NRC Issues Confirmatory Order to Idaho State University

Because the university has made "significant corrective actions," and subject to satisfactory completion of additional actions it has promised to take, the agency is not issuing a Notice of Violation or civil penalty in the case.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a Confirmatory Order on May 2 to Idaho State University, which has agreed to a series of actions designed to improve its processes and procedures for the use of radioactive materials, the federal agency announced May 3.

NRC had alerted the university in January to an apparent violation of NRC requirements, and an alternative dispute resolution mediation session was held March 27. Because the university has made "significant corrective actions," and subject to satisfactory completion of additional actions it has promised to take, the agency is not issuing a Notice of Violation or civil penalty in the case, NRC Region IV Regional Administrator Scott A. Morris wrote to the university's president, Kevin Satterlee.

In its inspection report, NRC identified one apparent violation considered for escalated enforcement involving the failure to secure two portable gauges containing radioactive material to prevent unauthorized access or removal. The order states that violations identified by the agency included failing to conduct a physical inventory every six months to account for all sealed sources the university possessed under its license and also failing to permit access to contamination areas only when staff were under the supervision of senior Environmental Health and Safety Department personnel.

NRC reported that, under the terms of the Confirmatory Order, the university has agreed to improve its handling of radioactive materials as identified by a third-party auditor. The order states that, within 90 days of the issuance of the order, one or more third-party individuals will complete a 100 percent source inventory and submit the results in writing to NRC and the independent auditor.

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