United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Event Notification Report for January 26, 2010

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Operations Center

Event Reports For
01/25/2010 - 01/26/2010

** EVENT NUMBERS **


45639 45640 45642 45644 45645 45646 45648 45653

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General Information or Other Event Number: 45639
Rep Org: FLORIDA BUREAU OF RADIATION CONTROL
Licensee: GFA INC.
Region: 1
City: DORAL State: FL
County:
License #: 3021-1
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: STEVE FURNACE
HQ OPS Officer: VINCE KLCO
Notification Date: 01/20/2010
Notification Time: 13:22 [ET]
Event Date: 01/20/2010
Event Time: [EST]
Last Update Date: 01/20/2010
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
RONALD BELLAMY (R1DO)
ANGELA MCINTOSH (FSME)
MATTHEW HAHN (ILTA)

This material event contains a "Less than Cat 3" level of radioactive material.

Event Text

AGREEMENT STATE REPORT- STOLEN TROXLER MOISTURE DENSITY GAUGE

According to the Radiation Safety Officer, the operator was at a Kinko's store making copies. The Troxler gauge was locked in a case which was locked and chained to the truck in the parking lot. The chain was cut and the gauge was stolen. The licensee will offer a reward. The theft has been reported to the local police department. The incident has been assigned to the Miami Inspection Office for investigation.

The gauge is a Troxler model 3430, serial number 34898, containing 40 mCi of Am-241/Be and 8 mCi of Cs-137.

Florida Incident Number FL10-007.

THIS MATERIAL EVENT CONTAINS A "LESS THAN CAT 3" LEVEL OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL

Sources that are "Less than IAEA Category 3 sources," are either sources that are very unlikely to cause permanent injury to individuals or contain a very small amount of radioactive material that would not cause any permanent injury. Some of these sources, such as moisture density gauges or thickness gauges that are Category 4, the amount of unshielded radioactive material, if not safely managed or securely protected, could possibly - although it is unlikely - temporarily injure someone who handled it or were otherwise in contact with it, or who were close to it for a period of many weeks. For additional information go to http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1227_web.pdf

This source is not amongst those sources or devices identified by the IAEA Code of Conduct for the Safety & Security of Radioactive Sources to be of concern from a radiological standpoint. Therefore is it being categorized as a less than Category 3 source

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General Information or Other Event Number: 45640
Rep Org: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Licensee: DIAMOND SHAMROCK REFINING COMPANY
Region: 4
City: THREE RIVERS State: TX
County:
License #: 03699
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: ART TUCKER
HQ OPS Officer: VINCE KLCO
Notification Date: 01/20/2010
Notification Time: 14:52 [ET]
Event Date: 01/18/2010
Event Time: [CST]
Last Update Date: 01/22/2010
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
GREG WERNER (R4DO)
LARRY CAMPER (FSME)

Event Text

AGREEMENT STATE REPORT - POTENTIAL GAUGE SHIELDING FAILURE

The following information was received via e-mail:

"On January 20, 2010, the Agency [Texas Department of State Health] was notified by the licensee that while conducting routine surveillance on a Texas Nuclear Model 5192 level gauge, dose rates were measured to be greater than 200 millirem per hour (mr/hr). This is the highest reading obtainable with the instrument they [licensee] used. The initial survey for this device was done in November 1981 and indicated a reading of 40 mr/hr at the same location on the gauge. The licensee measured the highest dose rates in any area that could be occupied by company personnel at 0.3 mr/hr. On the ground below the gauge was measured at 0.02 mr/hr. The gauge is located 15 feet above the ground and is attached to the side of the vessel. The dose rates were taken on the outside of the gauge on the top of the gauge casing. The licensee stated that the gauge does not pose any additional exposure risk to their workers. The gauge contained an initial activity of 100 millicuries of cesium (Cs) - 137. The current decay corrected activity is 52.2 millicuries. The licensee has contacted the manufacturer and requested assistance in repairing or replacing the gauge. This is not a shutter failure, but appears to be a shielding failure. The licensee stated that the gauge is not used in an area where temperatures are elevated.

