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Event Notification Report for July 17, 2020

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
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Event Reports For
7/16/2020 - 7/17/2020

** EVENT NUMBERS **


54766 54767

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Agreement State Event Number: 54766
Rep Org: CALIFORNIA RADIATION CONTROL PRGM
Licensee: Blue Ocean Organics, Inc.
Region: 4
City: Fresno   State: CA
County:
License #: 7865-10
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: K. Arunika Hewadikaram
HQ OPS Officer: Ossy Font
Notification Date: 07/09/2020
Notification Time: 14:27 [ET]
Event Date: 07/03/2020
Event Time: 00:00 [PDT]
Last Update Date: 07/09/2020
Emergency Class: Non Emergency
10 CFR Section:
Agreement State
Person (Organization):
VINCENT GADDY (R4DO)
NMSS_EVENTS_NOTIFICATION (EMAIL)
ILTAB (EMAIL)
- CNSNS (MEXICO) (EMAIL)
This material event contains a "Less than Cat 3" level of radioactive material.

Event Text

AGREEMENT STATE REPORT - STOLEN HYDROPROBE

The following was received from the California Radiologic Health Branch (RHB) via email:

"On 07/08/20, the licensee's ARSO [(Assistant Radiation Safety Officer)] contacted the RHB to report a stolen hydroprobe, CPN Model 503, S/N H330301362 containing 50 mCi of Am-241. The gauge belonged to Blue Ocean Organics, Inc. and was stolen on 07/03/20, out of a technician's truck parked overnight at a location in Visalia, CA. The ARSO stated that the hydroprobe was removed from the two chain lock in the back of the truck and placed in the cab of the truck overnight when it was stolen along with some other items. On 07/03/20, immediate notification was made to Tulare County Police Department (Deputy G. Canales A344, case # 20-055488). Licensee will be posting a reward for the safe return of the gauge.

"RHB will be following up with the investigation. The licensee will be cited for several items including failure to notify RHB per 10 CFR 20.2201(a)."

CA 5010 Number: 070820

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

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Part 21 Event Number: 54767
Rep Org: PIEZOTECH, LLC
Licensee: Piezotech, LLC
Region: 3
City: Indianapolis   State: IN
County:
License #:
Agreement: N
Docket:
NRC Notified By: Eric Heidt
HQ OPS Officer: Dan Livermore
Notification Date: 07/09/2020
Notification Time: 16:17 [ET]
Event Date: 01/01/2020
Event Time: 00:00 [EDT]
Last Update Date: 07/09/2020
Emergency Class: Non Emergency
10 CFR Section:
21.21(d)(3)(i) - Defects And Noncompliance
Person (Organization):
- PART 21 MATERIALS (EMAIL)
KARLA STOEDTER (R3DO)
DAVID ALLEY (NMSS)
SHIRLEY XU (NMSS)

Event Text

PART 21 - PARTS MANUFACTURED USING SOURCE MATERIAL WITHOUT A SPECIFIC LICENSE

The following is a summary of information received from Piezotech, LLC:

Piezotech possessed and used source material, in the form of depleted uranium, without applying for and receiving a specific license in accordance with 10 CFR 40.31. The depleted uranium was used to manufacture piezoelectric ceramics which contained an "Unimportant Quantity" of depleted uranium as defined in 10 CFR 40.13(c)(2)(ii). Piezotech transferred the piezoelectric ceramics to several customers without first applying for and receiving a license for initial transfer of items containing source material in accordance with 10 CFR 40.52 and did not file initial transfer reports as required by 10 CFR 40.53.

Piezotech suspects that a formulation to manufacture piezoceramics, named K180, was developed in the 1970s or 1980s. K180 uses depleted uranium as one of the doping materials in the manufacture of piezoceramics. The formulation uses an amount of depleted uranium that is less than 1 percent by weight.

In January of 2020, an engineer raised a concern to Piezotech's General Manager and to its Compliance Director that the company may need an NRC license to use depleted uranium in making the K180 piezoceramic. A review of NRC regulations showed that this was the case and at that time all activity regarding K180 was halted. All material used in K180 manufacturing and all existing inventory and intermediate stage materials were segregated from manufacturing and the container of depleted uranium was secured in a locked cabinet where it currently remains.

In February 2020, Piezotech commissioned a radiation survey of the facility and sampling occurred in all areas where K180 and its component materials were stored or processed. This survey indicated that all processing areas were at background radiation levels and all areas where the depleted uranium and K180 ceramics had been stored were below the annual exposure levels for untrained personnel.

Piezotech has decided to discontinue manufacturing the K180 material. The depleted uranium will remain sealed in the original container and shipping crate, having all the original markings and labels and secured in a locked flameproof cabinet. Piezotech is making arrangements with an appropriately licensed facility for the proper disposal of the remaining depleted uranium and intermediate stage and finished K180 product. If in the future Piezotech decides to resume manufacturing the K180 material or any material using NRC regulated substances, Piezotech will apply for the required licenses and will not initiate any regulated manufacturing or sales activities until all applicable licenses have bee issued.

For further information, contact:
John Churchill
Piezotech Compliance Director
Phone: (301) 216-3002
FAX: (301) 330-8873


Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, July 17, 2020
Friday, July 17, 2020