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Event Notification Report for March 4, 2009

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Operations Center

Event Reports For
03/03/2009 - 03/04/2009

** EVENT NUMBERS **


44884 44888

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General Information or Other Event Number: 44884
Rep Org: CALIFORNIA RADIATION CONTROL PRGM
Licensee: RADIATION DETECTION COMPANY
Region: 4
City: GILROY State: CA
County:
License #:
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: KEN PRENDERGAST
HQ OPS Officer: JOE O'HARA
Notification Date: 02/28/2009
Notification Time: 13:56 [ET]
Event Date: 02/27/2009
Event Time: [PST]
Last Update Date: 02/28/2009
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
VINCENT GADDY (R4)
PATRICE BUBAR (FSME)

Event Text

PERSONNEL CONTAMINATION FROM PACKAGE CONTAINING DOSIMETERS

The following was received form the state via facsimile:

"RHB [California Radiologic Health Branch] was informed on 2/27/09 that contamination was detected on 3 packages delivered on the 26th of February at Radiation Detection Company [RDC]. One RDC employee was contaminated with an unknown isotope who received the packages and placed them into the lab for scanning. It is not known if all 3 packages were contaminated or if only 1 was and it cross contaminated the other 2 at Radiation Detection Company. The contamination levels were low, around 100 cpm above background (Ludlum with a pancake). An approximate 10% efficiency is likely reasonably valid, yielding contamination of 1000 dpm per probe area. The resulting contamination level likely exceeded DOT's 2200 dpm/100 cm^2 acceptance criteria for shipments.

"The contamination of the person who handled the packages was low (60 cpm) on her arm and clothes. REAC/TS [Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site] was contacted by the licensee and the contaminated person was decontaminated and her clothes were placed in a drum with the package material and decon supplies and liquids that were used for other decontamination efforts for later inspection if necessary. Nasal smears were negative with regards to contamination. The minor contamination on this person was significantly below levels that would cause negative health effects.

"Two carriers were involved in the 3 packages. One carrier's package originated in San Diego, CA and in Vermont, and another carrier's package originated from Honduras. It is possible that one package was contaminated at the shipper's facility, and cross contaminated the others at Radiation Detection Company. It is also possible that 1 or 2 of the packages was cross contaminated in the shipment stream, and the other 1 or 2 were subsequently cross contaminated at Radiation Detection Company. The 3 facilities that shipped the dosimetry badges will be contacted to check their respective facilities.

"Radiation surveys using alpha, beta, and gamma, and some gross wipes were conducted during the evening of 2/27/09 on the driver and the carrier's truck used to deliver 2 packages to RDC yesterday. The surveys were negative. All readings were at background. Consequently, the carrier's vehicle that delivered one international package from Honduras is suspect regarding the contamination. [The State of CA] has not been able to get the information from that carrier regarding the truck or driver who made the delivery. [DELETED] is also the RSO for one of the carrier's and he is also working on getting the carrier's info to set up some surveys.

"Radiation Detection Company appears to have discarded the contaminated packaging, so it may be difficult to ascertain which of the above scenarios occurred based on the contamination levels (or nuclides) on the packaging."

CA (5010) Number: 022709

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Other Nuclear Material Event Number: 44888
Rep Org: KAKIVIK ASSET MANAGEMENT, LLC
Licensee: KAKIVIK ASSET MANAGEMENT, LLC
Region: 4
City: ANCHORAGE State: AK
County:
License #: 50-27667-01
Agreement: N
Docket:
NRC Notified By: KEENAN REMELE
HQ OPS Officer: HOWIE CROUCH
Notification Date: 03/03/2009
Notification Time: 19:47 [ET]
Event Date: 03/03/2009
Event Time: 13:06 [YST]
Last Update Date: 03/03/2009
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
30.50(b)(2) - SAFETY EQUIPMENT FAILURE
Person (Organization):
DAVID PROULX (R4)
KEITH McCONNELL (FSME)

Event Text

FAILURE TO FULLY RETRACT SOURCE OF RADIOGRAPHY CAMERA

Radiography technicians were performing pipeline corrosion shots on piping in the North Slope of Alaska when they inadvertently locked the source outside of the shielded position in the camera while retracting the source. The technicians were using an Industrial Nuclear Corporation (INC) IR-100 camera which contains a nominal 120 Curie (original strength) Ir-192 source.

When the technicians realized what had occurred, they immediately cordoned off the area and requested help. A trained camera technician arrived and, after shielding the source, was able to manipulate the key lock and retract the source into the safe (shielded) position. The highest radiation reading observed behind the camera was 40 mR/hr. Exposures to all personnel involved in the recovery of the source was less than 20 mR. Since the radiography was being performed in a remote location, there was no chance of exposure to any members of the general public.

Currently, the camera has been removed from service and is being sent to INC for inspection and maintenance.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012