web analytics

Information Directory

Reference Directory

Nuclear (Level, Density, Fill, Thickness) Gauge Support Services

Nuclear gauges are handy devices used to monitor a production process or ensure quality control. Many types are in use today, including those designed to measure thickness, density, level, moisture and volumetric flow. Some of them are portable, and others are mounted at a fixed location.  Some are used in areas that are inhospitable to people – such as in tanks or other dangerous locations – and others are critical to high-tech measurement and analytical operations.  However, all of these types have one thing in common . . . each contains a sealed source of radioactivity that requires some level of regulatory control (i.e., either a specific or a general license from a federal or state agency to purchase, possess and use the device).

If you or your firm own a nuclear gauge or two, you are probably aware of the flury of attention they have been receiving from regulators (see the January, February and March 2009 editions of the Plexus-NSD e-Newsletter). And if you do not have a specific license to possess and operate your gauge (i.e., you purchased your gauge under the provisions of a ‘general license’), you may soon be invited (i.e., ordered) to apply for a radioactive materials license (see the August 2009 edition of the e-Newsletter).  The bottom line is that nuclear gauges, as effective and advantageous as they are, are coming under increasing regulatory scrutiny, which means greater compliance pressure on their owners.

You and your firm may be well-suited to address these new challenges.  Or like others, you may have limited in-house resources to turn to. Perhaps you are counting on your plant engineers, environmental managers, or technician staff with other responsibilities to schedule, perform, document and defend functions such as radiation surveys, source accountability, training, annual program audits, sealed source leak testing, sealed source physical inventory, posting confirmation, instrument quality control, and report preparation/distribution.  You may also expect these personnel to stay up-to-speed on compliance-related issues, perform all of the necessary compliance services consistently and effectively at all of your plants and work sites, identify and report non-standard radiological issues or those that could trigger regulatory intervention, and ensure scheduled compliance activities are completed on time and effectively . . . all while doing the rest of the work  they were originally hired to do.  In any event, compliance with gauge use requirements may present a challenge to your limited organization

On the other hand, failure to understand and comply with the rules and regulations for nuclear gauge use is not an option.  One ramification might be a Notice of Violation from your regulator.  (Yes, even general licensees can be the beneficiary of a NOV!)  Another might be a fine or civil penalty.  A third might be action to keep you from purchasing or using nuclear gauges in the future.  In all cases, there is a good chance you will be subject to some bad press and increased potential for legal action by employees or neighbors.

To avoid these troubles and more, you might be interested in Plexus-NSD’s ‘Nuclear Gauge Compliance Program’, developed and implemented over 10 years ago by individuals who are Certified by the American Board of Health Physics and Registered by the National Registry of Radiation Protection Technologists.  The Plexus-NSD program is tailor-made for nuclear gauge users with tight health/safety/compliance budgets, limited in-house support staff, and the desire to maintain a program that is as technically- and legally-sound as as it needs to be. With Plexus-NSD on your team, you will have:

  • An effective, implementable and streamlined license is in place that meets the letter of the law without obliging you to unnecessary commitments (or we’ll help you get such a license)
  • A radiation protection program that guarantees the safety of employees, visitors and contractors
  • Routine ambient radiation and contamination survey data that covers all of your radiologically-restricted areas (i.e., locations where fixed nuclear gauges are in use)
  • Access to instruments that are calibrated and used appropriately
  • Physical inspection and leak testing of all of your sealed radiation sources on the schedule specified in your license
  • Initial and refresher Authorized User training for those individuals responsible for supervising the use of nuclear gauges at your facility
  • Verification that all gauge use areas and storage locations are posted and labeled appropriately
  • All of the necessary reports and documents required by your radioactive materials license and applicable regulations
  • A password-protected web page, set up and maintained for you, where all of the documents and records associated with your program, including Device Registrations, operations manuals, leak test certificates, survey results, program audit reports and more, are never more than a click away

Plexus-NSD’s ‘Nuclear Gauge Compliance Program’ lets our clients demonstrate to the satisfaction of regulators and to any legal challenge that all of the obligations of their license, whether specific or general, are being done on time and exactly as required.  The following are just a few of the benefits:

  • Automatic scheduling of all compliance-related tasks, so they never miss a deadline
  • Documented evidence that every one of their gauges is confirmed to be present and accounted for at least twice per year
  • Leak testing of all eligible sealed sources
  • A solid understanding of the radiation exposure environment where their gauges are located, whether in active use or in storage, so they can assure employees and visitors they are safe
  • The individual with responsibility for safe operation of  their gauges is fully trained and has immediate access to a team of senior-level radiation protection professionals in the event an issue or question arises
  • Every record needed to demonstrate compliance with applicable regulations is at their fingertips, with no hunting through file cabinets, calling on former employees, etc
  • A staff of Certified Health Physicists and Registered Radiation Protection Technologists to answer their every question and assist them with every gauge-related challenge

If Plexus-NSD’s ‘Nuclear Gauge Compliance Program’ sounds like it might provide you with relief from escalating regulatory demands, just give us a call at (240) 631-8990 or Contact Us.  We would be glad to answer any questions you might have, talk with you about your own gauge program and what requirements you might be facing, and provide you with a firm, fixed price for doing everything right by participating in our ‘Nuclear Gauge Compliance Program’. We will also provide you with references who will attest to the quality and effectiveness of our services.  There is, of course, no cost or obligation associated  with either the initial consultation or our firm, fixed-price quotation. However, we’re pretty sure you will be pleasantly surprised at how inexpensive and easy it is to achieve confidence in your own nuclear gauge program once it meets the letter as well as the spirit of the law.