Saturday, July 30, 2016

NRC Proposes $7,000 Fine for Georgia Firm for Violations Involving Radiography Work

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Press Release
No. I-16-024 July 28, 2016
Contact: Diane Screnci, 610-337-5330 Neil Sheehan, 610-337-5331

NRC Proposes $7,000 Fine for Georgia Firm for Violations Involving Radiography Work‌

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is proposing a $7,000 civil penalty for a Georgia-based company for failing to comply with agency requirements while performing industrial radiography work at a job site in Virginia.

On Oct. 20, 2015, a radiographer for Applied Technical Services (ATS) Inc., of Marietta, Ga., was using radiography equipment to check on a pipe weld at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Langley Research Center when the NRC conducted an unannounced safety inspection and identified several concerns. Issues found during that inspection also triggered an investigation by the NRC’s Office of Investigation.

Based on the results of both the inspection and investigation, the NRC has identified three violations of NRC regulations: 1) a failure to post conspicuous radiation or high radiation signs to establish a clear boundary in an area where industrial radiography was being performed; 2) a failure to conduct a radiological survey of the camera guide tube after taking a pipe weld image; and 3) a failure to comply with a condition of the company’s nuclear materials license from the State of Georgia that requires continuous direct visual surveillance of the radiography work to guard against unauthorized entries into the radiation area.

ATS is a consulting engineering firm that holds nuclear materials licenses from both the NRC and Georgia. Georgia, as an NRC Agreement State, issued the company a license allowing it to perform radiography work within its borders and in other Agreement States. When the firm is working at federal facilities, such as the NASA site, it falls under the jurisdiction of the NRC.

The NRC is also issuing a Severity Level III Notice of Violation to the radiographer for deliberately failing to post warnings in the area where the industrial radiography was being performed.

“Contrary to NRC regulations, radiography work was being performed in this case without the proper precautions in places. These steps are required for the protection of both the public and those performing the activities,” NRC Region I Administrator Dan Dorman said. “While no one was harmed by this breach of requirements, the lack of adherence to these important requirements is unacceptable.”

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