United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment


ACCESSION #: 9512050272



                          North Star Steel Ohio



                    2669 MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. BLVD.



                         YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO 44510



Nuclear Regulatory Commission                09/19/95

Attention: Wayne J. Slawinski                Tuesday

801 Warrenville Road                         (certified mail)

Lisle, Illinois 60532-4351



U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Document Control Desk

Washington, D.C. 20555



Re:  North Star Steel Ohio, Youngstown, Ohio

     Follow up Written Report to Incident of August 27, 1995



As is required under the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), a follow up

written report must be submitted within thirty days (30) of an incident

(10 CFR 30.50 (c)(2)).  This correspondence is North Star Steel Ohio's

follow up written report.



(i)  Description of Event:



     North Star Steel Ohio melt shop caster was in the process of pouring

     liquid steel into a receptacle (tundish) and metering the flow of

     liquid steel through an InterTec slide gate system.  After the tenth

     heat of the sequence, a mechanical wedge, which holds the InterTec

     slide gate system to the bottom of the tundish worked itself loose.

     When the wedge came loose, it allowed the gate mechanism to part

     from the bottom of the tundish (by one half of an inch).  This

     allowed liquid steel (from the tundish) to pour out onto the top of

     the caster molds and mold covers.  Immediate action was taken to

     remove the tundish by the use of a tundish car to take it off-line.

     In the process of moving and transporting the tundish, the tundish

     car became lodged/stuck over caster mold strand # 3, allowing liquid

     steel to engulf the mold cover, the mold, the radioactive source and

     the oscillator unit, sealed source is 3 m model No 4F65 and Ronan

     Eng. co. model SA-1 holder.



(ii)  Location of Event:



     The event occurred at North Star Steel Ohio, 2669 Martin Luther King

     Jr. Boulevard, Youngstown, Ohio, 44510.  The specific location of

     the event occurred at the melt shop caster operators floor.



(iii) Isotopes, Quantities, and Physical Form of the Material Involved:

     North Star Steel Ohio utilizes Cesium 137 of one thousand (1000) mCi

     or one (1) curie.  The Cesium is installed in a Ronan SA-1 Source

     Holder and the Cesium is double encapsulated in a stainless steel,

     and lead shielded.



(iv) Date, and Time of the Event:



PHONE:(216) 742-6300 QUALITY PEOPLE  QUALITY PRODUCTS  FAX (216) 742-6315



     The incident occurred on 8/27/95 at approx. 1:00 a.m.



(v)  Corrective Actions Taken or Planned and the Results of Any

     Evaluations or Assessments

     a.)  Have ordered new wedges, (which were on order the week of

          August 27, 1995) and since the incident, have pushed up the

          delivery date to September 7, 1995.

     b.)  Review and correct all deficiencies of North Star Steel Ohio's

          Standard Operating Procedures and Safety Procedures in regards

          to all Ronans radioactive sources.  All procedures will be

          reviewed and implemented by September 22, 1995.

          This includes reporting procedures to the NRC.

     c.)  For operator safety, North Star Steel Ohio has re-programmed

          its Automate Forty Computer System to shut off or close the

          Ronan Source for mold changes.  This was completed on September

          7, 1995.

     d.)  North Star Steel Ohio's maintenance department is investigating

          the possibility of automatically controlling the shutter on the

          Ronan Source to allow for instantaneous closing of the shutter

          in the event of an emergency.  If it is mechanically and

          electrically possible to do so, North Star Steel Ohio will

          implement in an expedient manner.

     e.)  Annual audit of the North Star Steel Ohio Radiation Safety

          Program (in conjunction with the health and safety audit) will

          be implemented.  The first audit is scheduled for the fall of

          this year.



(vi) The Extent of Exposures of Individuals to Radioactive Materials

     Without Identification of Individuals by Name:

     As soon as the incident occurred on 8/27/95 at 1:00 p.m., the area

     was designated off limits to all North Star Steel Ohio employees.

     Within fifteen (15) minutes of the incident, a North Star Steel Ohio

     Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) was on site.  The area was monitored

     and above normal levels of radiation were noted.  The RSO and a

     manager of the maintenance department were responsible for removal

     of the defective equipment.  These two individuals were

     intermittently within ten (10) feet of the source for a maximum of

     one and one half hours during the removal process.  No other

     individuals were exposed.  On August 31, 1995, when the damaged

     Ronan Source was removed from the defective equipment, the highest

     radiation level obtained was 25 mREM and the lowest was three mREM

     (on portable Dosimeter units).  This also involved the packaging of

     the unit for disposal in accordance with all applicable NRC and DOT

     requirements.



If any further questions, please feel free to call.



Sincerely;



North Star Steel Ohio



Ralph Graf, Acting Melt Shop Superintendent  Jeff Bindas, Regional

1-216-742-6308                               Environmental

                                             1-216-742-6389



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