United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

National Source Tracking System: 2011 Blog Archives

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The National Source Tracking System Blog launched in August of 2009.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Maintenance Release 2.1 Deployed

The maintenance release of NSTS Version 2.1 has been deployed!  Upon your next login to NSTS, you will notice several enhancements to the system.  These include the following:

  • Search capability was added to several screens.  For example, you can now search for a specific source serial number contained in a shipment to be received.
  • When receiving sources, you now have the option to receive all transfers in a shipment by checking a single box.
  • All result set tables should now have sort capability by clicking the column headings for ascending and descending sorts.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for additional features in NSTS, please contact the NSTS Help Desk: nsts.help@nrc.gov or 1-877-671-6787.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Annual Inventory Reconciliation

It’s that time of the year again, to reconcile source inventories in the National Source Tracking System! You can reconcile your source inventory in the NSTS as early as January 1st 2012. The reconciliation must be completed by January 31st 2012. AIR packages will be mailed out for each license in NSTS with an “active” source in the NSTS inventory. An “active” source is a source that is at or above Category 2 thresholds.

Inventory packages should be received by licensees the first week of January. If you do not receive an inventory package by January 10th, please contact the NSTS Help Desk to request one at (1-877-671-6787) or email at NSTSHelp@nrc.gov.

What can you do now to prepare? Log into the NSTS and review your current inventory. Ensure that all of the information is correct. If there are any issues, contact the NSTS Help Desk to make the correction now. This will ensure a timely completion of AIR!

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Email Notifications for the NSTS Blog

“Why am I getting all of these NSTS Blog notifications???” We have had several calls from NSTS users that are getting multiple notifications for NSTS Blog postings, when there is no new content on the site. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. Some changes were recently made in the IT area which impacted the NSTS website. We have worked with the subscription service provider to ensure that no erroneous notifications will be sent from this point forward.

Thank you for your patience and understanding!

If you have any issues, please contact the NSTS Help Desk (1-877-671-6787) or email at NSTSHelp@nrc.gov.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Common Form 748 Reporting Errors

Over the last several months, the staff has noticed some common issues with NSTS reporting via the Form 748.  Errors on the Form 748 result in a delay in processing the forms since we typically have to follow up with the licensee to correct the errors.  We are working hard to resolve these erroneous transaction reports prior to the upcoming Annual Inventory Reconciliation, so a quick response is necessary when you are contacted by agency staff or the NSTS Help Desk for corrections.

Some licensees are still using the wrong form for their transactions.  When a licensee sends a source back to a licensed manufacturer for the manufacturer to dispose of a source, the type of transaction the sending licensee should indicate is a “transfer,” not a “disposal.”  A disposal transaction can only be used by a licensed disposal facility.  The receiving licensee will execute a disposal transaction when the source is actually disposed (as authorized by their license) and no longer tracked.  Another example of this is some licensees are using “report source inventory” when they should be using the “import” or “receipt” forms.  The report source inventory form should be rarely used, since it’s purpose was to report initial source inventory, which is well in the past. When in doubt, call the NSTS Help Desk to find out which form is best to use for your transaction.

Also, some licensees are still opting to use the long form instead of the short forms.  Since most transactions are either transfers or receipts, use the short forms for transfers and receipts for easier reporting.   The long form should be used only if licensees need to report multiple transactions of different transaction types.  Because of the number of pages in the long form, sometimes licensees are forgetting to fill in all the required fields for a specific transaction which then results in an erroneous transaction report, which is escalated to the NRC to address.

Some licensees are forgetting to report transactions on sources that are currently below threshold, but were above threshold when the transaction occurred.  For licensees using the NSTS online, the pending/overdue transfers will be visible on the “receive sources” window, even though the sources themselves are no longer in their inventory.  Remember, transactions for nationally tracked sources are required to be reported to NSTS by the close of the next business day after the transaction, per 10 CFR 20.2207(f) or Agreement State equivalent regulation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the NSTS Help Desk: nsts.help@nrc.gov or 1-877-671-6787.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Annual Inventory Reconciliation is Coming

Just a friendly reminder that the annual inventory reconciliation (AIR) is right around the corner.  If you have online access to NSTS and have not checked to confirm your PIN is still active, please do that at your earliest convenience.  If you are having a hard time logging in, please contact the help desk at 1-877-671-6787.