"The Agency will perform an onsite investigation on January 21, 2010. The Agency will provide a dose rate instrument capable of measuring the dose rate at the gauge."

Texas Incident Number: I-8703.

* * * UPDATE ON 1/22/2010 AT 1630 FROM ART TUCKER TO MARK ABRAMOVITZ * * *

The following information was received via e-mail:

"On 1/21/10 an Agency [Texas Department of State Health] inspector met with the RSO at the licensee's security office to perform an on-site investigation. He found that the gauge is located below a large tank, which normally contains hydrofluoric acid. There is very limited space between the top of the gauge and the bottom of the vessel. The gauge did not have any buildup of material on it nor were there any streaks on it that would indicate that liquids had leaked on to it. The RSO stated that the gauge is not subjected to high temperatures and that on the day of the event, the temperature at the gauge was about 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The area where the gauge is located requires special training in addition to special protective clothing and monitoring devices to enter. A licensee employee took an Eberline RO-2 instrument provided by the Agency into the area to perform a radiation survey. The dose rate on the top of the gauge was measured at 120 mr/hr. The instrument could not be placed on the very top of the gauge due to the space limitation. The dose rate taken on the side of the gauge was 10 mr/hr. A dose rate taken at the side of the road next to the boundary chain was <0.2 mr/hr. It appears that there may be some type of degradation of the shielding in the gauge. The RSO stated that he was trying to contact the manufacturer for assistance on determining the cause for the increase in dose rates on the gauge.

"The licensee has been instructed to notify this Agency when the arrangements are completed for the inspection of the gauge."

Notified R4DO (Werner) and FSME (Camper).

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Fuel Cycle Facility Event Number: 45642
Facility: NUCLEAR FUEL SERVICES INC.
RX Type: URANIUM FUEL FABRICATION
Comments: HEU CONVERSION & SCRAP RECOVERY
                   NAVAL REACTOR FUEL CYCLE
                   LEU SCRAP RECOVERY
Region: 2
City: ERWIN State: TN
County: UNICOI
License #: SNM-124
Agreement: Y
Docket: 07000143
NRC Notified By: RANDY SHACKELFORD
HQ OPS Officer: DONG HWA PARK
Notification Date: 01/20/2010
Notification Time: 20:16 [ET]
Event Date: 01/20/2010
Event Time: 19:35 [EST]
Last Update Date: 01/22/2010
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
PART 70 APP A (a)(4) - ALL SAFETY ITEMS UNAVAILABLE
Person (Organization):
MARVIN SYKES (R2DO)
BRIAN SMITH (NMSS)
WILLIAM GOTT (IRD)
FUELS OUO GROUP ()

Event Text

POTENTIALLY OVERPRESSURIZED UF6 CYLINDERS

"UF6 cylinders are in storage. The cylinders consist of 1s/2s, hoke tubes, and 5A cylinders. The UF6 is contained in the cylinders, which are in DOT shipping containers (20PF1 and 6M containers). Calculations were performed that indicated that the theoretical pressure in some of the cylinders exceeds the service pressure (200psi) and some exceed the hydrostatic test pressure (400psi). DOE literature indicates that the burst pressure for a 5A cylinder is [approximately] 8,000 psi. The age of the cylinders is 1950s [to] 1980s. The potential pressure in the cylinders is estimated to be by liberation of fluorine gas in the cylinders. Access to the areas has been restricted. The path forward consists of further analysis, evaluation, and understanding of the issue. The cylinders potentially contain fluorine gas.

"There were no actual safety consequences to workers, the public, or the environment. The potential consequences are minimal due to restricted access to the areas and the stable condition of the cylinders (i.e., cylinders, shipping containers, building containment).

"UF6 cylinders, shipping containers, building containment provide mitigation. Area sprinklers and smoke detection also provide mitigation. Area security cameras provide assistance for monitoring. Security fire patrols [have been] implemented. Other compensatory measures are being considered that include providing uncharged fire hoses to the areas."

Licensee has informed the NRC Resident Inspector.

