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Event Notification Report for February 19, 2004

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Operations Center

Event Reports For
02/18/2004 - 02/19/2004

** EVENT NUMBERS **


40520 40528 40529 40530 40531

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General Information or Other Event Number: 40520
Rep Org: FLORIDA BUREAU OF RADIATION CONTROL
Licensee: UNIVERSAL ENGINEERING SERVICES
Region: 1
City: LAKE WORTH State: FL
County:
License #: 1136-3
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: JERRY EAKINS
HQ OPS Officer: STEVE SANDIN
Notification Date: 02/14/2004
Notification Time: 14:30 [ET]
Event Date: 02/14/2004
Event Time: 13:00 [EST]
Last Update Date: 02/15/2004
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
JAMES TRAPP (R1)
GARY JANOSKO (NMSS)

Event Text

AGREEMENT STATE REPORT INVOLVING A STOLEN TROXLER MOISTURE DENSITY GAUGE

At approximately 1300 hours on 2/14/04, the technician returned home for lunch in the company truck with a Troxler Model 3430, S/N 30167, gauge containing two sources, i.e., 8 millicuries Cs-137 and 40 millicuries Am-241/Be, locked in its case in the truck bed. The chain securing the case was cut and the Troxler stolen. The technician has the key which locks the source in the retracted position. The Miami Police Department and the Florida State Warning Point were notified. The company will issue a press release and reward for the return of the gauge.

Florida Incident No. FL04-116.

***Update on 02/15/04 at 1549 EST by Mr. Jerry Eakins taken by MacKinnon***

The Troxler gauge was found next to a garbage dumpster located on a grocery store parking lot. The gauge was still in its case and had not been damaged. Miami HAZMAT came to the scene and took radiation readings of the gauge in its case. Radiation readings were 2 millirem/hr (expected value). The gauge has been returned to its assigned owner. R1DO ( Jim Trapp) & NMSS EO (Gary Janosko) notified.

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Hospital Event Number: 40528
Rep Org: NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE
Licensee: NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE
Region: 1
City: BALTIMORE State: MD
County:
License #: 19-09760-02
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: PETER DOOB
HQ OPS Officer: CHAUNCEY GOULD
Notification Date: 02/18/2004
Notification Time: 09:08 [ET]
Event Date: 01/19/2004
Event Time: 09:00 [EST]
Last Update Date: 02/18/2004
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
20.2201(a)(1)(ii) - LOST/STOLEN LNM>10X
Person (Organization):
PAMELA HENDERSON (R1)
ROBERTO TORRES (NMSS)

Event Text

NIH, DHHS REPORTED THE LOSS OF SIX VIALS OF TRITIATED ACETIC ACID FROM ITS NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE

A vial box containing 10mCi tritiated acetic acid in each of six 1.5ml vials, held at -75C for 22 months, was mistaken for a container of nonradioactive sample vials when its "Caution: Radioactive Materials" (CRAM) tape lost adhesion, separated from the vial box, and became obscured by accumulated frost. Although each of the 6 vials was labeled with a CRAM sticker noting the identity, activity, and inventory number assigned to its contents, these small stickers were not visible through the unopened box after prolonged storage. The container in question was mistakenly disposed of as biohazard waste, in a batch of approximately 50 boxes of identical size and appearance, all the rest of which contained nonradioactive samples.

The container at issue was initially recognized as missing when the lab for which it was being stored requested that 2 of the 6 remaining vials be delivered from a repository maintained in a locked freezer under exclusive control of the licensee's Radiation Safety Officer (RSO). An extensive search of agency freezers was undertaken to rule out the possibility that the container in question had been inadvertently merged, after losing its label, with other sample collections. Once this possibility was eliminated, the RSO concluded that the item had entered the biohazard waste stream and had been incinerated at a medical waste incinerator. Upon notification, the incinerator operator indicated that its incinerator was equipped with a high efficiency acid emissions scrubber, which would be expected to retain tritiated acetic acid. Retained byproduct material was buried mixed with 5 tons of scrubber absorbent and 40 tons of incinerator ash, the daily amounts shipped by that facility.

Among other steps taken to prevent recurrence, a large lockable multicompartment acrylic box was fabricated, with
an internally mounted vinyl CRAM sign, for long-term ultracold storage of radioactive materials being held for future distribution.