This year, inventories and instructions will be mailed out in large white envelopes at the end of December and the first week of January.  Remember, your inventory reconciliation must be completed by the end of January.  For any questions or concerns, please contact the NSTS Help Desk (1-877-671-6787) or email at NSTSHelp@nrc.gov.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

NSTS Version 2 Alerts

Earlier this spring, NSTS Version 2 was deployed.  One of the great features of Version 2 is the automated alerts and notifications.  This feature was turned on initially for regulators and will be turned on tonight for licensees.  Previously, NRC staff manually generated alerts to licensees for overdue shipments and pending transfers.  These alerts will now be automated!  Additional automated alerts for licensees include notifications for overdue inventory reconciliation, a rejected pending transfer, and a source decaying below Category 2 thresholds.  This alert management functionality provides an automatic alert to the licensee to take appropriate action involved with a source transaction.  This functionality also provides the alert to the licensing agency so that they may track these alerts, and assure that action is taken to close these alerted transactions. A notification of the alert will be sent via email to licensees with online access to the NSTS.  If you need to update your email address, please contact the NSTS Help Desk.

It is important to note that these automated notifications require the same degree of follow-up that the previously manually issued alerts required.

From the NSTS Main Menu, under “Alert Management”, clicking the “Current Alerts” function will allow you to view more information on the alerts current status.  Once you resolve an alert, you can click the “Update Alert Status” button to close change the status from open to closed and include comments.  Please note that many of the alerts will close automatically when the necessary action is taken in the system. For example, an overdue receipt will automatically close when the source is received in NSTS.

For detailed information on the alerts feature, you can use the Computer Based Training module, the NSTS User Guide, or call the NSTS Help Desk (1-877-671-6787) or email at NSTSHelp@nrc.gov .

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

NSTS Marketing Outreach

The NRC has a contract with a marketing firm, Eureka Facts, to help with outreach for NSTS. The marketing firm will be contacting some Agreement States and Licensees to get feedback on newly developed NSTS marketing materials. Staff at Eureka Facts who will be contacting licensees and regulators and performing the interviews are:

Jeff Tsai
Joanne Arnold
Thomas Berry

The marketing team will not be asking you security related information or any information specific to your sources and source inventory in NSTS.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the NSTS Help Desk: NSTS.Help@nrc.gov or 1-877-671-6787.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

NSTS Version 2 Webinars are now available!

As promised, here are the videos of both NSTS version 2 training sessions – one for licensees and one for regulatory users.

Licensees – webinar,  transcript (length: 33 minutes)

Regulatory Users – webinar,  transcript (length: 62 minutes)

If you have any questions about the Version 2 features that are not addressed in the webinars or don’t see your question in the Q&As that we posted previously on the July 1 and July 8 blog postings, please contact the NSTS Help Desk: NSTS.Help@nrc.gov or 1-877-671-6787.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Additional Questions and Answers from the NSTS Version 2 Training Sessions

Last week we posted the Questions and Answers from the NSTS Version 2 Licensee training sessions. There were several questions during the Agreement State training sessions as well. A summary of the questions and answers are listed below. We are still working on the video of the training session, for those who were unable to attend. Look for a Blog posting announcing it in the next couple of weeks!

If you have any questions about the Version 2 features that are not addressed below, please contact the NSTS Help Desk: nsts.help@nrc.gov or 1-877-671-6787.

Questions and Answers

How will reports to NSTS for Lost/Stolen sources be reconciled with reports to the NRC Operations Center and NMED?

Currently, the NSTS and NMED are not linked. However, there is a field on the Lost/Stolen screen in NSTS to enter the NMED event number.

For alerts that would go to a licensee, can a primary recipient be designated if the licensee does not have online access to the NSTS?

No. The automated alert emails will only be provided to licensee with online access to the NSTS.  

Can a report be created from a search results set?

Not all search results can be saved as a PDF/Excel file. However, you can always use the print screen function, or copy the text of the search results. If there are screens where the ability to save the search results would be useful, contact the NSTS Help Desk, and they can generate a system change request to add that feature.  

