United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 85-07: Contaminated Radiography Source Shipments

                                                            SSINS No.: 6835 
                                                            IN 85-07       

                                UNITED STATES
                        NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                    OFFICE OF INSPECTION AND ENFORCEMENT
                           WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555

                              January 29, 1985

Information Notice No. 85-07:   CONTAMINATED RADIOGRAPHY SOURCE SHIPMENTS

Addressees: 

All NRC licensees authorized to possess industrial radiography sources. 

Purpose: 

This information notice is intended to alert receivers of radiography 
sources of recent discoveries of removable contamination on shipping 
containers arriving at licensee sites from a source supplier. It is expected 
that recipients will review the information in this notice for applicability 
to their facilities and consider actions, if appropriate, to preclude a 
similar problem. However, suggestions contained in this information notice 
do not constitute NRC requirements; therefore, no specific action or written
response is required. 

Description of Circumstances: 

A large east coast shipyard recently received three consecutive iridium-192 
radiography source shipments from Gamma Industries, an Agreement State 
supplier, that exhibited significant contamination on the bottom of the 
source changers contained within an overpack. Radiation levels on removable 
contamination wipes ranged up to 0.4 milliroentgens/hour. Several shipyard 
employees were contaminated, and their vehicles and homes were required to 
be surveyed to ensure that no contamination was spread. 

Discussion: 

Gamma Industries will be sending leak test kits to users of their Model C-10
source changers and will be requesting that the exterior of the changers be 
wiped and the wipes returned to Gamma Industries for analysis. However, 
because source changer models other than the C-10 are loaded in the same way
by Gamma Industries, it is suggested that licensees survey other types of 
Gamma Industries shipping containers in their possession by wiping the 
entire external surface with a paper towel and then surveying the towel in 
an area of low background radiation with their most sensitive survey meter 
set to the lowest scale range. If contamination is detected, it would be 
advisable to contact the container shipper and the appropriate NRC regional 
office. 

Although contamination surveys are not specifically required by 10 CFR 
20.205 because the sources are a special form, the NRC suggests that surveys 
for gross 


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                                                          IN 85-07        
                                                          January 29, 1985 
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contamination be made on shipping containers containing radiography sources 
on a routine basis, regardless of supplier, to ensure that workers and the 
public are not unnecessarily exposed to radiation from surface 
contamination. 

No specific action or written response is required by this information 
notice. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact the 
Regional Administrator of the appropriate NRC regional office or this 
office. 


                                   J. Nelson Grace, Director
                                   Division of Quality Assurance,     
                                     Safeguards, and Inspection Programs 
                                   Office of Inspection and Enforcement 

Technical Contact:  J. R. Metzger
                    (301) 492-4947

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