[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 44 (Monday, March 8, 2010)]
[Pages 10526-10529]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-4831]



[IA-09-068; NRC-2010-0085]

In the Matter of Mr. Lawrence E. Grimm; Order Prohibiting 
Involvement in NRC-Licensed Activities


    Mr. Lawrence E. Grimm was employed as a radiation safety officer at 
the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and 
Technology (NIST or Licensee), Boulder, Colorado facility. NIST holds 
License 05-3166-05, issued by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
(NRC or Commission) pursuant to 10 CFR part 30 on December 19, 1966, 
and amended to include 10 CFR parts 40 and 70 on April 19, 2007. The 
license authorizes the operation of the NIST-Boulder facility in 
accordance with the conditions specified therein. Mr. Grimm was listed 
on the license as the radiation safety officer (January 18, 2007, 
Amendment 27, until the issuance of Amendment 33, on January 16, 2009).


    On July 22, 2008, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission's 
Office of Investigations (OI) initiated an investigation to determine 
if Mr. Grimm willfully failed to provide complete and accurate 
information to the NRC in a license amendment application dated 
February 15, 2007, regarding written procedures for the safe use of 
radioactive sources and security of material. A predecisional 
enforcement conference was held on January 7, 2010, with Mr. Grimm to 
obtain Mr. Grimm's perspective on the apparent violation.
    Based on a review of information from the investigation and 
information provided during the predecisional enforcement conference, a 
violation of the NRC's rule prohibiting deliberate misconduct, 10 CFR 
30.10, was identified, with two examples, involving the dosimetry 
program and the security of materials, which caused the Licensee to be 
in violation of 10 CFR 30.9. Specifically, on February 15, 2007, Mr. 
Grimm submitted an amendment request to expand NIST-Boulder's licensed 
activities to acquire and use source and special nuclear material, 
including plutonium. The 2007 amendment request stated that the 
``Boulder facility maintains a radiation safety procedure manual 
entitled, `Health Physics Instructions' (HPIs). Drawn from the 
Gaithersburg radiation safety procedures, these procedures cover all 
health physics aspects pertinent to Boulder's radiation safety

[[Page 10527]]

program.'' Those HPIs did not cover all health physics aspects 
pertinent to NIST-Boulder's program, however, because they did not 
address the types of materials NIST-Boulder was amending its license to 
acquire. Mr. Grimm stated that he had reviewed all the HPIs cited 
throughout the amendment request before submitting the request to the 
NRC, and admitted believing that they were not all appropriate for 
NIST-Boulder. These procedures included NIST's Dosimetry Program 
Procedures HPI 2-1 through HPI 2-7. Mr. Grimm stated during the OI 
interviews and also during the predecisional enforcement conference 
that the Gaithersburg procedures were cited because it was convenient, 
but that the program described in the amendment request was not in 
place at the time of the request, and that he never intended to 
implement the cited procedures as written. Notably, there were no 
procedures in place for providing internal monitoring of occupationally 
exposed workers, as described in Procedure HPI 2-5 (which would have 
been appropriate to assess and monitor personnel exposure to 
plutonium). Also, there was no program in place for providing dosimetry 
to frequent users of the laboratory, or ``public dose workers,'' who 
did not actually work with radioactive materials, but who worked in the 
same laboratories while the materials were in use. Mr. Grimm admitted 
having the knowledge and understanding that the information provided to 
the NRC in the license amendment was required to be complete and 
accurate. Because Mr. Grimm knew that he needed to provide the NRC with 
complete and accurate information and knew that the information he was 
providing about the dosimetry program was not accurate, Mr. Grimm's 
statements in the amendment request regarding the dosimetry program 
constituted deliberate misconduct.
    The 2007 amendment request also referenced security protocols. Item 
9 of the request, ``Facilities and Equipment,'' stated that ``access to 
buildings and laboratories requires a coded key card'' and, in the 
laboratories section of the amendment request it stated, ``NIST 
laboratories require a coded key card for access.'' The NRC inspection 
staff identified that laboratories where licensed materials were used 
did not have coded key card access. The NRC determined that NIST staff 
members and associates assigned to work in the Quantum Physics 
Laboratories at the NIST-Boulder facility were issued a key to the 
project laboratories, including the laboratory in which the licensed 
materials were used and stored. The vast majority of these people were 
not involved in using the licensed material. The keys were not 
controlled in a manner to secure the material from unauthorized removal 
or access while in storage. While Mr. Grimm worked at NIST-Boulder for 
four months and acknowledged visiting the laboratory where the material 
would be stored prior to submitting the amendment request, Mr. Grimm 
stated that he did not know how the laboratory keys were distributed or 
controlled. In addition, Mr. Grimm stated that he never intended to 
rely on locked doors as a means of securing the material, because he 
thought the doors would be impractical to control in such a research 
environment. During the predecisional enforcement conference, Mr. Grimm 
stated that he considered the laboratory door to be a secondary barrier 
and he considered a lockable file cabinet and cryostat to be the 
methods used to ensure compliance with the regulations. While a locked 
container was described in the amendment requests as one of the 
security features, the cryostat was not. Mr. Grimm further stated that, 
in his opinion, security for a source in an academia situation is not 
predicated on doors. Mr. Grimm knew he needed to provide the NRC with 
complete and accurate information, and he knew his statement in the 
amendment request regarding security provisions for the licensed 
material was not complete or accurate. Accordingly, Mr. Grimm's 
statements in the amendment request regarding security constituted 
deliberate misconduct.