How do the Agreement States designate report managers for their licensing agency?

Anyone who has access to NSTS in your organization can access the reporting feature. By default, the designated report manager will receive an email when the report has successfully completed. Additional recipients can be added for you agency. Just contact the NSTS Help Desk to let them know the individuals to add.   

How is a vicinity created? Can a Licensing Agency request a vicinity?

A vicinity is created by the NSTS Administrator. An agency can request a vicinity to be created through the NSTS Help Desk. The zip codes for the vicinity will be required to complete the request.

Our Licensing Agency received an overdue transfer alert. Once the issue is resolved with the licensee, is it up to our Licensing Agency to close the alert in NSTS?

The alert will close automatically when the issue is resolved. No additional action on part of the Licensing Agency is required.

Do the reports in NSTS need to be in Eastern Standard Time?

Yes.

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Feedback from NSTS Version 2 Training Sessions

On June 28-30, NRC and the NSTS Help Desk hosted three training webinars for licensees and two training webinars for regulatory users on the new features of NSTS Version 2! The training was well attended and interactive, with many great questions. For those of you who were unable to attend the training sessions, the questions and answers are listed below. Additionally, a video of the training session will be ready in the next couple of weeks. Look for a Blog posting announcing it.

If you have any questions about the Version 2 features that are not addressed below, please contact the NSTS Help Desk: nsts.help@nrc.gov or 1-877-671-6787.

Questions and Answers

Will the NSTS upgrade (version 2) require change to access it?

No, when you log in as usual, you will automatically see the new version of the program.

What is the Long-Term Storage for? How does marking a source as Long-Term Storage benefit me?

The long term storage indicator should be used when you have a source that is no longer in use and cannot be disposed of, or if you are holding the source for an extended period of time.  Designating that a source is in Long-Term Storage is not a required transaction report. However, it can be beneficial for licensees to use it. For one, it helps to better track the sources in your inventory, if you designate which ones are active in devices and which ones are in storage, you can more quickly account for them during inventory. Additionally, it allows the regulators a view of what sources are in Long-Term Storage, and why, which can help with future planning for disposal of disused sources.

Once a source is in Long-Term Storage, how is it removed? Do I need to take it out of Long-Term Storage before I transfer it to a disposal facility?

A source marked as in Long-Term Storage can remain in Long-Term Storage, even after the source decays below threshold and during transfer. If a source decays to Below Threshold while it is marked as being in Long-Term Storage, the source will be archived in the system with the other Below Threshold sources, and will retain the Long-Term Storage indicator. If you would like to remove a source from Long-Term Storage, contact the NSTS Help Desk to have it changed.

I understand that alerts will be cleared automatically when the transaction is completed online. Will alerts also be cleared automatically if the transaction is submitted by Form 748 instead of done online?

Yes, the alert will be cleared when the transaction submitted by Form 748 is processed. No additional action is required to close out the alert.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

NSTS Version 2 is here!

NSTS version 2 was deployed on May 31!  In order to help you better understand the new features, NRC is offering 3 webinar training sessions for licensees in June.  The training session will demonstrate the enhanced licensee functions.  There will be time at the end of the demo to address any questions on v2.

Register via the meeting links for the date and time you wish to attend.  You will receive a confirmation email after registration.  Please register for a session today!

Training Session Date Register by Training Session Time
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 10:00 – 11:00 am EDT exit icon
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 1:00 – 2:00 pm EDT exit icon
Thursday, June 30, 2011 3:00 – 4:00 pm EDT exit icon

In the meantime, you can go to Resources for On-line Reporting to look at the computer based training modules and some of the related information to help familiarize yourself with v2.

If you have questions, please contact the NSTS Help Desk at nsts.help@nrc.gov or 1-877-671-6787.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

New NSTS Form 748!

The new Form 748 has been available for several weeks now, and we have noticed that not all licensees using the form are taking advantage of the biggest benefit of the form – EMAIL capability! Emailing your submission not only is more reliable than faxing, it also provides faster and more accurate processing of your submission! Faxed 748s have to be manually typed into NSTS to process. Electronically submitted 748s can be processed with the data as you typed it, which means the transaction is in NSTS quicker with less margin of human error!

