[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 250 (Friday, December 27, 1996)]
[Pages 68310-68312]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-32950]


[IA 96-100]

In the Matter of John Maas; Confirmatory Order Prohibiting 
Involvement in NRC-Licensed Activities (Effective Immediately)


    Mr. John Maas was employed as President of National Circuits 
Caribe, Inc. (NCCI) in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, in 1991. NCCI possessed 
and used radioactive materials at its Fajardo, Puerto Rico facility 
under the authority of a general license issued by the Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission (NRC) pursuant to 10 CFR 31.5. The general 
license authorized the licensee to use byproduct material contained in 
devices designed and manufactured for the purpose of gauging or 
controlling thickness of materials during industrial processes. NCCI 
filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 in Puerto Rico in March 1991 but 
the case was dismissed in October 1991 due to lack of response from the 
company. The Fajardo facility was abandoned sometime around October 


    On June 23, 1993, the NRC was notified by the Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico's Bureau of Radiological Health (Bureau) of the discovery 
of radioactive sources and a quantity of hazardous chemicals on 
property leased from the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Corporation 
(PRIDCO) by NCCI. Bureau personnel indicated that the abandoned sources 
had been found in an abandoned building by PRIDCO personnel.
    The NRC, Region II, staff performed an inspection of the site on 
June 30, 1993, and determined there were five sources containing 
microcurie amounts of Thallium-204 or Promethium-147. The sources were 
in backscatter gauges that were authorized for use by NCCI under an NRC 
general license, specified in 10 CFR 31.5. The staff determined that 
the source/gauges had been abandoned at the site since October 1991. 
NRC and PRIDCO oversaw the disposal of the gauges, which was completed 
in September 1994.

[[Page 68311]]

    The NRC Office of Investigations (OI) conducted an investigation, 
documented in OI Report No. 2-93-044 dated January 31, 1996, to 
determine whether NCCI had deliberately abandoned licensed material at 
the plant site. Based on the evidence developed and reviewed, OI 
determined that during approximately October 1991, the five generally 
licensed backscatter gauges were deliberately abandoned by the 
licensee, with the knowledge of the President of the company, Mr. Maas.
    Mr. Maas, the former President of NCCI, was prosecuted by the 
Department of Justice and on December 5, 1995, pled guilty to the 
charges of (1) willfully and knowingly storing or causing to be stored 
hazardous wastes for longer than ninety days without having first 
obtained a permit or interim status for said storage, in violation of 
Title 42, United States Code, Section 6928(d)(2) (a) and (2) willfully 
and knowingly abandoning devices containing byproduct radioactive 
materials, in violation of Section 223 of the Atomic Energy Act of 
1954, as amended, Title 42, United States Code, Section 2273 and 10 CFR 
31.5(c)(6). On August 8, 1996, Mr. Maas was sentenced to probation and 
required to perform community service.


