United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 88-66: Industrial Radiography Inspection and Enforcement

                                  UNITED STATES
                          NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                OFFICE OF NUCLEAR MATERIAL SAFETY AND SAFEGUARDS
                             WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555

                                 August 22, 1988


Information Notice No. 88-66: INDUSTRIAL RADIOGRAPHY INSPECTION AND 
                                  ENFORCEMENT 

Addressees: 

All NRC industrial radiography licensees. 

Purpose:

This information notice is being provided to emphasize the importance of 
compliance with NRC regulations in all aspects of industrial radiography.  
Recipients should review the information for applicability to their operations 
to ensure that all radiography personnel are fully trained and qualified and 
that they conduct operations in accordance with all applicable requirements.  
It is expected that licensees will review this notice, distribute it to 
responsible radiation staff, and consider actions, as appropriate, to avoid 
similar problems.  However, suggestions contained in this information notice 
do not constitute any new NRC requirements and no written response is 
required. 

Description of Circumstances:

In August 1987, the NRC received allegations that Finlay Testing Laboratories, 
Inc. (FTL) of Aiea, Hawaii, was improperly transporting radiographic exposure 
devices containing radioactive sources on passenger-carrying aircraft.  The 
NRC Region V office conducted an inspection, and the Office of Investigations 
(OI) investigated possible wrongdoing.  These efforts revealed numerous 
instances where FTL personnel concealed radiographic exposure devices 
containing radioactive material, so as to transport them on passenger-carrying 
civilian and military flights.  These actions, which violated NRC and U.S. 
Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, apparently were taken to avoid 
the inconvenience of shipping devices containing radioactive material in the 
required manner.  

Additional inspection findings revealed: (1) failures to survey devices to 
ensure that the sources were in the shielded position; (2) individuals acting 
as radiographers and radiographers' assistants without required Part 34 
training; (3) violations of radiation safety program requirements for posting 
of radiation areas, surveillance of restricted areas, and locking of 
radiographic exposure devices; (4) use of partially discharged dosimeters; and 
(5) failures to maintain required records.  

As a result of these findings, the NRC suspended FTL's license and 
subsequently issued an order to show cause why the license should not be 
revoked.  In accordance with a settlement between the NRC and the licensee, 
the license was terminated and Gordon Finlay, owner of the licensee, agreed 
not to perform 


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                                                            August 22, 1988 
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certain functions in radiographic operations until September 1990.  Mr. Finlay 
also agreed to provide written notice to the NRC or any Agreement State before 
performing duties related to any licensed activities for a similar period.  In 
addition, the matter has been referred to the U.S. Department of Justice for 
investigation of possible criminal wrongdoing. 

Discussion: 

Licensees are responsibile for ensuring the safe performance of licensed 
activities in accordance with NRC regulations and the terms of their licenses.
In so doing, licensees should not only use trained individuals, provide 
adequate procedures and maintain accurate records, but should also exercise 
close supervision over their employees to ensure compliance with procedures 
and with NRC and any other applicable requirements.  Licensees are also 
responsible for ensuring that an employee's prior experience, if any, has been 
satisfactory and complies with regulatory requirements.  

Transportation of radiographic material, with its potential for impact on the 
public health and safety, is a matter of significant regulatory concern.  This 
case highlights the need to ensure that material is packaged and shipped in 
approved ways to avoid potential exposure to the public. 

Moreover, the NRC will not excuse licensee employee violations in radiography 
operations because management was unaware of the violations; because the 
employees were not trained to recognize applicable regulatory requirements; or
because compliance with the applicable regulations would have been 
inconvenient.  Similarly, violations of NRC requirements caused by inattention 
to detail are unacceptable and may result in substantial civil enforcement 
action.  In addition, violations caused by intentional acts may subject 
wrongdoers to criminal prosecution.  As evidenced by the cases described in 
Information Notice 86-54, "Criminal Prosecution of a former Radiation Safety 
Officer who Willfully Directed an Unqualified Individual to Perform 
Radiography," and Information Notice 87-64, "Conviction for Falsification of 
Security Training Records," criminal sanctions may include a fine and/or 
imprisonment. 

No written response is required by this information notice.  If you have any 
questions about this matter, please call the technical contact listed below or 
the appropriate NRC Regional Office.  




                                        Richard E. Cunningham, Director 
                                        Division of Industrial and 
                                          Medical Nuclear Safety, NMSS

Technical Contact:  M. Lamastra, NMSS 
                    (301) 492-3416 

Attachment:  List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices 
.                                                            Attachment 
                                                            IN 88-66 
                                                            August 22, 1988 
                                                            Page 1 of 1

                             LIST OF RECENTLY ISSUED
                            NRC INFORMATION NOTICES 
_____________________________________________________________________________
Information                                  Date of 
Notice No._____Subject_______________________Issuance_______Issued to________

88-65          Inadvertent Drainages of      8/18/88        All holders of OLs
               Spent Fuel Pools                             or CPs for nuclear
                                                            power reactors and
                                                            fuel storage 
                                                            facilities. 

88-64          Reporting Fires in Nuclear    8/18/88        All holders of OLs
               Process Systems at Nuclear                   or CPs for nuclear
               Power Plants                                 power reactors. 

88-63          High Radiation Hazards        8/15/88        All holders of OLs
               from Irradiated Incore                       or CPs for nuclear
               Detectors and Cables                         power reactors, 
                                                            research reactors 
                                                            and test reactors.

88-62          Recent Findings Concerning    8/12/88        All holders of NRC
               Implementation of Quality                    quality assurance 
               Assurance Programs by                        program approval 
               Suppliers of Transport                       for radioactive 
               Packages                                     material packages.

88-61          Control Room Habitability -   8/11/88        All holders of OLs
               Recent Reviews of Operating                  or CPs for nuclear
               Experience                                   power reactors. 

88-60          Inadequate Design and         8/11/88        All holders of OLs
               Installation of Watertight                   or CPs for nuclear
               Penetration Seals                            power reactors. 

88-04,         Inadequate Qualification      8/9/88         All holders of OLs
Supplement 1   and Documentation of Fire                    or CPs for nuclear
               Barrier Penetration Seals                    power reactors. 

88-59          Main Steam Isolation Valve    8/9/88         All holders of OLs
               Guide Rail Failure at                        or CPs for nuclear
               Waterford Unit 3                             power reactors. 

88-58          Potential Problems with       8/8/88         All holders of OLs
               ASEA Brown Boveri ITE-51L                    or CPs for nuclear
               Time-Overcurrent Relays                      power reactors. 
_____________________________________________________________________________
OL = Operating License
CP = Construction Permit 
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, November 12, 2013