United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-02-067 - Harris 1 (Carolina Power & Light Company)

June 13, 2002

EA-02-067

Carolina Power & Light Company
ATTN: Mr. James Scarola
            Vice President - Harris Plant
Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant
P. O. Box 165, Mail Code: Zone 1
New Hill, North Carolina 27562-0165

SUBJECT:   FINAL SIGNIFICANCE DETERMINATION FOR A WHITE FINDING AND NOTICE OF VIOLATION (NRC INSPECTION REPORT 50-400/02-09, SHEARON HARRIS NUCLEAR POWER PLANT)

Dear Mr. Scarola:

The purpose of this letter is to provide you with the final results of our significance determination for the preliminary White finding identified in NRC Inspection Report 50-400/02-07, and discussed in NRC Inspection Report 50-400/01-05. The inspection finding was assessed under the significance determination process and was preliminarily characterized as White, i.e., an issue of low to moderate safety significance, which may require additional NRC inspection. The finding involved a failure of foreign material exclusion controls, identified by your staff, when several pieces of foreign material were discovered in the containment sump suction piping to the A Residual Heat Removal (RHR) pump.

At Carolina Power & Light Company's (CP&L) request, an open regulatory conference was conducted with members of your staff on June 4, 2002, to discuss CP&L's position on this issue. The enclosures to this letter include the list of attendees at the regulatory conference, and copies of the material presented by CP&L and the NRC at the regulatory conference. During the conference, you agreed with the NRC's estimate that the finding resulted in an incremental increase in core damage frequency of approximately 6x10-6/year, and with the NRC's characterization of the finding as a violation of regulatory requirements. In addition, you provided information regarding the discovery of the rubber material in the RHR pump suction piping, CP&L's investigation into the cause of the problem, corrective actions, and the current Foreign Material Exclusion Program at the Harris Nuclear Plant.

At the conference, you requested the NRC to consider the finding as an old design issue in accordance with Inspection Manual Chapter (IMC) 0305, Operating Reactor Assessment Program. Consideration of the finding as an old design issue could cause the NRC to refrain from including this finding in the assessment program. The basis for your request stemmed from your belief that the finding satisfied the IMC's definition of an old design issue, and that your actions and other circumstances satisfied the four criteria listed in IMC 0305.

After considering the information developed during the inspection and the information CP&L provided at the conference, the NRC has concluded that the final inspection finding is appropriately characterized as White. This determination was based on our review of the relevant risk information during and after our inspection. In addition, the NRC concluded that the finding could not be appropriately considered an old design issue in accordance with IMC 0305. Specifically, the NRC concluded that this finding did not satisfy the definition of an old design issue, in that it did not constitute an engineering calculation or analysis, an associated operating procedure, or installation of plant equipment. This definition is intended to capture those types of issues associated with past deficiencies or inconsistencies in the integrated engineering and design process, which includes design analysis, operating procedures associated with the design, and installation of the plant equipment. In this case, the NRC concluded that the finding was associated with the failure to properly implement the requirements of a maintenance related procedure involving cleanliness and housekeeping. The NRC also determined that the criteria for identification was not satisfied in that the discovery of the foreign material was not a result of a voluntary initiative on the part of CP&L, but in fact was a result of a maintenance activity on an RHR system isolation valve and resulting corrective action and extent of condition reviews by the CP&L staff. The NRC, however, recognizes your staff's efforts to identify and promptly correct this matter. Based on your comments at the conference, however, the NRC may consider clarifying the information contained in IMC 0305 regarding old design issues to preclude future misinterpretations.

You have ten business days from the date of this letter to appeal the staff's determination of significance for the identified White finding. Such appeals will be considered to have merit only if they meet the criteria given in NRC Inspection Manual Chapter 0609, Supplement 3.

The NRC also determined that a violation occurred involving Technical Specification (TS) 6.8, Procedures and Programs. Specifically, CP&L failed to properly implement the requirements of Maintenance Management Manual Procedure MMM-011, Cleanliness and Housekeeping, which contains requirements to prevent the entry of foreign objects into plant systems and components. Adequate foreign material exclusion controls were not implemented for the RHR system when on October 8, 2001, foreign material of a size to affect pump performance (greater than the containment sump screen openings) was identified in the containment sump suction piping to the A RHR pump. As a result, during the operating cycle from April 15, 2000, to September 22, 2001, Unit 1 was operating in Modes 1, 2 and 3 on numerous occasions with the A RHR pump inoperable for greater than 72 hours without satisfying the action requirements of TS 3/4.5.2, Emergency Core Cooling Subsystems. The NRC concluded that the TS 3/4.5.2 violation is a result of CP&L's failure to promptly implement foreign material exclusion control procedural requirements, and as such the failure to meet these requirements has been cited as one violation in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice). The circumstances surrounding the violation is described in detail in the subject inspection report. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the Notice is considered escalated enforcement action because it is associated with a White finding.

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violation, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance was achieved is adequately addressed on the docket in NRC Inspection Report 50-400/02-07 and in the information presented by Carolina Power and Light Company at the regulatory conference (Enclosure 4). Therefore, you are not required to respond to this letter unless the description therein does not accurately reflect your corrective actions or your position. In that case, or if you choose to provide additional information, you should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice.