* * * UPDATE FROM RANDY SHACKELFORD TO DONG PARK @ 2231 EST ON 01/20/10 * * *

"These are additional compensatory actions that have been and will be put in place:

"1. Verified operability of smoke detection
2. Verified operability of sprinkler system
3. Established fire patrol inspection. (minimum of 1 inspection per hour)
4. Restricted access
5. Hot work restriction in the restricted areas
6. Verified Fire Brigade members on each shift. (minimum of 5 members each shift)
7. Staging one (1) 150 pound dry chemical extinguisher
8. Staging a fire response vehicle
9. Briefing plant superintendent on status with a superintendent turnover each shift."

The licensee has informed the NRC Resident Inspector.

Notified R2DO (Sykes), NMSS EO (Smith), and IRD (Gott)

* * * UPDATE ON 1/22/2010 AT 1609 FROM RIK DROKE TO MARK ABRAMOVITZ * * *

"With regard to the compensatory actions listed in the e-mail dated January 20, 2010, Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. (NFS) is modifying its commitment to have at least five Fire Brigade members on each shift. Thus, compensatory action No. 6 is being replaced with the following compensatory action:

"NFS has developed a specific pre-fire response plan for the areas where the UF6 cylinders are stored. This plan has been reviewed with the Erwin City Fire Chief. NFS plans to provide one trained Fire Brigade member on each shift who will coordinate the Erwin Fire Department response to a fire incident involving a UF6 cylinder."

Notified R2DO (Sykes), NMSS EO (Smith), and IRD (Gott)

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General Information or Other Event Number: 45644
Rep Org: MA RADIATION CONTROL PROGRAM
Licensee: THERMO-NITON ANALYZERS LLC
Region: 1
City: BILLERICA State: MA
County:
License #: 55-0238
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: KENATH TRAEGDE
HQ OPS Officer: MARK ABRAMOVITZ
Notification Date: 01/21/2010
Notification Time: 15:00 [ET]
Event Date: 01/21/2010
Event Time: 11:06 [EST]
Last Update Date: 01/22/2010
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
RONALD BELLAMY (R1DO)
LARRY CAMPER (FSME)

Event Text

AGREEMENT STATE REPORT - POTENTIAL LOSS OF AN X-RAY FLUORESCENCE DEVICE SOURCE

Thermo-Niton Analyzers LLC was expecting the delivery of an X-Ray Fluorescence device. The carrier was contacted and no delivery was scheduled for that location. The carrier is reviewing records to ascertain where the package is and whether it was delivered to the licensee's previous address. The state did not know the model number of the device or if there was a radioactive source in this device.

Thermo-Niton has two Massachusetts licenses: 55-0238 and 53-0388

* * * UPDATE ON 1/22/2010 AT 1129 FROM TONY CARPENITO TO MARK ABRAMOVITZ * * *

The following report was received via e-mail:

"On 1/8/10, Thermo-Niton Analyzers LLC (Thermo) of Billerica, MA, shipped a Niton Portable XRF Analyzer (Model XL-801S, SN U1834, Source IPL Model XFB Series) to REM Aerospace of Fort Lauderdale, FL. On 1/12/10, REM Aerospace informed Thermo the device not yet been received. Subsequent communications determined that REM Aerospace had relocated and the device had been inadvertently shipped to REM Aerospace's previous address. Thermo contacted [the carrier] who returned to the original address on several occasions to recover the package. These attempts to recover the package were unsuccessful. On 1/21/10, Thermo contacted the MA and FL Radiation Control Programs and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department."

The XRF Analyzer contains a 10 milliCi Cadmium-109 source.

Notified FSME (Camper) and R1DO (Bellamy)

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General Information or Other Event Number: 45645
Rep Org: LOUISIANA RADIATION PROTECTION DIV
Licensee: OHMSTEDE LTD
Region: 4
City: ST. GABRIEL State: LA
County:
License #: LA-3087-L01
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: SCOTT BLACKWELL
HQ OPS Officer: VINCE KLCO
Notification Date: 01/21/2010
Notification Time: 14:52 [ET]
Event Date: 12/04/2009
Event Time: [CST]
Last Update Date: 01/21/2010
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
GREG WERNER (R4DO)
LARRY CAMPER (FSME)

