United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 94-21: Regulatory Requirements When No Operations are Being Performed

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

March 18, 1994


NRC INFORMATION NOTICE 94-21: REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS WHEN NO OPERATIONS ARE
BEING PERFORMED


Addressees

All fuel cycle and materials licensees.

Purpose

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is issuing this information notice to
remind addressees that all regulatory requirements must be satisfied even when
no operations are being performed.  It is expected that recipients will review
this information for applicability to their operations and consider actions,
as appropriate, to avoid violations of regulatory requirements.

Description of Circumstances

On June 26, 1990, NRC received allegations of safety violations concerning a
service company that was licensed to handle and transport radioactive material
for its customers.  During a followup NRC investigation, the licensee claimed
that it was working under the license of its customers, and not under its own
license.  The licensee viewed its license as "inactive" because activities
were not being performed under that authorization.  After an extensive
investigation, the licensee was cited for seven violations including failure
to have an NRC-approved radiation safety officer (RSO) for a period of time,
and failure of the radiation safety committee to review all licensed
activities.

Discussion

NRC issues licenses for many types of operations, including service companies
that may only perform licensed activities for short periods of time at
temporary job sites.  Many licensees experience slow periods where their
workers are inactive, but there is no such thing as an inactive license.  Most
licenses have a condition similar to the following:

"Except as specifically provided otherwise in this license, the
licensee shall conduct its program in accordance with the
statements, representations, and procedures contained in the
documents, including any enclosures, listed below.  The NRC's
regulations shall govern unless the statements, representations,
and procedures in the licensee's application and correspondence
are more restrictive than the regulations.

(Application and correspondence listed chronologically.)"

9403140010.                                        IN 94-21
                                        March 18, 1994
                                        Page 2 of 2


The radiation safety programs required by NRC regulations and license
conditions must be maintained in an active state while the license is in
effect.  Without a license amendment, a licensee may not suspend required
radiation safety programs and then attempt to re-establish these programs at a
later date.  The license must be amended to authorize such program changes.
Licensees should remain competent to undertake activities authorized by their
license if they want to maintain their authorization to perform those
activities.

Actions to maintain an active radiation safety program include the following:

A.Maintaining qualified personnel in key positions (i.e., RSO, radiation
safety committee members, etc.).

B.Holding required safety committee meetings.

C.Performing required maintenance and calibration of safety equipment.

D.Completing required training (including periodic retraining).

E.Maintaining required signs, labels, and postings.

F.Completing required monitoring and surveillance.

G.Maintaining required records.

This information notice requires no specific action or written response.  It
is expected that recipients will consider actions, as appropriate, to avoid
violations of regulatory requirements.  If you have any questions about the
information in this notice, please contact the technical contact listed below
or the appropriate regional office.

/s/'d by RFBurnett/s/'d by CJPaperiello


Robert F, Burnett, Director            Carl J. Paperiello, Director
Division of Fuel Cycle Safety          Division of Industrial and
  and Safeguards                      Medical Nuclear Safety
Office of Nuclear Material Safety        Office of Nuclear Material Safety
  and Safeguards                      and Safeguards

Technical contact:  Kevin M. Ramsey, NMSS
              (301) 504-2534

Attachments:
1.  List of Recently issued NMSS Information Notices
2.  List of Recently issued NRC Information Notices


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