United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-98-404 - Conam Inspection, Inc.

September 14, 1998

EA 98-404

Mr. Michael B. Creech
President/CEO
Conam Inspection, Inc.
192-4 International Blvd.
Glendale Heights, IL 60139

SUBJECT:   NOTICE OF VIOLATION (NRC Inspection Report 030-31373/98003(DNMS))

Dear Mr. Creech:

This refers to the inspection conducted on July 20, 1998, with continuing NRC review through July 31, 1998, at the Conam Inspection, Inc. (Conam), field office in Kapolei, Hawaii. The purpose of the inspection was to review the circumstances surrounding a June 26, 1998, incident involving the loss of control of licensed material. One apparent violation of NRC requirements was identified and documented in the inspection report sent to you on August 21, 1998. As stated in our letter, the apparent violation was being considered for an escalated action at Severity Level III without a civil penalty. You were given an opportunity to request an enforcement conference and/or respond to the inspection report findings. You did not request a conference or provide a written response.

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 it are described in detail in the subject inspection report. The violation involved a failure to secure from unauthorized removal, access, or tampering and maintain constant surveillance of licensed material in accordance with 10 CFR 20.1801, 10 CFR 20.1802 and 10 CFR 34.35. On June 26, 1998, two radiographers failed to stow a radiography camera containing a nominal 55 curie iridium-192 sealed source into their vehicle following completion of radiographic activities at the Tesoro Refinery in Kapolei, Hawaii. The drive cables and guide tubes had been removed and the camera was locked with the source in a fully shielded position ready for transport. The radiographers returned to the Conam office, completed their paperwork, drove to their hotel, and went to sleep without realizing they had left the camera at the jobsite. As a result the camera was left unattended in an unrestricted area for approximately four hours. The NRC considers the failure to control and secure a radiographic exposure device to be of significant safety concern because of the potential for members of the public to receive unintended radiation exposures. Therefore, this violation has been categorized 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, a base civil penalty in the amount of $5,500 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Because your facility has not been the subject of escalated enforcement actions 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. In this case, NRC determined that credit was warranted based on the following corrective actions taken or planned: (1) the radiographers involved in this event were suspended without pay for five days and removed from radiographic operations for a period of one year; (2) prior to commencement of future radiographic activities the radiographers must be retrained and recertified; (3) a notice was distributed to all radiographic personnel informing them of the incident; and (4) the Vice President and/or the Corporate Radiation Safety Officer will visit each divisional office to further discuss this matter with all radiographic personnel.

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 at this time. However, significant violations in the future could result in a civil penalty. In addition, issuance of this 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/or planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence have been adequately addressed. Therefore, you are not required to respond to this letter unless the description herein 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.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter, its enclosure, and your response, if you choose to provide one, will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room.



Sincerely,

Original Signed by Cynthia Pederson for

James L. Caldwell
Acting Regional Administrator


Docket No. 030-31373
License No. 12-16559-01

Enclosure: Notice of Violation


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Conam Inspection, Inc.
Kapolei, Hawaii
EA 98-404
Docket No. 030-31373
License No. 12-16559-01


During an NRC inspection conducted on July 20, 1998, with continuing NRC review through July 31, 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.
10 CFR 34.35(c) requires, in part, that locked radiographic exposure devices must be physically secured to prevent tampering or removal by unauthorized personnel.
Contrary to the above, on June 26, 1998, the licensee did not secure from unauthorized removal or limit access to a locked INC IR-100 gamma camera containing a 55 curie iridium-192 source that was located near Heater H-402 at the Tesoro refinery in Kapolei, Hawaii, an unrestricted area. Nor did the licensee control and maintain constant surveillance of this licensed material to prevent tampering or removal by unauthorized personnel.

This is a Severity Level III violation (Supplement 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 are already adequately addressed. However, you are required to respond to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201 if the description herein 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 14th day of September 1998

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