NRC Form 748Emailing the form is simple! There is a button on the top right corner of the form to “Submit by Email.”

The form is attached to an email, and ready to send to the NSTS data entry team on the Help Desk. It is advised that you do not modify any of the information in the pre-populated email that is generated for submitting the form. Do not modify the “To” address or the “Subject” line, as this could cause your form to not be received or processed.

If you have not tried out the new form yet, what are you waiting for? Better design, electronic submission, less margin of error, confirmation of receipt…….so many benefits to the new and improved Form 748! Use it on your next transaction submission!

If you have any questions about using the new Form 748, please contact the NSTS Help Desk: nsts.help@nrc.gov or 1-877-671-6787.



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Thursday, June 3, 2011

NSTS Guidance: Reporting of Re-Encapsulated Sealed Sources Contained in a Single Source Holder

Last year we had a series of blog posts covering common reporting errors in NSTS. One common error that was discussed was reporting multiple sources as one source.  Recently, the staff has uncovered a related issue involving the reporting of individual sealed sources re-encapsulated into a single source holder. NSTS tracks sources at the individual source level. Each source must be reported with a unique make, model, and serial number. However, in the case of re-encapsulated sources, take a look at the source certificate.  If the source certificate lists only the source holder as a single manufactured source, then the source holder would be listed as a single entry in NSTS.  If the source certificate provides the make, model and serial number for individual sources and the source holder, it is recommended that the source holder be listed as a single source entry in the NSTS. This is the case for JL Shepherd’s model 6810 re-encapsulated sources. If you are unsure of how many sources are contained in a device or what the source make and model numbers are, you can contact the manufacturer.

If you have questions or need further clarifications, please contact the NSTS Help Desk: nsts.help@nrc.gov or 1-877-671-6787.

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NSTS Temporary Outage

Due to the deployment of NSTS version 2.0, NSTS will be not be accessible from 10:00 pm EDT today until 6:00 am EDT tomorrow morning.

If you have any questions, please contact the NSTS Help Desk: nsts.help@nrc.gov or 1-877-671-6787.

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New NSTS Form 748

Have you ever had your faxed transaction report not make it to the NSTS Help Desk? You are not alone! Faxing has issues – The NRC has released a new version of Form 748 which you can submit by email.

The new Form 748 has a more intuitive design, with individual pages for each transaction reporting type. Licensees submitting multiple transaction types on one form can do so easily with the Multiple Transaction Form. Licensees submitting one transaction should use the individual form for the transaction type they are reporting: Transfer, Receipt, Import, Export, Manufacture, Dispose, Disassemble, and Report Initial Inventory.

The new Form 748 offers so many benefits. First, you can send it right from your desk by email. After completing the required information on the form, select the Submit by Email button that is on the top right of the form. The form is attached to an email, and ready to send to the NSTS data entry team on the Help Desk. It is advised that you do not modify any of the information in the pre-populated email that is generated for submitting the form. Do not modify the “To” address or the “Subject” line, as this could cause your form to not be received or processed.

The new forms also allow you to save a completed copy for your records.

Drop down menus are available for quick form completion.

And the best part……the NSTS Help Desk can send you an email confirmation when the transaction report is received! Just enter your email address in the “Preparer Email” field on the first page of the form, and you will get a confirmation.

If you have any questions about using the new Form 748, please contact the NSTS Help Desk: nsts.help@nrc.gov or 1-877-671-6787.

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NRC Attends the NDTMA Meeting

Last week, the NRC attended the Nondestructive Testing Management Association (NDTMA) 2011 Conference and presented an update on NSTS.  In case you missed it, here’s the presentation we gave.  Thanks to everyone who attended the conference and the NSTS presentation.  We appreciate your feedback.  If you have any questions, please let us know.  You can leave a comment on this blog posting or on our contact us page.

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Comments Received:

Comment:

I also attended this conference.  It is good that the NRC and NSTS both were there.  It was a great meeting with lots of discussions.

02/16/2011 09:43 AM

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Windows 7 Compatibility

Good news!  We recently updated our credentialing capabilities so that those of you with Windows 7 operating systems can now retrieve your NSTS certificates and use the online system.

