[ RadSafe ] Radiography SNAFU

Stroud, Ed Ed.Stroud at dphe.state.co.us
Wed Jan 18 11:53:45 CST 2012

The problem, as I see it, is not with inadequate regulations. The problem is the lack of trained inspectors in the field. And, with the down-sizing of many regulatory programs due to the recession and anti-government sentiments, the problem will only get worse. I expect we'll just have to wait for more serious incidents and accidents to happen before the public gets concerned enough to raise the issue to their elected representatives. 

Ed Stroud, Compliance Lead
Radioactive Materials Unit
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of William Lipton
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 10:33 AM
To: radsafe
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Radiography SNAFU

The following NRC event report confirms my suspicions regarding the lax
state of radiography safety programs:


The following information was received by facsimile:

"This is a report of a transportation incident where an Industrial
Radiography Camera was not properly secured. The RSO stated that two
radiographers, one an instructor, conducted a radiography job in Bay St.
Louis, Mississippi. On January 4, 2012, while returning to the Baton Rouge,
LA office, they decided to meet with another radiographer who is an
instructor on the radioactive materials license for Mistras and one of the
other radiographer's father. The father offered to take the radiography
camera to the office in Baton Rouge, LA. The instructor from the
radiography job in Bay St. Louis agreed, but did not realize that the
father did not have his radiography truck. The father put the camera in the
trunk of his personal vehicle unsecured and unbraced. After noticing that
the father and son did not have some of the required paperwork, the
instructor pursued them. Approximately 2 miles down the road, the father
and son in the same vehicle were pulled over for speeding. After they were
pulled over, the son, who was driving, was suspected of intoxication and
tested. The RSO received a call from the father regarding the impending
arrest of the son for DUI at [2130 CST]. The son was arrested for DUI and
the instructor from the radiography job secured the radiography camera. The
father was arrested for outstanding warrants. Both the father and son were
suspected of being under the influence, but the father refused to be tested
by law enforcement. The RSO arrived to the site at [2200 CST]. The camera
was placed in the Mistras storage vault around [0030 CST on January 5,

"Mistras is conducting an internal investigation. Louisiana Department of
Environmental Quality is investigating. So far, the son's employment has
been terminated. The father's Trustworthy and Reliability status has been
suspended. All radiographers will be drug tested. Additional information
will be forthcoming."

Louisiana Incident Number: LA12000*

The title understates the seriousness of the incident.  A radiographer
allowed another radiographer to transport a radiography camera unsecured
and unbraced, and without required shipping papers, in his father's
personal vehicle.  Shortly after starting out, the driver was pulled over
for speeding, and also found to be DUI.  Hey, you can't make this up!

It's time for the NRC to get serious about radiography.  Sure, the
regulations are there, but they are ineffective in the hands of
radiographers such as these.  I propose that radiographers should be
required to have a license from the NRC or Agreement State, including
passing a NRC or equivalent exam.

I'd be interested in your comments.

Bill Lipton
It's not about dose, it's about trust.
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