensee's employee operated a moisture density gauge containing 8 millicuries of cesium-137 and 40 millicuries of americium-241 and did not wear a film badge or other personal monitoring dosimeter.

  2. Item 10.6 of the referenced application entitled "Operating and Emergency Procedures," states, in part, that all personnel are provided with operating and emergency procedures. The Emergency Procedures provided to personnel requires that in the event of physical damage to a gauge: (1) an area of 15 feet in radius from the gauge must be sealed or cordoned off to prevent entry by unauthorized persons, and (2) as soon as possible, after the situation has been stabilized and is under control, you must contact the Radiation Safety Officer and describe the present existing conditions and follow the instructions of the Radiation Safety Officer.

Contrary to the above, on April 11, 1998, after physical damage of a gauge, the worker did not seal or cordon off an area of 15 feet in radius to prevent entry by unauthorized persons, nor did the worker and or the supervisor contact the Radiation Safety Officer and describe the existing conditions and follow the instructions of the Radiation Safety Officer. Specifically, the worker transported the damaged gauge from the construction site, and the supervisor left a telephone message at the Radiation Safety Officer's residence.


These violations represent a Severity Level III problem (Supplements IV & 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, DC 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 20th day of July 1998

 

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