Nordion (Canada), a vendor of medical radioisotopes, has been fined CAN $24,000 (US$27,000) for persistent export licensing recordkeeping errors, following an inspection in April 2014.

For exported sources, Nordion is required to provide post-shipment verification to the Canadian nuclear regulator CNSC to confirm that the materials have been exported according to the terms of the export licence and that are no longer controlled by CNSC. On that occasion, a shipment of Co-60 material to the US was not compliant, due to ‘procedural deficiencies and human error’, according to the CSNC notice of violation.

A later review of other export licencing paperwork found 17 other cases of non-compliance since 2011, including three instances in 2014 after the April inspection.

CNSC said that it had originally explained the issue in August 2010, and since then Nordion had acknowledged the non-compliance, retrained staff and amended written procedures, and met with CNSC, among other measures.

In the notice of violation, CNSC executive vice-president Ramzi Jamal said, "Actions taken by Nordion (Canada) Inc. have been ineffective in preventing the recurrence of non-compliances with the PSV licence condition."

He added: "While no actual harm was identified, loss ofregulatory control over Category 1 radioactive sources could lead to lost or unaccounted for sources."

Nordion told Nuclear Engineering: "Nordion takes all matters pertaining to safety and security seriously. The company acknowledges the error, is investigating and is working to take corrective action in order to avoid a recurrence.  

"Nordion will continue to work in collaboration with the CNSC to review administrative procedures and ensure Nordion is fully compliant with regulations moving forward."