If you have any questions, please contact the NSTS Help Desk: NSTShelp@nrc.gov or 1-877-671-6787.

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Resolved: Problem with NSTS Help Desk Fax Line

The Help Desk fax line is back in business! The power outages affecting the NSTS fax line have been resolved as of 6:00pm Friday, January 28, 2011. Power has been restored, and the NSTS Fax line is successfully receiving transmissions.

If you have any questions, please contact the NSTS Help Desk: nsts.help@nrc.gov or 1-877-671-6787.

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Problem with NSTS Help Desk Fax Line

Because of the winter storm that hit the Washington DC metropolitan area on Wednesday and the resulting power outages, the NSTS Help Desk fax line has been unable to receive faxes since the morning of January 27th.  If you faxed in forms yesterday, please be aware that they may not have been received.  The online NSTS and NSTS Help Desk phone number remain unaffected.  We hope to have this issue resolved before Monday January 31st.  Please re-fax in your forms early next week and include on the cover sheet that you were unable to fax it in.  If you have access to a scanner, you can also email the reconciliation information to NSTSHelp@nrc.gov.  The NRC will use enforcement discretion and permit its licensees to submit the forms in 1 to 2 days late.  We will post an update of the situation so check back to the NSTS blog often.

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NSTS Market Research Update

As mentioned in a previous blog, the NRC has a contract with a marketing firm to help with outreach for NSTS.   Interviews were conducted with various users in November and December 2010.  We just wanted to thank everyone who participated in those interviews.  We’ve gained valuable insights on how users perceive NSTS and what some of the barriers are to using the online system.  With the results of this research, we are working on a path forward on how we can address some of these barriers.  Our hope is to increase the number of users of the online NSTS and make that transition easy.  Just a reminder, we have computer based training modules available on the NSTS website.  These interactive and illustrative modules show how all of the system functions work.  These are a great resource for new staff who joined since the initial round of NSTS training was offered.  They are also helpful to review if you haven’t used certain functions of the online system in awhile.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the NSTS Help Desk: NSTSHelp@nrc.gov or 1-877-671-6787.

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AIR Observations Week 1

One week into the 2011 Annual Inventory Reconciliation and so far the response has been good.  For those who have already completed it, thanks for acting so quickly.  For those who have yet to complete it, don’t worry - there’s still plenty of time. 

During this first week of AIR, we’ve had to follow up with some of you to get clarification or additional documentation on corrections you submitted.  Here are a few reminders on what to include when you are sending corrections to the Help Desk:

  1. Make sure to include the correction form along with an explanation of your corrections.  The correction form was provided in the package that was mailed to you.
  2. Make sure to include supporting documentation of what the corrections are if it is not self-explanatory.
  3. If you are submitting a correction form stating that you are missing sources, verify that these sources are Category 1 and 2 sources.  Please do not submit corrections to add Category 3 sources.

If you have any questions about AIR, take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions about AIR.  If you have any other questions, please contact the NSTS Help Desk: 1-877-671-6787 or NSTSHelp@nrc.gov.

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It’s Time for the NSTS Annual Inventory Reconciliation!

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Carefully check the source inventory online or in the package that was mailed to you to make sure it is correct.  Verify all of the information, including the source make, source model, source serial number, current activity, and your contact information.

  2. If the inventory is correct, confirm the information online at the NSTS website by following the instructions in the package that was mailed to you.  You may also confirm the information to the NSTS Help Desk by fax, e-mail, or mail.  Then, you are done!

  3. If the inventory is NOT correct, you may contact the NSTS Help Desk at 1-877-671-6787 or NSTShelp@nrc.gov to correct the information.  Correction instructions were provided in the package that was mailed to you.

REMINDERS:

  • Don’t wait!  Your inventory needs to be verified by January 31, 2011!

  • If you have questions or need help, contact the NSTS Help Desk by phone at 1-877-671-6787, by fax at 240-403-4391, or by e-mail at NSTShelp@nrc.gov.

  • The inventory will be repeated every year.  So, remember to notify us if you move, change phone numbers or other contact information, change Radiation Safety Officers, or if your radioactive material inventory changes.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, April 17, 2014