Surprise Inspection Finds High Radiation Levels at Kenai Acuren Office

Acuren’s Kenai location has temporarily ceased radiography operations after a surprise inspection by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission found high levels of radiation.


Lara Uselding with the NRC spoke with us about the inspection.


Uselding: “The inspectors arrived on site and observed that their survey meter went off scale, meaning that it was reading about 200 millirems per hour with no boundaries or physical controls established. Obviously the inspectors were surprised and had to back away about 40 ft before that survey meter was reading lower. They then learned that operators had been conducting radiography operations inside the building, about six, two minute radiography sessions.” 


Acuren is licensed through the NRC to use Iridium 192 in order to take images of pipe welds which is much like an x-ray and only active when in use, according to Uselding.


She also said licensee’s are to have physical barriers in place to protect the public even though the inspectors did not see anyone around at the time.


Uselding: “But again the NRC’s concern that had somebody been there they may have been exposed to lower to the annual limit in just a couple of minutes.” 


The NRC is sending a team to do a follow-up investigation of Acuren’s Kenai location. They will address occupants in other parts of the building, assess Acuren’s response to the incident, and create a chronology to see if anyone may have been exposed.


Uselding said Acuren has recently been associated with other incidents.


Uselding: “There have recently been cases where there have been some overexposure of employees at Acuren Inspection Inc. which is the sister company of Acuren U.S.A. and that occured in Texas and Ohio.” 

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  1. Silly you 30 April, 2014, 16:39

    What kind of doctor do you consult for radiation poisoning? This is serious folks, take care of yourselves.

  2. ron 1 May, 2014, 09:57

    Typical of the corporate crimes committed in this industry. This foreign corporation, like so many oil corporations, flaunts our laws, ignores regulations, and repeatedly gets caught in violations, evidently putting profits above the safety of it’s workers and the public.

    Acuren is no stranger to regulatory actions, enforcement and violations, both here and abroad. The news should report on all their misdeeds, not just the most recent here and in Texas and in Ohio.

    Acuren has lobbied the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for deregulation, regulation is the mechanism that can help protect the public from negligent acts. Deregulation isn’t a good idea, these industries flaunt regulations and if they were not regulated it would be worse. If anything, we need more regulation of hazardous material handling, especially radioactive materials.

    What kind of doctor do you consult for radiation poisoning? Hopefully a highly trained specialist. Radiation poisoning isn’t something likely to be cured by being told to take a pill. Radiation poisoning is deadly serious, it can manifest itself quickly or it could be years later that symptoms can begin to show. It’s nothing to take lightly.

  3. Wilbur 1 May, 2014, 22:46

    Actually UNLIKE X-Ray, IR-192 is gamma and is constantly emitting radiation. That is why the building the radiation is stored in should have signs saying there is radiation. It’s straight up irresponsible of Acuren to be practicing radiography in such a fashion to put the public at risk.

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