United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Bulletin 78-13: Failure in Source Heads of Kay-Ray, Inc., Gauges Models 7050, 7050b, 7051, 7051B, 7060, 7060B, 7061, and 7061B

                     U.S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 
                    OFFICE OF INSPECTION AND ENFORCEMENT 
                           WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555 
                                     
                              October 27, 1978

                                                     IE Bulletin No. 78-13 

FAILURE IN SOURCE HEADS OF KAY-RAY, INC., GAUGES MODELS 7050, 7050B, 7051, 
7051B, 7060, 7060B, 7061, AND 7061B 

Description of Circumstances: 

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received information that 
on three occasions in the past year fractures have occurred at the weld 
between the dome and the box of source heads used in the subject gauges 
manufactured by Kay-Ray, Inc. These gauges contain radioactive material 
regulated by the NRC. The possession and use of the radioactive material in 
the gauges is governed by either a specific NRC license or under the general
license provisions of NRC regulation 10 CFR 31, Section 31.5. A copy of 10 
CFR 31.5 is enclosed. 

These incidents of weld fractures in the gauges have caused the dome to 
separate from the box, exposing the 500 millicurie cesium-137 sealed source.
In one case, the radioactive source itself fell loose from the dome and was 
completely exposed. The separation of the dome from the box could result in 
a radiation overexposure if an individual actually handled the radioactive 
source or worked in close proximity to a gauge where the lead dome had 
separated from the box. 

In order to correct this potential radiation hazard, Kay-Ray has developed a 
support bracket which they will supply free of charge to prevent the dome 
separation if a fracture does occur. In a June 30, 1978 letter (copy 
enclosed) Kay-Ray advised you of the availability of the support bracket and
requested you to return a card confirming the specific source heads in your 
possession. A number of companies have not returned a card to Kay-Ray, Inc. 

In order to assure correction of this potential hazard, you should complete 
the following actions. 

Actions to be taken by you as a licensee of the NRC: 

1.   On the enclosed form, enter your company's name, address and telephone 
     number, complete the other actions according to the instructions, and 
     sign the preaddressed form and return it to the NRC after completing 
     all the required actions. 



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IE Bulletin No. 78-13                                     October 27, 1978 

If you have transferred or otherwise disposed of any Kay-Ray gauges, take 
the action in item number 2, following: 

2.   Complete item 1 of the enclosed form, and (a) if you possessed the 
     gauge under a general license of 10 CFR 31.5 include with the form a 
     statement of how you have complied, or information which does comply, 
     with the requirements of 10 CFR 31.5 (c)(8) or (9) and provide the name 
     and address of the persons or organizations to whom the gauge was 
     transferred, or (b) if you possessed the gauge under a specific license 
     include with the form a statement of how you complied with the 
     requirements of 10 CFR 30.41 and provide the name and address of the 
     persons or organizations to whom the gauge was transferred. 

If you have any of the specified Kay-Ray gauges in your possession, take the
actions in item numbers 3 through 5, following: 

3.   Within two (2) days of receipt of this Bulletin, visually inspect the 
     source head on models 7050, 7050B, 7051, 7051B, 7060, 7060B, 7061, and 
     7061B of Kay-Ray gauges in your possession for evidence of weld cracks 
     between the dome and box.  If cracks are found, take the following 
     actions: (a) contact Kay-Ray immediately at (312) 259-9244 and inform 
     them, and (b) file a report with this office as required by 10 CFR 31.5
     (a)(5). (A copy of 10 CFR 31.5 is enclosed.) 

4.   Within ten (10) days after receiving the support bracket(s) from Kay-
     Ray, install a support bracket on each Kay-Ray gauge model (identified 
     in item 3 above) in your possession. 

5.   Within twelve (12) days after receiving the support bracket(s) from 
     Kay-Ray, report the completion of the above actions to this office.  
     The report should be submitted by completing and returning the enclosed 
     preprinted, preaddressed form to the NRC. 

In addition to the above specific actions, we recommend that you read and 
become thoroughly familiar with the conditions of either the specific NRC 
license or the general license of 10 CFR 31.5 whichever authorizes your use 
and possession of the gauge devices. 

Approved by GAO, B180225 (R0072); clearance expires 7-31-80.  Approval was 
given under a blanket clearance specifically for identified generic 
problems. 

Enclosures:
1.   Report Form
2.   10 CFR 31 (extract)
3.   Kay-Ray letter dtd 6/30/78
4.   Kay-Ray Card




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