United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 86-54: Criminal Prosecution of a Former Radiation Safety Officer who Willfully Directed an Unqualified Individual to Perform Radiography

                                                           SSINS No.:  6835 
                                                           IN 86-54        

                                UNITED STATES
                           WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555

                                June 27, 1986

Information Notice No. 86-54:   CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF A FORMER 
                                   RADIATION SAFETY OFFICER WHO WILLFULLY 
                                   DIRECTED AN UNQUALIFIED INDIVIDUAL TO 
                                   PERFORM RADIOGRAPHY 


All holders of an NRC license authorizing the possession of byproduct, 
source, or special nuclear material. 


This notice is provided to alert recipients and their employees of criminal 
prosecution that can result for directing unqualified personnel to perform 
licensed activities and making material false statements to the NRC. It is 
expected that recipients will review this notice and disseminate it to all 
of their employees. The NRC further suggests that recipients remind their 
employees that not only are licensees subject to civil enforcement action 
for violations of NRC requirements, but individuals who intentionally 
violate these requirements may also be subject to criminal prosecution. 
However, suggestions contained in this information notice do not constitute 
NRC requirements; therefore, no specific action or written response is 

Description of Circumstances: 

During an interview conducted by the NRC's Office of Investigations (OI) on 
May 15, 1984, the former District Manager and Radiation Safety Officer of 
the Pittsburgh Testing Laboratories (PTL), Cleveland, Ohio, office admitted 
that he had allowed an unqualified individual to perform radiography. 
Further, he admitted that he was not truthful with an NRC inspector in 
August 1984, when questioned regarding the use of unqualified individuals. 
As a result, on May 24, 1984, the NRC issued an Order to PTL removing this 
individual from all licensed activities. Subsequently, the case was referred 
to the Department of Justice and on February 19, 1986, the U.S. District 
Judge in the Eastern Division of the Northern District of Ohio accepted the 
individual's guilty plea of deliberate violation of NRC requirements and 
fined the individual $2,500. Further, PTL also pleaded guilty to deliberate 
violations and making a material false statement to the NRC. As a result, 
PTL was fined $15,000 by the Court. Subsequent to the Court's action, the 
NRC issued a proposed $58,000 civil penalty to PTL on April 17, 1986. 


                                                            IN 86-54  
                                                            June 27, 1986  
                                                            Page 2 of 2 


Licensees have the responsibility to ensure the safe performance of licensed
activities. In so doing, licensees must not only use trained individuals and
provide adequate procedures, but must also exercise supervision over their 
employees to ensure adherence to procedures and NRC requirements. Violations
of NRC requirements caused by inattention to detail or human error are 
unacceptable to the NRC and may result in civil enforcement action. However,
violations caused by intentional acts also may subject corporations and the 
individual wrongdoers to criminal prosecution. The criminal sanctions 
available may include a prison sentence, as has occurred previously 
(Reference: Information Notice No. 85-97, copy attached), or may include a 
criminal fine as occurred in this case. 

No specific action or written response is required by this information 
notice. If you have any questions about this matter, please contact the 
Regional Administrator of the appropriate NRC regional office, or this 

                                   James G. Partlow, Director 
                                   Division of Inspection Programs 
                                   Office of Inspection and Enforcement 

Technical Contact:  J. R. Metzger, IE 
                    (301) 492-4947 

Attachments:   1. IE Information Notices 
               2. List of Recently Issued IE Information Notices 
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, May 22, 2015