United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Morning Report for July 14, 1999

                       Headquarters Daily Report

                         JULY 14, 1999

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                    REPORT             NEGATIVE            NO INPUT
                    ATTACHED           INPUT RECEIVED      RECEIVED

HEADQUARTERS        X
REGION I            X
REGION II                              X
REGION III          X
REGION IV                              X
PRIORITY ATTENTION REQUIRED  MORNING REPORT - HEADQUARTERS JULY 14, 1999

MR Number: H-99-0062

                           NRR DAILY REPORT ITEM
                           GENERIC COMMUNICATIONS



Information Notice 99-20, "CONTINGENCY PLANNING FOR THE YEAR 2000
COMPUTER PROBLEM," was issued on June 25, 1999.

This notice was issued to all material and fuel cycle licensees to
encourage them to develop Year 2000 (Y2K) contingency plans.  Licensees
need to be aware of Y2K effects on health and safety, as well as
regulatory requirements such as record-keeping.  Although licensees are
working to remediate the problem, they should be developing contingency
plans also.  Answers are provided to frequently asked questions.

Contacts:  Gary Purdy, NMSS        Harry Felsher, NMSS
           301-415-7897            301-415-5521
           E-mail: gwp1@nrc.gov    E-mail: hdf@nrc.gov
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HEADQUARTERS      MORNING REPORT     PAGE  2          JULY 14, 1999

MR Number: H-99-0063

                           NRR DAILY REPORT ITEM
                           GENERIC COMMUNICATIONS



Information Notice 99-23, "SAFETY CONCERNS RELATED TO REPEATED CONTROL
UNIT FAILURES OF THE NUCLETRON CLASSIC MODEL HIGH-DOSE-RATE REMOTE
AFTERLOADING BRACHYTHERAPY DEVICES," was issued on July 6, 1999.

This notice was issued to all medical licensees authorized to use HDR
remote afterloaders to alert them to ongoing control unit failures in
Nucletron Classic Model HDR devices.  Field modifications were made in
1996 to correct a deficiency in the door interlock circuitry that was
believed to have caused three control unit failures.  However, nine
additional control unit failures have occurred since 1996.  Nucletron has
continued to investigate the problem and is presently testing new
corrective measures.  Licensees should follow Nucletron's recommended
actions if their control unit stops updating the status of a treatment in
progress.

Contact:  Robert L. Ayres, NMSS
          301-415-5746
          E-mail: rxa1@nrc.gov

*********************************************************************

Information Notice 99-24, "BROAD-SCOPE LICENSEES' RESPONSIBILITIES FOR
REVIEWING AND APPROVING UNREGISTERED SEALED SOURCES AND DEVICES," was
issued on July 12, 1999.

This notice was issued to all broad-scope and master material licensees
to alert them to NRC's expectations about their uses of sealed sources or
devices which are not listed in the registry of radiation safety
information on sealed sources and devices.  There has been an
unexpectedly high rate of events for a relatively small number of
unregistered sources and devices being used in clinical trials.

Contact:  Robert L. Ayres, NMSS
          301-415-5746
          E-mail: rxa1@nrc.gov
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REGION I  MORNING REPORT     PAGE  3          JULY 14, 1999

Licensee/Facility:                     Notification:

Rochester Gas & Electric Corp.         MR Number: 1-99-0022
Ginna 1                                Date: 07/14/99
Ontario,New York                       SRI PC
Dockets: 50-244
PWR/W-2-LP

Subject: UNUSUAL EVENT DUE TO FIRE IN AUXILIARY BUILDING
Reportable Event Number: 35916

Discussion:

At 1:18 p.m. on July 13, control room operators at the Ginna Nuclear
Power Plant declared an Unusual Event as a result of a fire in the
auxiliary building basement which lasted for more than 15 minutes.  The
fire occurred in the radiological waste evaporator room when plant
workers were disassembling an abandoned-in-place concentrator tank with
cutting torches.  The torches ignited old resin fines that had
accumulated on an internal mesh filter.  The station fire brigade
extinguished the fire by 1:40 p.m., after deciding to use portable water
extinguishers vice a more readily available high pressure water hose, to
minimize the spread of any potential contamination.

The licensee manned the Technical Support Center and remained in the
Unusual Event until 2:15 p.m.  The licensee confirmed there was no
radiological release off site or in the auxiliary building.  However,
there was a fairly large amount of smoke in the auxiliary building
basement.  As of 8:00 a.m. this morning, the licensee was still
evaluating plant equipment which may have been adversely impacted by the
smoke.

The licensee's actions were monitored by the NRC resident inspector, as
well as, regional and headquarters staff.

Regional Action:

Routine follow-up by the resident inspector, with specialist inspector
support next week as part of a pre-planned radiation protection
inspection.

Contact:  Michele Evans              (610)337-5224
          Clyde Osterholtz           (315)524-6935
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REGION III  MORNING REPORT     PAGE  4          JULY 14, 1999

Licensee/Facility:                     Notification:

                                       MR Number: 3-99-0060
Ohio State University                  Date: 07/09/99
Columbus,Ohio                          Phone call from OH Dept. of Health
Dockets: 03002640

Subject: Containers with radiation symbols in public domain

Discussion:

On July 9, 1999, representatives of the Ohio Department of Health
notified Region III of an incident in progress regarding the Ohio State
University. The University had transferred an unspecified number of
leaded containers ("pigs") to a metals recycler, who subsequently sold
eleven of them to a member of the public. When the individual examined
the containers at his residence, he identified two that exhibited labels
with the radiation symbol and other identifiers of radioactive material,
primarily iodine-131, which is byproduct material. The individual
contacted the Franklin County (Ohio) Sheriff's Department, who
implemented its emergency response plan. The Sheriff's Department
contacted the local Emergency Management Agency, Battelle Laboratory (an
NRC Licensee) for radiological support, and the Ohio Department of
Health. Surveys of the containers and their contents did not identify any
radiation levels above background and the labels indicated that the
earliest reference date for the iodine-131was January 1999. Iodine-131
has an 8 day radioactive half life; therefore, no detectable
radioactivity would be expected. A subsequent search at the recycler's
facility identified a 55 gallon drum filled with leaded containers, with
a large (unspecified) number exhibiting the radiation symbol and other
radioactive material identifiers. All of the labels identified in that
drum referred to accelerator-produced materials (thallium-201 and
iodine-123), which are not subject to NRC jurisdiction. The Sheriff's
Department is pursuing a pre-investigation of the matter and plans to
interview the University's Radiation Safety Officer on July 13, 1999.

Regional Action:

Region III is monitoring the Sheriff's Department pre-investigation and
any parallel actions by the Ohio Department of Health, but does not
intend to conduct any independent reviews of this incident. The State of
Ohio is expected to become an Agreement State on, or about, August 31,
1999, and the Ohio Department of Health will have full jurisdiction over
all of the issues pertaining to this incident. Assistance from Region III
has not been requested by either the Ohio Department of Health or the
Franklin County Sheriff's Department for this matter.

Contact:  J. Cameron, DNMS           (630)829-9833
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