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Information Notice No. 83-81: Entry into High Radiation Areas from Areas Which Are Not Under Direct Surveillance
SSINS No.: 6835 IN 83-81 UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION OFFICE OF INSPECTION AND ENFORCEMENT WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555 DECEMBER 7, 1983 Information Notice No. 83-81: ENTRY INTO HIGH RADIATION AREAS FROM AREAS WHICH ARE NOT UNDER DIRECT SURVEILLANCE Addressees: All licensees authorized to use portable radiography devices in radiography programs. Purpose: This information notice is provided as a notification of a potentially significant problem pertaining to entry into high radiation areas from outside the area under direct surveillance. Description of Circumstances: During a recent routine radiographic operation on a pipeline in Alaska, an incident occurred which could have resulted in a significant exposure to a member of the public. The work involved the radiographic examination of welds on a 24-inch-diameter pipeline. While the exposures were being made, a welder was crawling through the pipe near the section being radiographed. The welder had entered the pipe on a crawler some 300 feet from the radiographic operation and was to perform "backweld" repairs from within the pipeline. His presence in the pipe was unknown and undetected by the radiography crew. Radiographers or their assistants are required by 10 CFR 34.41 to maintain direct surveillance of radiographic operations to protect against unauthorized entry into a high radiation area except when the high radiation area is equipped with a control device or an alarm system or where the high radiation area is locked to protect against entry. During this operation, the radiography crew was employing direct visual surveillance from their positions external to the pipe. The high radiation area inside the pipe was not under surveillance nor was access to it controlled by the radiography crew. Discussion: It is expected that recipients will review the information for applicability to their operations and consider actions, if appropriate, to preclude a similar problem from occurring. 8311010029 . IN 83-81 December 7, 1983 Page 2 of 2 We suggest that radiography crews be aware that high radiation areas are not always within vision. While access to these areas may normally be considered unlikely, it remains the responsibility of the licensee to control access when radiographic operations are in progress. No written response to this information notice is required. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact the Regional Administrator of the appropriate NRC regional office, or this office. James G. Partlow, Acting Director Division of Quality Assurance, Safeguards and Inspection Programs, IE Technical Contact: J. R. Metzger, IE (301) 492-4947 Attachment: Recently Issued IE Information Notices .
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