[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 33 (Friday, February 20, 2009)]
[Pages 7932-7934]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-3625]



[IA-08-023; NRC-2009-0068]

In the Matter of Himat Soni; Order Prohibiting Involvement In 
NRC-Licensed Activities


    Himat Soni is the President and part owner of Eastern Testing and 
Inspection, Inc. (ETI) (Licensee) in Thorofare, New Jersey. ETI holds 
License No. 29-09814-01 issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
(NRC or Commission) pursuant to 10 CFR part 30 in 1964. The license 
authorizes possession and use of sealed radioactive sources for use in 
radiographic exposure devices and in portable gauge devices, and 
possession and use of radioactive material for shielding for 
radiographic and source changer equipment in accordance with the 
conditions specified therein. Himat Soni is listed on the license as 
the Radiation Safety Officer.


    An investigation of licensed activities was conducted by the NRC 
Office of Investigations (OI) at ETI's facility at Thorofare, New 
Jersey. The OI investigation was completed on October 26, 2007. The 
investigation was conducted, in part, to determine whether a deliberate 
violation of an NRC Order issued to ETI (ETI Order), required to be met 
by May 13, 2006, occurred. Based on information from the investigation, 
inspection, and after review of a written response from Himat Soni, the 
NRC concluded that Himat Soni deliberately caused ETI to be in 
violation of the ETI Order, from May 13, 2006 to November 17, 2006.
    As required by the ETI Order, Himat Soni signed an ETI letter that 
acknowledged the requirements of the ETI Order and specifically 
addressed the status and anticipated compliance date of May 1, 2006 for 
those requirements where ETI was only in partial compliance, which 
included the requirement at issue. In addition, in sworn testimony by 
Himat Soni, he stated that he understood the ETI Order requirements and 
date of compliance. He was also informed by a Department of Energy 
contractor, in a letter dated April 20, 2006, about necessary actions 
to meet compliance by the May 13, 2006 date. Additionally, Himat Soni 
was informed by an NRC inspector, in September 2006, of the need to 
achieve compliance with the requirement found to be in violation. 
However, Himat Soni deliberately caused ETI, on May 13,

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2006, to be in non-compliance, and he deliberately caused ETI to 
continue to remain in violation of the ETI Order until November 17, 
2006, when licensed radioactive material was removed from the ETI 
licensed facility.


    Based on the above, the NRC concluded that Himat Soni, President 
and RSO of the Licensee, engaged in deliberate misconduct that caused 
the Licensee to be in violation of an NRC Order issued to ETI, and as 
such, Himat Soni was in violation of 10 CFR 30.10, which states, in 
part, that any Licensee or employee of a Licensee may not engage in 
deliberate misconduct that causes a Licensee to be in violation of any 
rule, regulation, or order issued by the Commission.
    The NRC must be able to rely on the Licensee and its employees to 
comply with NRC requirements, including the requirement to comply with 
NRC orders. Himat Soni's action in causing the Licensee to violate an 
NRC Order raises serious doubt as to whether he can be relied upon to 
comply with NRC requirements.
    Consequently, I lack the requisite reasonable assurance that 
licensed activities can be conducted in compliance with the 
Commission's requirements and that the health, safety, and interest of 
the public will be protected if Himat Soni were permitted at this time 
to be involved in NRC-licensed activities. Therefore, the public 
health, safety and interest require that Himat Soni be prohibited from 
any involvement in NRC-licensed activities for a period of one year 
from the effective date of this Order.


    Accordingly, pursuant to sections 81, 161b, 161i, 182 and 186 of 
the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and the Commission's 
regulations in 10 CFR 2.202, 10 CFR 30.10, and 10 CFR 150.20, it is 
hereby ordered that:
    1. Himat Soni is prohibited for one year from the date of the 
effectiveness of this Order from engaging in NRC-licensed activities. 
NRC-licensed activities are those activities that are conducted 
pursuant to a specific or general license issued by the NRC, including, 
but not limited to, those activities of Agreement State licensees 
conducted pursuant to the authority granted by 10 CFR 150.20.
    2. If Himat Soni is currently involved with another entity involved 
in NRC-licensed activities, he must immediately cease those activities, 
and inform the NRC of the name, address and telephone number of that 
entity, and provide a copy of this Order to the entity.
    The Director, OE, may, in writing, relax or rescind any of the 
above conditions upon demonstration by Himat Soni of good cause.


