September 21, 1998
Preliminary Notice of Violation issued to MK-Ferguson of Oak Ridge Company, related to Bioassay Program Deficiencies at DOE's Oak Ridge Facilities, (EA-98-08)
This letter refers to the Department of Energy's (DOE) evaluation of the facts and circumstances associated with deficiencies in the administration of the MK-Ferguson of Oak Ridge Company (MK-F) bioassay program, during the time period between 19961997 when it was a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin Energy Systems (LMES), the integrating contractor at the Oak Ridge site. The deficiencies in the bioassay program resulted in the failure, on multiple occasions over a period of close to two years, to identify significant intakes of radioactive material by two workers. The exposures occurred in 1995 when MK-F was the prime contractor for construction and construction management operations for the DOE Oak Ridge Operations Office (DOE-ORO). One worker exposure was determined to be 53.9 rems committed dose equivalent (CDE) (2.99 rems committed effective dose equivalent (CEDE» to bone surfaces while the other worker exposure was determined to be 34.3 rems CDE (1.9 rems CEDE) to bone surfaces.
Based on our evaluation of these matters, DOE has concluded that violations of DOE's nuclear safety requirements involving 10 CFR 835 (Occupational Radiation Protection) likely occurred. An enforcement conference was held on July 9, 1998, with both LMES and MK-F, to discuss the circumstances surrounding these matters, their safety significance and the status of corrective actions. An Enforcement Conference Summary Report is enclosed.