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Event Notification Report for January 25, 2010

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Operations Center

Event Reports For
01/22/2010 - 01/25/2010

** EVENT NUMBERS **


45637 45639 45640 45642 45648 45651

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General Information or Other Event Number: 45637
Rep Org: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Licensee: HUNTSMAN CORPORATION
Region: 4
City: PORT NECHES State: TX
County:
License #: L-06107
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: ANNIE BACKHAUS
HQ OPS Officer: DONG HWA PARK
Notification Date: 01/19/2010
Notification Time: 16:00 [ET]
Event Date: 01/18/2010
Event Time: 10:30 [CST]
Last Update Date: 01/19/2010
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
GREG WERNER (R4DO)
LARRY CAMPER (FSME)

Event Text

AGREEMENT STATE REPORT - FIXED GAUGE SHUTTER STUCK IN OPEN POSITION

The shutter for a fixed nuclear gauge located 30 feet off the ground was attempted to be closed. The handle sheared off and the shutter remained stuck in the open position. The repair facility has been contacted and repairs are expected to be made in 5-7 days. No exposures resulted from this incident.

The gauge was from Ohmart/VEGA Corporation containing a 375 milliCurie Cesium (Cs) - 137 source.

Texas Incident: I-8702

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General Information or Other Event Number: 45639
Rep Org: FLORIDA BUREAU OF RADIATION CONTROL
Licensee: GFA INC.
Region: 1
City: DORAL State: FL
County:
License #: 3021-1
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: STEVE FURNACE
HQ OPS Officer: VINCE KLCO
Notification Date: 01/20/2010
Notification Time: 13:22 [ET]
Event Date: 01/20/2010
Event Time: [EST]
Last Update Date: 01/20/2010
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
RONALD BELLAMY (R1DO)
ANGELA MCINTOSH (FSME)
MATTHEW HAHN (ILTA)

This material event contains a "Less than Cat 3" level of radioactive material.

Event Text

AGREEMENT STATE REPORT- STOLEN TROXLER MOISTURE DENSITY GAUGE

According to the Radiation Safety Officer, the operator was at a Kinko's store making copies. The Troxler gauge was locked in a case which was locked and chained to the truck in the parking lot. The chain was cut and the gauge was stolen. The licensee will offer a reward. The theft has been reported to the local police department. The incident has been assigned to the Miami Inspection Office for investigation.

The gauge is a Troxler model 3430, serial number 34898, containing 40 mCi of Am-241/Be and 8 mCi of Cs-137.

Florida Incident Number FL10-007.

THIS MATERIAL EVENT CONTAINS A "LESS THAN CAT 3" LEVEL OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL

Sources that are "Less than IAEA Category 3 sources," are either sources that are very unlikely to cause permanent injury to individuals or contain a very small amount of radioactive material that would not cause any permanent injury. Some of these sources, such as moisture density gauges or thickness gauges that are Category 4, the amount of unshielded radioactive material, if not safely managed or securely protected, could possibly - although it is unlikely - temporarily injure someone who handled it or were otherwise in contact with it, or who were close to it for a period of many weeks. For additional information go to http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1227_web.pdf

This source is not amongst those sources or devices identified by the IAEA Code of Conduct for the Safety & Security of Radioactive Sources to be of concern from a radiological standpoint. Therefore is it being categorized as a less than Category 3 source

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General Information or Other Event Number: 45640
Rep Org: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Licensee: DIAMOND SHAMROCK REFINING COMPANY
Region: 4
City: THREE RIVERS State: TX
County:
License #: 03699
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: ART TUCKER
HQ OPS Officer: VINCE KLCO
Notification Date: 01/20/2010
Notification Time: 14:52 [ET]
Event Date: 01/18/2010
Event Time: [CST]
Last Update Date: 01/22/2010
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
GREG WERNER (R4DO)
LARRY CAMPER (FSME)

Event Text

AGREEMENT STATE REPORT - POTENTIAL GAUGE SHIELDING FAILURE

The following information was received via e-mail:

