[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 12 (Wednesday, January 19, 2005)]
[Pages 3070-3072]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-987]



[Docket Nos. 030-05980, 030-05982]
[License Nos. 37-00030-02, 37-00030-08, EA-04-148]

In the Matter of Safety Light Corporation, Bloomsburg, PA; Order 
Suspending License (Effective Immediately)

    Safety Light Corporation (the Licensee or SLC) is the holder of two 
Byproduct Material Licenses issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
(NRC or Commission) pursuant to 10 CFR part 30 for the facility at 
4150-A Old Berwick Road near Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. License No. 37-
00030-02 authorizes the Licensee to characterize and decommission its 
contaminated facilities, equipment, and land. License No. 37-00030-08 
authorizes, among other things, the Licensee to manufacture self-
luminous signs and foils using tritium. The licenses were last renewed 
on December 28, 1999, and are due to expire on December 31, 2004.
    On December 28, 1999, License Nos. 37-00030-02 and 37-00030-08 were 
renewed. As part of these renewals, License Conditions were included 
that exempted the Licensee from certain of the Commission's financial 
assurance requirements and required the Licensee to develop plans which 
would address the License Termination Rule (10 CFR part 20, subpart E). 
This exemption was granted in response to the Licensee's request to the 
Commission to exempt the Licensee from the financial assurance 
decommissioning requirements set forth in 10 CFR 30.32 and 10 CFR 
30.35, based on the lack of sufficient funds available at the time to 
assure that adequate financial ability existed to decommission the 
facility. In lieu of complying with 10 CFR 30.35, the Licensee 
committed to (1) develop a schedule and plan, for NRC review and 
approval, for additional site characterization and to develop revised 
cost estimates including strategies for site decommissioning that would 
comply with the criteria specified in the license termination rule, 10 
CFR 30.36, and (2) contribute specified monthly payments ($7,000 per 
month in 2000; $8,000 per month in 2001 and 2002; and $9,000 per month 
in 2003 and 2004) to a decommissioning trust fund over the life of the 
license to support decommissioning activities. The NRC specifically 
approved an exemption, in Condition 16 of Amendment No. 51 for License 
37-00030-02 and Condition 20.A of Amendment No. 13 for License 37-
00030-08, provided that the licensee make the specified monthly 
payments into a decommissioning trust fund. The NRC granted the renewal 
of the two licenses based on the Licensee's continued ability to 
provide sufficient remediation funding and adequate security of 
radioactive materials at the facility.
    On November 21, 2003, the NRC learned, during telephone 
conversations with Licensee management, that the Licensee had not made 
all payments into its decommissioning trust fund, as required by 
Condition 16 (License No. 37-00030-02) and Condition 20.A (License No. 
37-00030-08). The Licensee failed to make several prescribed deposits 
into the decommissioning trust fund over the period from May 2001 to 
December 2002. The Licensee made all overdue payments by February 2003 
to address the deficit that existed at the end of 2002. However, 
starting in January 2003, the Licensee again failed to make the total 
prescribed payments into the decommissioning trust fund, resulting in a 
deficit of $81,000 by the end of November 2003.
    Upon learning of the foregoing, on December 19, 2003, the NRC 
issued a Demand for Information to SLC which required the Licensee to 
submit to the NRC the following information:
    1. Detailed schedule for making all overdue payments, with 
interest, to the decommissioning trust fund;
    2. Reasons why the Licensee did not make the required payments, as 
scheduled, to the decommissioning trust fund;
    1. Reasons why the NRC should have confidence that the Licensee 
will, in the future, make the required monthly deposits to the 
decommissioning trust fund;
    2. Assurance from the Licensee, that, should it encounter any 
difficulty making required monthly deposits in the future, it will 
promptly notify the NRC that there will be a delay in making a specific 
deposit, and provide the reasons for the delay;
    3. Reasons why the NRC should have confidence that in the future, 
the Licensee will adhere to license conditions and applicable NRC 
    4. Reasons why, in light of the Licensee's past failure to make all 
required payments to the trust fund, License Nos. 37-00030-02 and 37-
00030-08 should not be modified, suspended, or revoked.
    On January 16, 2004, the Licensee responded to the Demand for 
Information and indicated, in part, that the Licensee could not submit 
a detailed schedule for making overdue payments given the Licensee's 
inability to