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Other Nuclear Material Event Number: 40529
Rep Org: US ARMY TACOM
Licensee: US ARMY TACOM
Region: 3
City: ROCK ISLAND State: IL
County:
License #: 12-00722-06
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: THOMAS GIZICKI
HQ OPS Officer: ARLON COSTA
Notification Date: 02/18/2004
Notification Time: 12:47 [ET]
Event Date: 01/05/2004
Event Time: [CST]
Last Update Date: 02/18/2004
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
20.2201(a)(1)(i) - LOST/STOLEN LNM>1000X
Person (Organization):
RONALD GARDNER (R3)
SCOTT W. MOORE (NMSS)

Event Text

LOST TELESCOPE COMPONENT TRITIUM SEALED SOURCE

On December 16, 2003, the US Army shipped a telescope firing component containing a 2.65 curie tritium source via DHL air from Vicenza, Italy to St. Louis MO destined to Siler Instruments, a US Army contractor. The source was discovered missing on January 5, 2004. It was determined that the package did not arrive in Cincinnati, OH, the point of entrance through US Customs. The US Army received a final notice from DHL on January 26, 2004 that the box containing the missing source cannot be located. The Army Health Physicist has contacted NRC Region 3 and is in the process of finalizing the 30-day written report.

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Other Nuclear Material Event Number: 40530
Rep Org: US AIR FORCE
Licensee: US AIR FORCE - JOHNSTON ATOLL
Region:
City:  State:
County:
License #: 42-23539-01AF
Agreement: N
Docket:
NRC Notified By: DAVID PUGH
HQ OPS Officer: HOWIE CROUCH
Notification Date: 02/18/2004
Notification Time: 15:33 [ET]
Event Date: 02/17/2004
Event Time: 17:00 [EST]
Last Update Date: 02/18/2004
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
30.50(b)(1) - UNPLANNED CONTAMINATION
Person (Organization):
JACK WHITTEN (R4)
E. WILLIAM BRACH (NMSS)

Event Text

UNPLANNED CONTAMINATION

USAF personnel in the Johnston Atoll in the Pacific were attempting to remove the "batteries" from an exit sign they believed to be battery powered. During the attempt to open the case, they destroyed the sign only to discover that it was a tritium sign. All tritium modules were broken.

Five personnel were in the room at the time and all were potentially exposed to the tritium. The Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) isolated the room and the personnel clothing, etc. Pre-cleanup surveys indicated greater than 6 times the normal background survey readings in the room. The RSO double-bagged the sign and tritium module debris. The room and work areas were decontaminated. Post-cleanup surveys indicated normal background readings. Personnel uptake and dose evaluations are currently being assessed.

The tritium sign was an Isolite model 2040 with original activity of 15.0 Curies and was manufactured in March of 1993. Current activity was calculated to be 8.06 Curies.

The RSO will follow up with Region 4 concerning personnel tritium uptake and contamination levels as well as equivalent dose calculations.

The licensee will be notifying Region 4 Materials branch.

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Power Reactor Event Number: 40531
Facility: SUSQUEHANNA
Region: 1 State: PA
Unit: [1] [2] [ ]
RX Type: [1] GE-4,[2] GE-4
NRC Notified By: GORDON E. ROBINSON
HQ OPS Officer: ARLON COSTA
Notification Date: 02/18/2004
Notification Time: 17:47 [ET]
Event Date: 02/18/2004
Event Time: [EST]
Last Update Date: 02/18/2004
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
50.72(b)(2)(xi) - OFFSITE NOTIFICATION
Person (Organization):
PAMELA HENDERSON (R1)

Unit SCRAM Code RX CRIT Initial PWR Initial RX Mode Current PWR Current RX Mode
1 N Y 100 Power Operation 100 Power Operation
2 N Y 100 Power Operation 100 Power Operation

Event Text

OFFSITE NOTIFICATION TO PEMA OF MISLABELED CONTAINER

"At 1500 on 2/16/2004, a tractor trailer with two intermodals [sea land containers] arrived at SSES [Susquehanna Steam Electric Station] from Race, LLC placarded radioactive 'empty'. Upon inspection it was determined that one of the intermodals had equipment in it contrary to the bill of lading and DOT regulations. This equipment was surveyed and found to be non-contaminated and non-radioactive. There was no radioactive exposure to any individuals as a result. Operations personnel were made aware of this event at 1630 on 2/18/2004. It was determined that this event may be of public significance and is reportable under 10CFR 50.72 (b)(2)(xi). The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) is being notified of this incident."

The licensee notified NRC Resident Inspector.

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Friday, March 30, 2012