"On January 20, 2010, the Agency [Texas Department of State Health] was notified by the licensee that while conducting routine surveillance on a Texas Nuclear Model 5192 level gauge, dose rates were measured to be greater than 200 millirem per hour (mr/hr). This is the highest reading obtainable with the instrument they [licensee] used. The initial survey for this device was done in November 1981 and indicated a reading of 40 mr/hr at the same location on the gauge. The licensee measured the highest dose rates in any area that could be occupied by company personnel at 0.3 mr/hr. On the ground below the gauge was measured at 0.02 mr/hr. The gauge is located 15 feet above the ground and is attached to the side of the vessel. The dose rates were taken on the outside of the gauge on the top of the gauge casing. The licensee stated that the gauge does not pose any additional exposure risk to their workers. The gauge contained an initial activity of 100 millicuries of cesium (Cs) - 137. The current decay corrected activity is 52.2 millicuries. The licensee has contacted the manufacturer and requested assistance in repairing or replacing the gauge. This is not a shutter failure, but appears to be a shielding failure. The licensee stated that the gauge is not used in an area where temperatures are elevated.

"The Agency will perform an onsite investigation on January 21, 2010. The Agency will provide a dose rate instrument capable of measuring the dose rate at the gauge."

Texas Incident Number: I-8703.

* * * UPDATE ON 1/22/2010 AT 1630 FROM ART TUCKER TO MARK ABRAMOVITZ * * *

The following information was received via e-mail:

"On 1/21/10 an Agency [Texas Department of State Health] inspector met with the RSO at the licensee's security office to perform an on-site investigation. He found that the gauge is located below a large tank, which normally contains hydrofluoric acid. There is very limited space between the top of the gauge and the bottom of the vessel. The gauge did not have any buildup of material on it nor were there any streaks on it that would indicate that liquids had leaked on to it. The RSO stated that the gauge is not subjected to high temperatures and that on the day of the event, the temperature at the gauge was about 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The area where the gauge is located requires special training in addition to special protective clothing and monitoring devices to enter. A licensee employee took an Eberline RO-2 instrument provided by the Agency into the area to perform a radiation survey. The dose rate on the top of the gauge was measured at 120 mr/hr. The instrument could not be placed on the very top of the gauge due to the space limitation. The dose rate taken on the side of the gauge was 10 mr/hr. A dose rate taken at the side of the road next to the boundary chain was <0.2 mr/hr. It appears that there may be some type of degradation of the shielding in the gauge. The RSO stated that he was trying to contact the manufacturer for assistance on determining the cause for the increase in dose rates on the gauge.

"The licensee has been instructed to notify this Agency when the arrangements are completed for the inspection of the gauge."

Notified R4DO (Werner) and FSME (Camper).

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Fuel Cycle Facility Event Number: 45642
Facility: NUCLEAR FUEL SERVICES INC.
RX Type: URANIUM FUEL FABRICATION
Comments: HEU CONVERSION & SCRAP RECOVERY
                   NAVAL REACTOR FUEL CYCLE
                   LEU SCRAP RECOVERY
Region: 2
City: ERWIN State: TN
County: UNICOI
License #: SNM-124
Agreement: Y
Docket: 07000143
NRC Notified By: RANDY SHACKELFORD
HQ OPS Officer: DONG HWA PARK
Notification Date: 01/20/2010
Notification Time: 20:16 [ET]
Event Date: 01/20/2010
Event Time: 19:35 [EST]
Last Update Date: 01/22/2010
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
PART 70 APP A (a)(4) - ALL SAFETY ITEMS UNAVAILABLE
Person (Organization):
MARVIN SYKES (R2DO)
BRIAN SMITH (NMSS)
WILLIAM GOTT (IRD)
FUELS OUO GROUP ()

Event Text

POTENTIALLY OVERPRESSURIZED UF6 CYLINDERS

"UF6 cylinders are in storage. The cylinders consist of 1s/2s, hoke tubes, and 5A cylinders. The UF6 is contained in the cylinders, which are in DOT shipping containers (20PF1 and 6M containers). Calculations were performed that indicated that the theoretical pressure in some of the cylinders exceeds the service pressure (200psi) and some exceed the hydrostatic test pressure (400psi). DOE literature indicates that the burst pressure for a 5A cylinder is [approximately] 8,000 psi. The age of the cylinders is 1950s [to] 1980s. The potential pressure in the cylinders is estimated to be by liberation of fluorine gas in the cylinders. Access to the areas has been restricted. The path forward consists of further analysis, evaluation, and understanding of the issue. The cylinders potentially contain fluorine gas.