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accurately predict future sales and cash flow. The Licensee also 
indicated that a slowdown in the Licensee's business activity caused by 
a general economic downturn made it impossible to stay current with the 
Licensee's payment obligations. At the same time, the Licensee 
indicated that aggressive marketing efforts, along with an improving 
economy, led to an increase in order activity which it expected to 
translate into an upturn in business.
    The Licensee made all of the prescribed deposits from December 2003 
through November 2004. In addition, the Licensee made payments of 
amounts in arrears in December 2003, February 2004, and October 2004, 
resulting in a deficit of $36,000 plus interest to the decommissioning 
trust fund as of November 30, 2004.
    The Licensee submitted license renewal applications for License 
Nos. 37-00030-02 and 37-00030-08 on April 22, 2004. As noted in the 
letter transmitting this Order to the Licensee, the NRC denied the 
renewal applications based on the Licensee's failure to demonstrate 
compliance with the requirements of 10 CFR 30.35, as well as the 
Licensee's violation of several conditions of its licenses, including 
the failure to make the required monthly payments into the 
decommissioning trust fund.
    The NRC Office of Investigations conducted an investigation into 
the Licensee's failure to make the required monthly payments to the 
decommissioning trust fund, and concluded that the Licensee's 
management had deliberately violated the requirement to make the 
prescribed payments to the trust fund. In a July 1, 2004 letter, the 
NRC informed the Licensee of this apparent deliberate violation of the 
License Conditions and invited the licensee to a predecisional 
enforcement conference to discuss this matter. At the pre-decisional 
enforcement conference held on July 20, 2004, SLC management stated 
that a general downturn in business conditions led to the Licensee's 
failure to make payments. Nonetheless, the NRC maintains that the 
violation was deliberate in that the Licensee admitted knowledge of the 
requirement to make payments to the trust fund, yet failed to do so. 
The obligation to make the specified payments set forth in the license 
conditions is unqualified and is not subject to the state of SLC's 
business conditions, and was material to the granting of an exemption 
to the Licensee in connection with the renewal of its licenses in 1999. 
The Licensee's deliberate failure to make the required payments to the 
trust fund, as required by license conditions 16 and 20.A, voided the 
exemption from the financial assurance requirements of 10 CFR 30.35, 
and placed the Licensee in continued violation of these license 
conditions and 10 CFR 30.35. This deliberate failure by the Licensee 
has significant health and safety implications in that these regulatory 
requirements are intended to ensure the availability of adequate funds 
for characterization, packaging, and disposal of radioactive waste from 
the Licensee's site.
    Based on the Licensee's willful failure to make the required 
scheduled payments into the decommissioning trust fund as required by 
its licenses, and the resultant implication for public health and 
safety, I lack the requisite reasonable assurance that the Licensee's 
current operations can be conducted under License Nos. 37-00030-02 and 
37-00030-08 in compliance with the Commission's requirements and that 
the health and safety of the public, including the Licensee's 
employees, will be protected. Therefore, the public health, safety, and 
interest require that License Nos. 37-00030-02 and 37-00030-08 be 
suspended and that the Licensee must develop a plan for the orderly 
shutdown of its licensed activities. Furthermore, pursuant to 10 CFR 
2.202, I find that given the willful nature of the violation of 
Conditions 16 and 20.A. of License Nos. 37-00030-02 and 37-00030-08, 
respectively, and 10 CFR 30.35, as well as the related effect on public 
health and safety, this Order shall be immediately effective.
    In accordance with 10 CFR 30.36 (b) and (c), these licenses will 
continue in effect beyond the expiration date with respect to 
possession of byproduct material until the Commission notifies the 
Licensee in writing that the licenses are terminated. During this time, 
the Licensee shall limit actions involving byproduct material to those 
related to decommissioning and continue to control entry to restricted 
areas until they are suitable for release in accordance with NRC 
requirements. The Licensee is not authorized to receive any additional 
licensed material beyond the license expiration date but shall continue 
to take such actions as are needed to facilitate the decommissioning of 
the site, including the processing of the existing inventory of tritium 
to produce devices for transfer to authorized recipients. These actions 
are described in Section V below.
    Accordingly, pursuant to Sections 81, 161b, 161i, 161o, 182 and 186 
of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and the Commission's 
regulations in 10 CFR 2.202 and 10 CFR part 30, It is hereby ordered, 
effective immediately, that:
    A. License Nos. 37-00030-02 and 37-00030-08 are suspended on 
January 1, 2005, excepting those activities addressed in the shutdown 
plan prepared in accordance with item B. below and 10 CFR 30.36(b) and 
(c), pending further Order.
    B. The Licensee shall, by December 20, 2004, submit to the Regional 
Administrator, Region I, for approval, a plan for the orderly shutdown 
of its licensed activities over a period beginning on January 1, 2005, 
to be completed by March 31, 2005. This plan shall include provisions 
    1. Cease receipt of licensed material at the Licensee's Bloomsburg, 
Pennsylvania site;
    2. Process existing inventory of licensed material into finished 
products for transfer to authorized recipients;
    3. Transfer, or maintain in secure storage, the remaining inventory 
of tritium at the site;
    4. Notify SLC customers of exit signs, or other devices containing 
licensed material, that they may not return these signs or devices to 
the licensee's Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania facility;
    5. Provide continued security for the Licensee's Bloomsburg, 
Pennsylvania facility to assure safe conditions at the site; and
    6. Provide continued heating, electrical power and other utility 
    The Regional Administrator, Region I, may, in writing, relax or 
rescind this order upon demonstration by the Licensee of good cause.
    In accordance with 10 CFR 2.202, the Licensee must, and any other 
person adversely affected by this Order may, submit an answer to this 
Order, and may request a hearing on this Order, within 20 days of the 
date of this Order. Where good cause is shown, consideration will be 
given to extending the time to request a hearing. A request for 
extension of time must be made in writing to the Director, Office of 
Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555, 
and include a statement of good cause for the extension. The answer may 
consent to this Order. Unless the answer consents to this Order, the 
answer shall, in writing and under oath or affirmation, specifically 
admit or deny each allegation or charge made in this order and set 
forth the matters of fact and law on which the Licensee or other person 
adversely affected relies and the reasons as to why the Order should 
not have been issued. Any answer or request for a hearing shall be 
submitted to the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear

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Regulatory Commission, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff, 
Washington, DC 20555. Copies of the hearing request also should be sent 
to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555, to the Assistant General Counsel for 
Materials Litigation and Enforcement at the same address, to the 
Regional Administrator, NRC Region I, 475 Allendale Road, King of 
Prussia, Pennsylvania, and to the Licensee. Because of continuing 
disruptions in delivery of mail to United States Government offices, it 
is requested that answers and requests for hearing be transmitted to 
the Secretary of the Commission either by means of facsimile 
transmission to 301-415-1101 or by e-mail to [email protected] and 
also to the Office of the General Counsel either by means of facsimile 
transmission to 301-415-3725 or by e-mail to [email protected]. If 
a person other than the Licensee requests a hearing, that person shall 
set forth with particularity the manner in which his interest is 
adversely affected by this Order and shall address the criteria set 
forth in 10 CFR 2.309(d).
    If a hearing is requested by the Licensee or a person whose 
interest is adversely affected, the Commission will issue an Order 
designating the time and place of any hearing. If a hearing is held, 
the issue to be considered at such hearing shall be whether this Order 
should be sustained.
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 2.202(c)(2)(i), the Licensee, or any other 
person adversely affected by this Order, may, in addition to demanding 
a hearing, at the time the answer is filed or sooner, move the 
presiding officer to set aside the immediate effectiveness of the Order 
on the ground that the Order, including the need for immediate 
effectiveness, is not based on adequate evidence but on mere suspicion, 
unfounded allegations, or error.
    In the absence of any request for hearing, or written approval of 
an extension of time in which to request a hearing, the provisions 
specified in Section V above shall be final 20 days from the date of 
this Order without further order or proceedings. If an extension of 
time for requesting a hearing has been approved, the provisions 
specified in Section V shall be final when the extension expires if a 
hearing request has not been received. A request for hearing shall not 
stay the immediate effectiveness of this order.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Dated this 10th day of December 2004.
Margaret V. Federline,
Acting Director, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 05-987 Filed 1-18-05; 8:45 am]