[ RadSafe ] RadSafe Digest, Vol 362, Issue 1

blreider at aol.com blreider at aol.com
Fri Jul 23 17:26:06 CDT 2010

Clayton & RadSafers,

I believe Illinois used to have quite a robust agreement state oversight program, perhaps they do not inspect known stored souces with the same frequently as sources in use.  I find it surprising that the program would not be required to have good records especially as concerns therapy sources, and that the safety department would not be in the loop on where rad safety involvement is needed.   More information is needed before determining the root and contributing causes of the incident. 

The great beekeeper (D.S.) of INPO taught me that the root cause is almost always management failure.  I do know of a (very) few cases where it was not, for example I don't think managment should be held responsible for a rogue bee flying into a car and stinging the driver.  

Is there a process that allows agreement states to revert to non-agreement status if they cannot fulfill the tasks of maintaining proper oversight?  I have never seen the NRC revoke agreement state status.  I don't mean to imply that this one incident reflects on  Illinois' program, I am just asking in general since Clayton brought up the issue of the potential demise of good agreement programs due to the economy.

Barbara Reider, CHP

-----Original Message-----
From: Clayton J Bradt <CJB01 at health.state.ny.us>
To: radsafe <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
Sent: Fri, Jul 23, 2010 2:27 pm
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] RadSafe Digest, Vol 362, Issue 1

Rick Strickert wrote:
>For anyone who has worked with licensed radioactive materials or has
 been a radiation safety officer, or has been audited by a licensing
 agency, this sentence is simply jaw-dropping.

 don't know about "jaw-dropping".  This scenario is typical for lost
ources, especially industrial gauges.  Sources are unused
or several years and placed in storage or just left attached to shut-down
rea of the plant.  The demolition/renovation work is scheduled
y some separate office in the organization that isn't aware of the
resence of the sources or even of the existence of the radiation
afety officer.  Demolition workers don't read labels, so out the sources
o with the rest of the demolition debris.
Apparently there was a new RSO appointed recently who may not have been
ware that the source safe was in an area scheduled for demolition
ntil it was too late.
The report by Illinois indicated that the last time the physical location
f the sources was verified by state inspectors was in 2005.
This last point is the most troubling, more for what it portends for the
uture of all Agreement State programs than what it says specifically about
llinois' inspection priorities.
he States are all hurting financially and cutting back everywhere. In New
ork the governor is determined to shed state employees and has offered a
eries of early
etirement incentives within the past year.  As a result of these, the NY
OH radiation control program has lost 4 experienced inspectors and is
ikely to lose 2 more by
he end of the summer.  On top of this, the governor is talking about
esorting to layoffs to trim the workforce even further.  This happens to
e an election year, and although the
resent governor, Paterson, is not running, both major party candidates
ave indicated that they also are planning to reduce the state workforce
nce in office.
I assume that other states are going through the same process of shedding
mployees as fast as they can.  As this event, and other similar ones
learly show, frequent physical
nspection by regulators is essential for preventing the loss of
adioactive sources. With the loss of state inspectors all across the
ountry, we can expect more of these
ncidents in the future.
Full disclosure statement: Yes, I am a member of a public employee union.
Clayton J. Bradt
rincipal Radiophysicist
YS Dept. of Health
iggs Laboratory, Room D486A
mpire State Plaza
lbany, NY 12201-0509

 Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2010 09:56:13 -0500
 From: "Strickert, Rick" <rstrickert at signaturescience.com>
 Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Illinois Hospital Loses Radioactive Material
 To: "Garner, William H" <whgarn2 at email.uky.edu>,
    "radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu"   <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
    <9570FCB2DD870B4692083A08D14B9C7EECDEDF7937 at ss-

 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

 "The lead-lined safe [holding radioactive material] at the Riverside
 Medical Center in Kankakee was not located when construction workers
 finished a demolition job at the medical center on July 13"

 For anyone who has worked with licensed radioactive materials or has
 been a radiation safety officer, or has been audited by a licensing
 agency, this sentence is simply jaw-dropping.

 Rick Strickert
 Austin, TX


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