"There were no actual safety consequences to workers, the public, or the environment. The potential consequences are minimal due to restricted access to the areas and the stable condition of the cylinders (i.e., cylinders, shipping containers, building containment).

"UF6 cylinders, shipping containers, building containment provide mitigation. Area sprinklers and smoke detection also provide mitigation. Area security cameras provide assistance for monitoring. Security fire patrols [have been] implemented. Other compensatory measures are being considered that include providing uncharged fire hoses to the areas."

Licensee has informed the NRC Resident Inspector.

* * * UPDATE FROM RANDY SHACKELFORD TO DONG PARK @ 2231 EST ON 01/20/10 * * *

"These are additional compensatory actions that have been and will be put in place:

"1. Verified operability of smoke detection
2. Verified operability of sprinkler system
3. Established fire patrol inspection. (minimum of 1 inspection per hour)
4. Restricted access
5. Hot work restriction in the restricted areas
6. Verified Fire Brigade members on each shift. (minimum of 5 members each shift)
7. Staging one (1) 150 pound dry chemical extinguisher
8. Staging a fire response vehicle
9. Briefing plant superintendent on status with a superintendent turnover each shift."

The licensee has informed the NRC Resident Inspector.

Notified R2DO (Sykes), NMSS EO (Smith), and IRD (Gott)

* * * UPDATE ON 1/22/2010 AT 1609 FROM RIK DROKE TO MARK ABRAMOVITZ * * *

"With regard to the compensatory actions listed in the e-mail dated January 20, 2010, Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. (NFS) is modifying its commitment to have at least five Fire Brigade members on each shift. Thus, compensatory action No. 6 is being replaced with the following compensatory action:

"NFS has developed a specific pre-fire response plan for the areas where the UF6 cylinders are stored. This plan has been reviewed with the Erwin City Fire Chief. NFS plans to provide one trained Fire Brigade member on each shift who will coordinate the Erwin Fire Department response to a fire incident involving a UF6 cylinder."

Notified R2DO (Sykes), NMSS EO (Smith), and IRD (Gott)

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Other Nuclear Material Event Number: 45648
Rep Org: KAKIVIK ASSET MANAGEMENT
Licensee: KAKIVIK ASSET MANAGEMENT
Region: 4
City: ALPINE OIL FIELD State: AK
County:
License #: 50-27667-01
Agreement: N
Docket:
NRC Notified By: KEENAN REMELE
HQ OPS Officer: MARK ABRAMOVITZ
Notification Date: 01/22/2010
Notification Time: 11:39 [ET]
Event Date: 01/22/2010
Event Time: [YST]
Last Update Date: 01/23/2010
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
30.50(b)(2) - SAFETY EQUIPMENT FAILURE
Person (Organization):
GREG WERNER (R4DO)
LARRY CAMPER (FSME)

Event Text

FAILURE TO FULLY RETRACT THE SOURCE OF A RADIOGRAPHY CAMERA

On January 22, 2010, a radiography crew working the Alpine Oil Field on the North Slope of Alaska had a camera source that failed to fully retract back into the camera. The technician was able to restore the source to the shielded position and the camera has been returned to the vault. The locking mechanism will be repaired later today. At the time of this report it is believed that the camera contains a 70 Ci Iridium-192 source.

* * * UPDATE ON 1/23/2010 AT 1255 FROM KEENAN REMELE TO MARK ABRAMOVITZ * * *

"On January 22nd a radiography crew working the Alpine Oil Field on the North Slope of Alaska experienced a malfunctioning locking system on an INC IR-100 exposure device.

"When preparing to perform the second exposure of the shift (Ir-192, 84 curies) the locking bar deployed prematurely. The crew reset the locking bar and the locking mechanism tripped again when the cranks were rotated. The exposure device was surveyed, no abnormal readings noticed, and prepared for disassembly. When the crank assembly was removed it was noted that the pigtail was not in the proper position, approximately 1/4 inch further inside the camera than normal. The shipping plugs were placed appropriately and the exposure device was tagged out and transported back to the storage vault.

"When the trained technician attempted to remove the locking assembly, one set screw could not be removed. The remaining set screws were replaced and the camera will be shipped back to the manufacturer for repair.

"The weather was minus 17 degrees with a wind speed of 18 knots.