Event Text

AGREEMENT STATE REPORT- RADIOGRAPHY SOURCE DISCONNECTED

The following information was received by facsimile:

"On December 4, 2009, the screwed connection on the source guide tube became disconnected from a radiography camera. The radiographer turned the crank handle too far out. The handle on the crank would not turn in either direction. The Radiation Safety Officer was then contacted. The camera was an AEA 660B serial # B2326. The source was an Ir-192 sealed source, model # A424-9, serial # 57864B. The activity of the source was 78.2 Curies. The crank cable was a QSA model SAN882 with serial # 10465. The source guide tube does not have a model and serial number. While stationed outside of the x-ray cell, the crank assembly hose connections were removed from the crank assembly handle and freed up by pushing the cable back into the crank handle assembly. The sealed source was then slowly cranked back into the shielded position. The camera was surveyed, locked, and returned to storage. The crank assembly was cleaned and had maintenance performed on it the following day. There was no overexposure. The crank assembly worked properly not allowing the cable to slide out of the cranking assembly. Training will be given to make sure and check that the source guide tube is properly tightened during initial assembly. The incident is being investigated [by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality]."

Louisiana Incident Number: LA100001.

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General Information or Other Event Number: 45646
Rep Org: LOUISIANA RADIATION PROTECTION DIV
Licensee: WESTLAKE CHEMICAL CORPORATION
Region: 4
City: SULPHER State: LA
County:
License #: LA-5404-L01
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: SCOTT BLACKWELL
HQ OPS Officer: VINCE KLCO
Notification Date: 01/21/2010
Notification Time: 15:05 [ET]
Event Date: 12/07/2009
Event Time: 10:15 [CST]
Last Update Date: 01/21/2010
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
GREG WERNER (R4DO)
LARRY CAMPER (FSME)

Event Text

AGREEMENT STATE REPORT - LEVEL GAUGE SOURCE DISCONNECTED

The following excerpted information was received by facsimile:

Licensee employees went to the High Pressure Separator Bay to remove a point level gauge so weld repairs could be made to the vessel. "The source was a 3M, Model 4D6L, Cs-137 5000 mCi isotope, Serial Number 71150 in a Ronan SA-10 holder.

"The retracting rod was retracted and the shutter was closed. Wanting to be sure the shutter was fully closed, the retracting rod was pushed in and stopped at the shutter. The retracting rod was again retracted, however this time the rod came completely out of the holder. The source capsule was not attached. It appeared that the pins securing the source capsule to the rod had corroded and failed. The retracting rod was reinserted and a survey was done. All present came down from the vessel, barricaded the entry point to the separator bay to prevent access and contacted Thermo-Fisher to have the source removed from the vessel. Radiation readings at the barricaded entry way were 0.1 mR/hr."

Representatives from Thermo-Fisher and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality arrived on site in order to oversee recovery of the source. On December 11, 2009, the source capsule was removed from the holder and placed into a "capture Type A container" for shipping and disposal.

Louisiana Incident Number: LA100002

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Other Nuclear Material Event Number: 45648
Rep Org: KAKIVIK ASSET MANAGEMENT
Licensee: KAKIVIK ASSET MANAGEMENT
Region: 4
City: ALPINE OIL FIELD State: AK
County:
License #: 50-27667-01
Agreement: N
Docket:
NRC Notified By: KEENAN REMELE
HQ OPS Officer: MARK ABRAMOVITZ
Notification Date: 01/22/2010
Notification Time: 11:39 [ET]
Event Date: 01/22/2010
Event Time: [YST]
Last Update Date: 01/25/2010
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
30.50(b)(2) - SAFETY EQUIPMENT FAILURE
Person (Organization):
GREG WERNER (R4DO)
LARRY CAMPER (FSME)

Event Text

FAILURE TO FULLY RETRACT THE SOURCE OF A RADIOGRAPHY CAMERA

On January 22, 2010, a radiography crew working the Alpine Oil Field on the North Slope of Alaska had a camera source that failed to fully retract back into the camera. The technician was able to restore the source to the shielded position and the camera has been returned to the vault. The locking mechanism will be repaired later today. At the time of this report it is believed that the camera contains a 70 Ci Iridium-192 source.

