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Event Notification Report for August 5, 2010

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Operations Center

Event Reports For
08/04/2010 - 08/05/2010

** EVENT NUMBERS **


46141 46142

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General Information or Other Event Number: 46141
Rep Org: MISSISSIPPI DIV OF RAD HEALTH
Licensee: N/A
Region: 4
City: COLUMBUS State: MS
County:
License #: N/A
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: DANNY BRANTLEY
HQ OPS Officer: DONALD NORWOOD
Notification Date: 07/30/2010
Notification Time: 17:45 [ET]
Event Date: 07/16/2010
Event Time: [CDT]
Last Update Date: 07/30/2010
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
DAVID PROULX (R4DO)
ROBERT LEWIS (FSME)

Event Text

AGREEMENT STATE REPORT - NUCLEAR GAUGES LEFT IN WAREHOUSE BY BANKRUPT BUSINESS

The following information was received via facsimile:

"On 7-16-2010, MSDH DRH [Mississippi State Department of Health Division of Radiological Health] received a call from a gentleman who owns a warehouse in Columbus, MS. He stated that as he was going through the contents of his warehouse to determine what could be sold as used equipment or as scrap metal, he discovered a nailed-shut wooden crate with the word 'Radioactive' written in marker on the side. On 7/19/10, DRH inspectors went to the warehouse and discovered that 2 fixed nuclear gauges were in the wooden box. Both gauges were the same model, FM1R-1, manufactured by Mahlo. Labels indicated that each had been loaded with one 100 mCi Pm-147 (Promethium) source. According to the assay dates found on the labels on the gauges, both sources were decayed to less than 0.1 mCi. One other gauge was found in the warehouse. This one was still bolted to a piece of manufacturing equipment. It was an Ohmart fixed gauge loaded with a 60 mCi Kr-85 source in 1994, therefore it is decayed to approximately 10 mCi. DRH inspectors brought the three gauges to DRH office for safe storage until proper disposal can be arranged. Note: The man who reported the box with 'Radioactive' marked on it, had been leasing to a company involved in textile manufacture. The leasee went bankrupt and owed the warehouse owner substantial payments. The owner is legally selling the contents of the warehouse to recoup some of his losses. The owner has no knowledge or background with nuclear gauges. Gauge info follows:
Manufacturer Model Gauge Ser # Isotope
Mahlo FMIR-1 610/61/U1 Pm-147
Mahlo FMIR-1 610/61/IU2VG89 PM-147
Ohmart BAL 2860BX Kr-85

"Further investigation revealed that the Ohmart gauge was identified on a General License in Alabama, licensed to Crown Textile Co.(now out of business). Also a former employee of a company named American Nonwovens (now out of business) said that all three gauges were brought from Alabama to the warehouse in Columbus, MS where they were found.

"MSDH Div of Radiological Health continues to keep the abandoned gauges for safe-keeping and has contacted a disposal company to dispose of the gauges."

MSDH DRH Report: MS-10005.

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General Information or Other Event Number: 46142
Rep Org: CALIFORNIA RADIATION CONTROL PRGM
Licensee: CHEVRON
Region: 4
City: EL SEGUNDO State: CA
County: LOS ANGELES
License #: 0802-19
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: CASS KAUFMAN
HQ OPS Officer: VINCE KLCO
Notification Date: 07/30/2010
Notification Time: 20:44 [ET]
Event Date: 07/28/2010
Event Time: 15:27 [PDT]
Last Update Date: 08/03/2010
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
DAVID PROULX (R4DO)
ROBERT LEWIS (FSME)
LANCE ENGLISH (ILTA)
MEXICO VIA FAX ()

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

Event Text

AGREEMENT STATE REPORT - POTENTIAL MISSING SOURCES

The following information was received by e-mail:

"Chevron left a voicemail message on 7/28/10, reporting two devices missing [to the Los Angeles County - Region 7- State of California-Health and Human Services Agency otherwise known as the 'Agency']. [The Agency and the licensee] exchanged voicemail messages until [the Agency] was able to talk with the [licensee Radiation Safety Officer] RSO on 7/30/10. [The devices] are Nitons, serial numbers U2779 & U 2778. Each contains 20 mCi Fe-55 and 10 mCi Cd-109. The reporting quantities (1,000X) are 100 mCi Fe-55, and 1 mCi for Cd-109; the Cd-109 is the source that makes this immediately reportable. The sources were last leak tested on November 5, 2007. The RSO looked for them again in May 2008 at the Chevron's 'storehouse,' where these devices were kept. [The storehouse] was moving and [personnel] said they didn't know where [the sources] were [located]. Subsequently, the storehouse said they had been sent back to Niton, as a trade-in for devices using X-ray instead of a radioactive source. Chevron asked Niton to send them a letter saying they had received the devices, but Niton said they had never received the devices. Chevron does have devices using X-ray. They continue to look for the devices, and will check their invoice to see if they had received any trade-in credit when they purchased the X-ray devices."

* * * UPDATE AT 1937 EDT ON 8/3/10 FROM CASS KAUFMAN TO S. SANDIN VIA EMAIL * * *

The following information was provided as an update:

"This is an update for the missing gauges previously reported on 7/30/10. The licensee found records of source exchange, which makes this a 30 day reporting event, and not an immediate reporting event as previously stated. The two gauges remain missing."

"This is a follow-up to our conversation a few minutes ago, & to clarify the reporting requirement. These missing gauges are still required to be reported, but within 30 days, rather than immediately. The sources that require reporting are cadmium 109. Now that we have information that the sources were exchanged in February 2006, the activity of Cd-109 is below 1 mCi (the current activity is about 0.85 mCi). So this is required to be reported within 30 days."

Notified R4DO (Hagar) and FSME (Lewis).

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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