    In accordance with 10 CFR 2.202, Himat Soni must submit an answer 
to this Order within 20 days of its issuance. If sensitive, security-
related information is included in the response, please mark the entire 
response, ``Security-Related Information--Withhold Under 10 CFR 
2.390.'' If the response does not contain any sensitive, security-
related information, the NRC will make the response publicly available. 
Further, to the extent possible, any response provided should not 
include any personal privacy or proprietary information. In addition, 
Himat Soni and any other person adversely affected by this Order may 
request a hearing on this Order within 20 days of its issuance. Where 
good cause is shown, consideration will be given to extending the time 
to answer or request a hearing. A request for extension of time must be 
directed to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, and include a statement of good cause for the 
    The answer shall be in writing and under oath and affirmation. The 
answer may consent to this Order. Unless the answer consents to this 
Order, the answer shall specifically admit or deny each allegation or 
charge made in this Order and shall set forth the matters of fact and 
law on which Himat Soni or other person adversely affected relies on 
the reasons as to why the Order should not have been issued. Any answer 
shall be submitted to the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Attn: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff, Washington, DC 
20555-0001. Copies shall also be sent to: Director, Office of 
Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001; the Assistant General Counsel for Materials Litigation and 
Enforcement at the same address; Region Administrator, NRC Region I, 
475 Allendale Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406-1415. A copy of the 
answer shall be provided to Himat Soni, if the answer is provided by a 
person other than Himat Soni.
    If a hearing request is submitted, the NRC will make the request 
publicly available. Therefore, the request should not include any 
security-related, personal, proprietary, or other sensitive information 
in the hearing request, or, in the alternative, provide a redacted copy 
of the hearing request that does not include such information. A copy 
of the hearing request shall be provided to Himat Soni by the 
requester, if the request is made by a person other than Himat Soni.
    A request for a hearing must be filed in accordance with the NRC E-
Filing rule, which the NRC promulgated in August 2007, 72 FR 49,139 
(Aug. 28, 2007). The E-Filing process requires participants to submit 
and serve documents over the internet or, in some cases, to mail copies 
on electronic optical storage media. Participants may not submit paper 
copies of their filings unless they seek a waiver in accordance with 
the procedures described below.
    To comply with the procedural requirements associated with E-
Filing, at least five (5) days prior to the filing deadline the 
requestor must contact the Office of the Secretary by e-mail at 
[email protected], or by calling (301) 415-1677, to request (1) a 
digital ID certificate, which allows the participant (or its counsel or 
representative) to digitally sign documents and access the E-Submittal 
server for any NRC proceeding in which it is participating; and/or (2) 
creation of an electronic docket for the proceeding (even in instances 
when the requestor (or its counsel or representative) already holds an 
NRC-issued digital ID certificate). Each requestor will need to 
download the Workplace Forms Viewer\TM\ to access the Electronic 
Information Exchange (EIE), a component of the E-Filing system. The 
Workplace Forms Viewer\TM\ is free and is available at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/install-viewer.html. Information 
about applying for a digital ID certificate also is available on NRC's 
public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/apply-certificates.html.
    Once a requestor has obtained a digital ID certificate, had a 
docket created, and downloaded the EIE viewer, it can then submit a 
request for a hearing through EIE. Submissions should be in Portable 
Document Format (PDF) in accordance with NRC guidance available on the 
NRC public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. 
A filing is considered complete at the time the filer submits its 
document through EIE. To be timely, electronic filings must be 
submitted to the EIE system no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on 
the due date. Upon receipt of a transmission, the E-Filing system time-
stamps the document and sends the submitter an e-mail notice confirming 
receipt of the document. The EIE system also distributes an e-mail 
notice that provides access to the document to the NRC Office of the

[[Page 7934]]

General Counsel and any others who have advised the Office of the 
Secretary that they wish to participate in the proceeding, so that the 
filer need not serve the document on those participants separately. 
Therefore, any others who wish to participate in the proceeding (or 
their counsel or representative) must apply for and receive a digital 
ID certificate before a hearing request is filed so that they may 
obtain access to the document via the E-Filing system.
    A person filing electronically may seek assistance through the 
``Contact Us'' link located on the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html or by calling the NRC technical help line, 
which is available between 8:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., Eastern Time, 
Monday through Friday. The help line number is (800) 397-4209 or 
locally, (301) 415-4737.
    Participants who believe that they have good cause for not 
submitting documents electronically must file a motion, in accordance 
with 10 CFR 2.302(g), with their initial paper filing requesting 
authorization to continue to submit documents in paper format. Such 
filings must be submitted by: (1) first-class mail addressed to the 
Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking and 
Adjudications Staff; or (2) courier, express mail, or expedited 
delivery service to the Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One 
White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, 
Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Participants filing a 
document in this manner are responsible for serving the document on all 
other participants. Filing is considered complete by first-class mail 
as of the time of deposit in the mail, or by courier, express mail, or 
expedited delivery service upon depositing the document with the 
provider of the service.
    Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in 
NRC's electronic hearing docket which is available to the public at 
http://ehd.nrc.gov/EHD_Proceeding/home.asp, unless excluded pursuant 
to an order of the Commission, an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, or 
a Presiding Officer. Participants are requested not to include personal 
privacy information, such as social security numbers, home addresses, 
or home phone numbers in their filings. With respect to copyrighted 
works, except for limited excerpts that serve the purpose of the 
adjudicatory filings and would constitute a Fair Use application, 
Participants are requested not to include copyrighted materials in 
their works.
    If a person other than Himat Soni 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) and (f).
    If a hearing is requested by Himat Soni or a person whose interest 
is adversely affected, the Commission will issue an Order designating 
the time and place of any hearings. If a hearing is held, the issue to 
be considered at such hearing shall be whether this Order should be 
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 2.202(c)(2)(i), Himat Soni, 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. The motion must state with particularity the 
reasons why the order is not based on adequate evidence and must be 
accompanied by affidavits or other evidence relied on.
    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 IV 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 IV shall be final when the extension expires if a 
hearing request has not been received. An answer or a request for 
hearing shall not stay the immediate effectiveness of this order.

    Dated this 10th day of February 2009.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Cynthia A. Carpenter,
Director, Office of Enforcement.
[FR Doc. E9-3625 Filed 2-19-09; 8:45 am]