United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment



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U. S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, REGION III

801 Warrenville Road, Lisle IL 60532

CONTACT:    Jan Strasma (630) 829-9663/e-mail: rjs2@nrc.gov
Angela Greenman (630) 829-9662/e-mail: opa3@nrc.gov

NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT: RIII-98-51

September 29, 1998

NRC STAFF DENIES LICENSE RENEWAL FOR CLEVELAND, OHIO, FIRM

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has denied the application of Advanced Medical Systems, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio, for renewal of its NRC license to possess radioactive material.

The denial is based on the company's failure to submit an adequate plan for funding of the decontamination and dismantling of its facility at 1020 London Road in Cleveland.

The company formerly manufactured sealed radiation sources containing radioactive cobalt-60 for use in medical therapy devices. The possession and use of cobalt-60 requires a license from the NRC.

The company stopped manufacturing sources in 1985, and in 1991 the NRC amended the company's license to permit only storage of radioactive materials and servicing activities for the therapy devices.

Most of the company's inventory of radioactive cobalt was disposed of in 1997. The remaining material is safely contained in the Advanced Medical Systems facility and does not represent a health and safety threat to the surrounding community.

NRC regulations require licensees with significant quantities of radioactive material to submit to the NRC a plan for the funding of decommissioning activities when the licensed activities cease.

Advanced Medical Systems proposed a decommissioning plan with either immediate dismantling of the facility or delayed dismantling after a storage period of up to 20 years. The NRC staff determined that the delayed option was not appropriate for determining funding necessary for decommissioning.

The company submitted an estimate of $1.4 million for the immediate dismantling of the facility. The NRC staff, based on an independent estimate by an NRC contractor, has determined the range of costs for immediate dismantling to be from $5.3 million to $13.1 million.

Advanced Medical Systems has submitted certification and evidence of funding for $490,000 available for decommissioning. This is substantially less than the estimate by both the company and the NRC staff.

The company had applied for renewal of its NRC license in November 1994, and the agency has been reviewing the application since that time. Pending a decision, the license has remained in effect.

Based on the inadequate funding plan for decommissioning, the NRC staff notified the company on September 29 that it was denying the renewal application. The company may request a hearing on the decision by October 19. The denial of the renewal application will be effective November 17.

When the denial of the renewal becomes effective, the company's NRC license will expire. The company would continue to be subject to the terms of the license and NRC regulations until the facility is satisfactorily decommissioned and the license is terminated by the NRC.

With an expired license, Advanced Medical Systems would be under a provision of NRC regulations which requires prompt decommissioning of the facility with a decommissioning plan to be submitted within one year.

The State of Ohio has requested that it be granted "Agreement State" status under which the NRC would transfer regulatory jurisdiction over uses of radioactive materials currently regulated by the NRC except for nuclear power plants, a uranium enrichment facility, and federal facilities. This transfer is expected to take place in 1999 and would include the Advanced Medical Systems facility.

The NRC staff has discussed the denial of the Advanced Medical Systems license renewal with the Ohio Department of Health, which will be the agency assuming regulatory jurisdiction.


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