"There was no exposure to the crew or the general public during this incident."

Notified the R4DO (Werner) and FSME (Camper).

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General Information or Other Event Number: 45651
Rep Org: ABB INC. (MEDIUM VOLTAGE SERVICE)
Licensee: ABB INC. (MEDIUM VOLTAGE SERVICE)
Region: 1
City: FLORENCE State: SC
County:
License #:
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: VICTOR ROMANO
HQ OPS Officer: BILL HUFFMAN
Notification Date: 01/23/2010
Notification Time: 10:35 [ET]
Event Date: 01/23/2010
Event Time: [EST]
Last Update Date: 01/23/2010
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
21.21 - UNSPECIFIED PARAGRAPH
Person (Organization):
MARVIN SYKES (R2DO)
GREG WERNER (R4DO)
S. PANNIER (E-MAIL) (NRR)
J. THORP (E-MAIL) (NRR)
O.TABATABAI (E-MAIL) (NRO)

Event Text

CIRCUIT BREAKER CHARGING MOTOR CRANK DOES NOT MEET HARDNESS SPECIFICATIONS

The following information was received via facsimile:

"This letter provides notification of a failure to comply with specifications associated with ABB P/N 716532C00 Motor Crank procured as a commercial grade item from Sims Machining, and dedicated by ABB from a production run of 105 pieces produced October 21, 2009. These motor cranks are used in K-Line electrically operated circuit breakers with Ryobi or Wuxi motors. The motor crank is attached to the end of an electric charging motor. When the motor rotates the crank moves the charging pawl assembly in a cyclical manner. The cyclical movement of the charging pawl assembly in turn works with the ratchet pawls and converts the rotational torque produced by the charging motor into linear spring displacement. The linear spring displacement is used to charge the closing springs in the breaker mechanism.

"Myers Control Power LLC notified ABB Florence on November 25, 2009 of a hardness test failure of motor cranks supplied by ABB for commercial applications. An evaluation was performed by ABB and noted that the required heat treatment process was not performed on a lot quantity of 105 motor cranks received October 24, 2009 from Sims Machining. Of the 105 non-heat treated motor cranks, 100 have been accounted for. Five K-Line circuit breakers procured from ABB between 10/24/2009 and 1/06/2010 may have non-heat treated motor cranks installed. Work process errors allowed non-heat treated motor cranks to be used in manufacture of K-Line circuit breakers. The motor crank is heat treated to prevent the premature wear of the crank as the roller on the crank turns around the output shaft during the charging cycle. The failure to heat treat the motor crank can cause the output shaft of the crank to wear. This will result in the misalignment of the spring charging components or ultimate failure of the spring charging system during the charging cycle, leading to the inability to close the breaker more than once.

"ABB is taking, or has taken, the following corrective actions:

a. Notification of the potential existence of this deviation to affected customers (to complete 1/31/2010).
b. Review historical procurement and inspection records associated with the subject part, vendor and similar machined parts requiring heat treatment. (Action complete - no previous heat treatment process errors identified for both commercial and safety-related applications.)
c. Follow-up with Sims Machining to determine how future incidents can be prevented and other actions warranted to prevent recurrence. (Action complete - Vendor requires certificate of heat treatment prior to sending to approved supplier for plating services.)
d. Remove all non-heat treated motor cranks from inventory and work in progress for rework. (Action complete - 99 of 105 affected motor cranks reworked and 1 motor crank maintained for life cycle testing resulting in 5 suspect motor cranks escaping facility.)
e. Revise inspection process instructions to ensure heat treatment is identified as a critical characteristic for verification (to complete by 1/25/2010).
f. A cycle test is being performed to determine level of premature wear due to non-heat treatment. Results expected to be complete by 1/31/2010.

"Given the large number of applications for the affected circuit breakers, ABB (Medium Voltage Service) cannot determine if the potential for a substantial safety hazard exists at any licensee's facility if premature failure of the motor crank occurs. Licensees are requested to evaluate the history of circuit breaker operating cycles to determine if the circuit breaker motor crank should be replaced immediately, or to perform the replacement at the next convenient maintenance opportunity."

The HOO spoke to the point of contact for ABB on this issue and determined that the only two reactor licensees likely to have one of these discrepant breakers are Palo Verde and Surry.

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