Because plant performance for this issue has been determined to result in increased regulatory response, we will use the NRC Action Matrix to determine the most appropriate NRC response for this finding. We will notify you, by separate correspondence, of that determination.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter and its enclosures, and your response, will be available electronically for public inspection in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR) or from the Publicly Available Records (PARS) component of NRC's document system (ADAMS). To the extent possible, your response should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be placed in the PDR and PARS without redaction.

For administrative tracking purposes, this letter is issued as a separate NRC Inspection Report, No. 50-400/02-09.

Should you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact Loren Plisco, Director, Division of Reactor Projects, at 404-562-4501.

Sincerely,

  /RA/ BSM for

  Luis A. Reyes
Regional Administrator

Docket No.: 50-400
License No.: NPF-63

Enclosures:
1. Notice of Violation
2. List of Attendees
3. Material presented by NRC
4. Material presented by CP&L

cc w/encls:

Terry C. Morton, Manager
Performance Evaluation and
Regulatory Affairs CPB 9
Carolina Power & Light Company
Electronic Mail Distribution

Peggy ForceAssistant Attorney General
State of North Carolina
Electronic Mail Distribution
Robert J. Duncan II
Director of Site Operations
Carolina Power & Light Company
Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant
Electronic Mail Distribution

Public Service Commission
State of South Carolina
P. O. Box 11649
Columbia, SC 29211
Ben Waldrep
Plant General Manager--Harris Plant
Carolina Power & Light Company
Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant
Electronic Mail Distribution

Chairman of the North Carolina
Utilities Commission
P. O. Box 29510
Raleigh, NC 27626-0510
John R. Caves, Supervisor
Licensing/Regulatory Programs
Carolina Power & Light Company
Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant
Electronic Mail Distribution

Robert P. Gruber
Executive Director
Public Staff NCUC
P. O. Box 29520
Raleigh, NC 27626
William D. Johnson
Vice President & Corporate Secretary
Carolina Power & Light Company
Electronic Mail Distribution
Vernon Malone, Chairman
Board of County Commissioners
of Wake County
P. O. Box 550
Raleigh, NC 27602

John H. O'Neill, Jr.
Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge
2300 N. Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037-1128
Richard H. Givens, Chairman
Board of County
Commissioners
Electronic Mail Distribution

Mel Fry, Director
Division of Radiation Protection
N. C. Department of Environmental
Commerce & Natural Resources
Electronic Mail Distribution
 


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Carolina Power and Light Company
Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant
Unit 1
  Docket Nos.: 50-400
License Nos.: NPF-63
EA-02-067

During an NRC inspection completed on April 25, 2002, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," (Enforcement Policy), the violation is listed below:

Technical Specification (TS) 6.8, Procedures and Programs, Section 6.8.1, requires that written procedures be established implemented and maintained covering the activities recommended in Appendix A of Regulatory Guide (RG) 1.33, Revision 2, February 1978, which includes Section 9.0, Procedures for Performing Maintenance. Licensee Maintenance Management Manual (MMM) Procedure MMM-011, "Cleanliness and Housekeeping," Revision 4, section 5.3," Preventing Contamination During Maintenance," contains the requirements for preventing foreign object entry into plant systems and components.
TS 3/4.5.2 requires two operable Residual Heat Removal (RHR) pumps when in Modes 1-3, with operation with one pump allowed for a period of 72 hours.
Contrary to the above, adequate foreign material exclusion controls were not implemented for the RHR System when on October 8, 2001, foreign material of a size to affect pump performance was identified in the containment sump suction piping to the A RHR pump. As a result, during the operating cycle prior to refueling outage 10 (from April 15, 2000, to September 22, 2001), Unit 1 was operating in Modes 1-3 on numerous occasions and the A RHR Pump was inoperable for a time greater than 72 hours and the licensee did not satisfy the requirements of TS 3/4.5.2.

This violation is associated with a White SDP finding.

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violation, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence and the date when full compliance was achieved is already adequately addressed on the docket in NRC Inspection Report 50-400/02-07 and in the information presented by Carolina Power and Light Company at the regulatory conference. However, you are required to submit a written statement or explanation pursuant to 10 CFR 2.201 if the description therein does not accurately reflect your corrective actions or your position. In that case, or if you choose to respond, clearly mark your response as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation," and send it to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN:  Document Control Desk, Washington, DC 20555 with a copy to the Regional Administrator, Region RII, within 30 days of the date of the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation (Notice).

If you contest this enforcement action, you should also provide a copy of your response, with the basis for your denial, to the Director, Office of Enforcement, United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

If you choose to respond, your response will be made available electronically for public inspection in the NRC Public Document Room or from the Publicly Available Records (PARS) component of NRC's document system (ADAMS). ADAMS is accessible from the NRC web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ADAMS.html (the Public NRC Library). Therefore, to the extent possible, the response should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be made available to the Public without redaction.

In accordance with 10 CFR 19.11, you may be required to post this Notice within two working days.

Dated this 13th day of June 2002

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