    Based on the above, Mr. Grimm, while an employee of the Licensee in 
2007, has engaged in two instances of deliberate misconduct that has 
caused the Licensee to be in violation of 10 CFR 30.9. Further Mr. 
Grimm deliberately provided to the NRC license reviewers information 
that he knew to be incomplete or inaccurate in some respect material to 
the NRC, in violation of 10 CFR 30.10. The NRC must be able to rely on 
the Licensee and its employees to comply with NRC requirements, 
including the requirement to provide information and maintain records 
that are complete and accurate in all material respects. Mr. Grimm's 
misrepresentations to the NRC caused the Licensee to violate 10 CFR 
30.9 and have raised serious doubt as to whether he can be relied upon 
to comply with NRC requirements and to provide complete and accurate 
information to the NRC.
    Consequently, I lack the requisite reasonable assurance that 
licensed activities can be conducted in compliance with the 
Commission's requirements and that the health and safety of the public 
will be protected if Mr. Grimm were permitted at this time to be 
involved in NRC-licensed activities. Therefore, the public health, 
safety, and interest require that Mr. Grimm be prohibited from any 
involvement in NRC-licensed activities for a period of one year from 
the date this Order is final. Additionally, Mr. Grimm is required to 
notify the NRC of his first employment in NRC-licensed activities for a 
period of three years following the prohibition period.


    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, 10 CFR 30.10, and 10 CFR 150.20, it is 
hereby ordered that:
    1. Mr. Lawrence E. Grimm is prohibited for one year from the date 
this Order is final 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, or order 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 Mr. Grimm is currently involved in NRC-licensed activities, 
he must immediately cease those activities; inform the NRC of the name, 
address and telephone number of the employer; and provide a copy of 
this order to the employer.
    3. For a period of three years after the one year period of 
prohibition has expired, Mr. Lawrence E. Grimm shall, within 20 days of 
acceptance of his first employment offer involving NRC-licensed 
activities or his becoming involved in NRC-licensed activities, as 
defined in Paragraph IV.1 above, provide notice to the Director, Office 
of Enforcement, U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001, of the name, address, and telephone number of the employer 
or the entity where he is, or will be, involved in the NRC-licensed 
    The Director, Office of Enforcement, may, in writing, relax or 
rescind any of the above conditions upon demonstration by Mr. Grimm of 
good cause.