    The Commission's regulation in 10 CFR 30.10 requires, in part, that 
any employee of a licensee may not engage in deliberate misconduct that 
causes a licensee to be in violation of any regulation issued by the 
Commission. Based on the facts set forth above, the staff concluded 
that Mr. Maas engaged in deliberate misconduct that caused the licensee 
to abandon devices containing byproduct material in violation of 10 CFR 
31.5(c)(6). As President of NCCI, Mr. Maas was responsible for ensuring 
that NCCI conducted activities in accordance with NRC requirements. The 
NRC must be able to rely on licensees and their officials and employees 
to comply with NRC requirements. Mr. Maas' actions in causing NCCI to 
violate 10 CFR 31.5 have raised serious doubts as to whether he can be 
relied on to comply with NRC requirements.
    The NRC staff sent a letter dated October 10, 1996, to Mr. P. M. 
Sandler, Mr. Maas' attorney, containing the proposed terms of this 
Order which are set out in Section IV of this Order. The proposed terms 
are that Mr. Maas be prohibited from any involvement in NRC-licensed 
activities for a period of five years from the date of this Order, and 
is required to notify the NRC of his first involvement in NRC-licensed 
activities during the five years following the prohibition period. The 
NRC staff requested Mr. Sandler to review the proposed items with Mr. 
Maas and, if Mr. Maas agreed to the proposed terms of this Order, have 
him indicate his agreement with those terms by signing an enclosed 
acknowledgement. By letter dated October 22, 1996, Mr. Sandler 
transmitted the acknowledgement of the proposed provisions of the Order 
which had been signed by Mr. Maas. In the acknowledgement, Mr. Maas 
indicated that he understood the proposed provisions, committed to 
complying with them, and consented to the issuance of an Order 
confirming these provisions. In the acknowledgment, Mr. Maas also 
waived his right to have a hearing on such an Order.
    I find that Mr. Maas' commitments as set forth in the letter of 
October 22, 1996, are acceptable and necessary and conclude that with 
these commitments public health and safety are reasonably assured. In 
view of the foregoing, I have determined that public health and safety 
require that Mr. Maas' commitments in the October 22, 1996 letter be 
confirmed by this Order. As stated above, Mr. Maas has agreed to this 
action. Pursuant to 10 CFR 2.202, I have also determined, based on Mr. 
Maas' consent and on the significance of the conduct described above, 
that public health and safety require that this Order be immediately 


    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, effective immediately, that:
    1. For a period of five years from the date of this Confirmatory 
Order, Mr. Maas is prohibited from engaging in or exercising control 
over individuals engaged in NRC-licensed activities. NRC-licensed 
activities are those activities which 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. This prohibition 
includes, but is not limited to: (1) Using licensed materials or 
conducting licensed activities in any capacity within the jurisdiction 
of the NRC; and (2) supervising or directing any licensed activities 
conducted within the jurisdiction of the NRC.
    2. At least five days prior to the first time that Mr. Maas engages 
in, or exercises control over, NRC-licensed activities within a period 
of five years following the five-year prohibition in Section IV.1 
above, he shall notify the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C. 20555, of the name, 
address, and telephone number of the NRC or Agreement State licensee 
and the location where the licensed activities will be performed. The 
notice shall be accompanied by a statement, under oath or affirmation, 
that Mr. Maas understands NRC requirements, that he is committed to 
compliance with NRC requirements, and that provides a basis as to why 
the Commission should have confidence that he will now comply with 
applicable NRC requirements.
    The Regional Administrator, Region II, may relax or rescind, in 
writing, any of the above conditions upon a showing by Mr. Maas of good 


    In accordance with 10 CFR 2.202, any person adversely affected by 
this Confirmatory Order, other than Mr. Maas, may submit an answer to 
this Order, and may request a hearing within 20 days of its issuance. 
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, D.C. 20555, and include a statement 
of good cause for the extension. The request for a hearing shall, in 
writing and under oath or affirmation, specifically set forth the 
matters of fact and law on which any other person adversely affected 
relies and the reasons as to why the Confirmatory Order should not have 
been issued. Any answer or request for a hearing shall be submitted to 
the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Attn: Chief, 
Docketing and Service Section, Washington, D.C. 20555. Copies also 
shall be sent to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C. 20555, to the Assistant General 
Counsel for Hearings and Enforcement at the same address, and to the 
Regional Administrator, NRC Region II, 101 Marietta Street, NW, Suite 
2900, Atlanta, Georgia 30323 and to Mr. Maas. If a person other than 
Mr. Maas requests a hearing, that person shall set forth with 
particularity the manner in which his or her interest is adversely 
affected by this Confirmatory Order and shall address the criteria set 
forth in 10 CFR 2.714(d).
    If a hearing is requested by a person whose interest is adversely 
affected, the Commission will issue an Order designating the time and 
place of any

[[Page 68312]]

hearing. If a hearing is held, the issue to be considered at such 
hearing shall be whether this Confirmatory 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 of 
this Confirmatory 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 

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland this 12th day of December 1996.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
James Lieberman,
Director, Office of Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 96-32950 Filed 12-26-96; 8:45 am]