* * * UPDATE ON 1/23/2010 AT 1255 FROM KEENAN REMELE TO MARK ABRAMOVITZ * * *

"On January 22nd a radiography crew working the Alpine Oil Field on the North Slope of Alaska experienced a malfunctioning locking system on an INC IR-100 exposure device.

"When preparing to perform the second exposure of the shift (Ir-192, 84 curies) the locking bar deployed prematurely. The crew reset the locking bar and the locking mechanism tripped again when the cranks were rotated. The exposure device was surveyed, no abnormal readings noticed, and prepared for disassembly. When the crank assembly was removed it was noted that the pigtail was not in the proper position, approximately 1/4 inch further inside the camera than normal. The shipping plugs were placed appropriately and the exposure device was tagged out and transported back to the storage vault.

"When the trained technician attempted to remove the locking assembly, one set screw could not be removed. The remaining set screws were replaced and the camera will be shipped back to the manufacturer for repair.

"The weather was minus 17 degrees with a wind speed of 18 knots.

"There was no exposure to the crew or the general public during this incident."

Notified the R4DO (Werner) and FSME (Camper).


* * * UPDATE ON 1/25/2010 AT 1058 FROM KEENAN REMELE TO DONALD NORWOOD VIA E-MAIL * * *

The report is being updated to provide source and exposure device information.

Exposure Device: Industrial Nuclear IR-100
Device S/N: 6761
Source S/N: 0820
Source Type: 82.4 curies, IR-192

Notified R4DO (Pick) and FSME Daytime EO (McIntosh).

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Power Reactor Event Number: 45653
Facility: COOK
Region: 3 State: MI
Unit: [1] [ ] [ ]
RX Type: [1] W-4-LP,[2] W-4-LP
NRC Notified By: RICH KRESS
HQ OPS Officer: DONALD NORWOOD
Notification Date: 01/25/2010
Notification Time: 09:09 [ET]
Event Date: 01/25/2010
Event Time: 09:30 [EST]
Last Update Date: 01/25/2010
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
50.72(b)(3)(xiii) - LOSS COMM/ASMT/RESPONSE
Person (Organization):
PATTY PELKE (R3DO)

Unit SCRAM Code RX CRIT Initial PWR Initial RX Mode Current PWR Current RX Mode
1 N Y 100 Power Operation 100 Power Operation

Event Text

EMERGENCY RESPONSE DATA SYSTEM UNAVAILABLE DUE TO PLANT PROCESS COMPUTER MAINTENANCE

"At 0930 on Monday, January 25, 2010, the Cook Nuclear Plant (CNP) Unit 1 Plant Process Computer (PPC) will be removed from service for scheduled maintenance which will take the Emergency Response Data System (ERDS) out of service. The scheduled maintenance is planned from 0930 hours EST until 1530 hours EST. Personnel will be performing computer system backups and maintenance.

"Compensatory measures exist within the CNP Emergency Response procedure to provide plant data via the Emergency Notification System until the ERDS can be returned to service.

"The licensee has notified the NRC Senior Resident Inspector.

"This notification is being made in accordance with NUREG 1022 Revision 2 for CFR 50.72(b)(3)(xiii) due to any event that results in a major loss of emergency assessment capability, offsite response capability, or offsite communications capability (e.g., significant portion of control room indication, Emergency Notification System, or offsite notification system)."

* * * UPDATE FROM RICH KRESS TO JOE O'HARA AT 1207 EST ON 1/25/10 * * *

"The Unit 1 Plant Process Computer and the Emergency Response Data System (ERDS) were returned to functional Status at 11:35 on Monday, January 25, 2010.

"This follow up notification is being made to provide closure from the initial notification under CFR 50.72 (b)(3)(xiii) due to any event that results in a major loss of emergency assessment capability, offsite response capability, or offsite communications capability (e.g., significant portion of control room indication, Emergency Notification System, or offsite notification system)."

The NRC Resident Inspector has been notified.

Notified R3DO(Lipa)

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