    In accordance with 10 CFR 2.202, Mr. Grimm must, and any other 

[[Page 10528]]

adversely affected by this Order may, submit an answer to this Order 
within 20 days of its publication in the Federal Register. In addition, 
Mr. Grimm and any other person adversely affected by this Order may 
request a hearing on this Order within 20 days of its publication in 
the Federal Register. 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 extension.
    All documents filed in NRC adjudicatory proceedings, including a 
request for hearing, a petition for leave to intervene, any motion or 
other document filed in the proceeding prior to the submission of a 
request for hearing or petition to intervene, and documents filed by 
interested governmental entities participating under 10 CFR 2.315(c), 
must be filed in accordance with the NRC E-Filing rule (72 FR 49139, 
August 28, 2007). The E-Filing process requires participants to submit 
and serve all adjudicatory documents over the Internet, or in some 
cases to mail copies on electronic storage media. Participants may not 
submit paper copies of their filings unless they seek an exemption in 
accordance with the procedures described below.
    To comply with the procedural requirements of E-Filing, at least 10 
days prior to the filing deadline, the participant should contact the 
Office of the Secretary by e-mail at [email protected], or by 
telephone at (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 
proceeding in which it is participating; and (2) advise the Secretary 
that the participant will be submitting a request or petition for 
hearing (even in instances in which the participant, or its counsel or 
representative, already holds an NRC-issued digital ID certificate). 
Based upon this information, the Secretary will establish an electronic 
docket for the hearing in this proceeding if the Secretary has not 
already established an electronic docket.
    Information about applying for a digital ID certificate is 
available on NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/apply-certificates.html. System requirements for accessing 
the E-Submittal server are detailed in NRC's ``Guidance for Electronic 
Submission,'' which is available on the agency's public Web site at 
http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. Participants may 
attempt to use other software not listed on the web site, but should 
note that the NRC's E-Filing system does not support unlisted software, 
and the NRC Meta System Help Desk will not be able to offer assistance 
in using unlisted software.
    If a participant is electronically submitting a document to the NRC 
in accordance with the E-Filing rule, the participant must file the 
document using the NRC's online, web-based submission form. In order to 
serve documents through EIE, users will be required to install a Web 
browser plug-in from the NRC Web site. Further information on the Web-
based submission form, including the installation of the Web browser 
plug-in, is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html.
    Once a participant has obtained a digital ID certificate and a 
docket has been created, the participant can then submit a request for 
hearing or petition for leave to intervene. 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 
documents are submitted through the NRC's E-Filing system. To be 
timely, an electronic filing must be submitted to the E-Filing 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 
E-Filing system also distributes an e-mail notice that provides access 
to the document to the NRC Office of the 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 
documents on those participants separately. Therefore, applicants and 
other participants (or their counsel or representative) must apply for 
and receive a digital ID certificate before a hearing request/petition 
to intervene is filed so that they can obtain access to the document 
via the E-Filing system.
    A person filing electronically using the agency's adjudicatory E-
Filing system may seek assistance by contacting the NRC Meta System 
Help Desk through the ``Contact Us'' link located on the NRC Web site 
at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html, by e-mail at 
[email protected], or by a toll-free call at (866) 672-7640. The 
NRC Meta System Help Desk is available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., 
Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding government holidays.
    Participants who believe that they have a good cause for not 
submitting documents electronically must file an exemption request, 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. A presiding officer, having 
granted an exemption request from using E-Filing, may require a 
participant or party to use E-Filing if the presiding officer 
subsequently determines that the reason for granting the exemption from 
use of E-Filing no longer exists.
    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, or the 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, unless an NRC regulation or other law requires submission of 
such information. 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 submission.
    If a person other than Mr. Grimm 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).

[[Page 10529]]

    If a hearing is requested by a licensee 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 
sustained. 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 this Order is published in the Federal Register 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 

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 1st day of March 2010.

    For the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Roy P. Zimmerman,
Director, Office of Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2010-4831 Filed 3-5-10; 8:45 am]