United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-04-063- Browns Ferry (Tennessee Valley Authority)

May 12, 2004

EA-04-063

Tennessee Valley Authority
ATTN: Mr. J. A. Scalice
Chief Nuclear Officer and
Executive Vice President6A Lookout Place
1101 Market Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402-2801

SUBJECT:    NOTICE OF VIOLATION (BROWNS FERRY NUCLEAR PLANT UNIT 1 RECOVERY - NRC INSPECTION REPORT NO. 05000259/2004011)

Dear Mr. Scalice:

This refers to the inspection completed on February 13, 2004, involving recovery activities at Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) Browns Ferry 1 (BF1) reactor facility. The results of the inspection, including the identification of an apparent violation of 10 CFR 50, Appendix B, Criterion V, were forwarded to you by NRC letter dated April 6, 2004. Based on the results of the inspection, a pre-decisional enforcement conference was held on April 28, 2004, in the NRC's Region II Office in Atlanta, Georgia, with members of your staff to discuss the apparent violation, its significance, root causes, and your corrective actions. A listing of conference attendees, material presented by the NRC, and material presented by TVA are included as Enclosures 2, 3, and 4, respectively.

Based on the information developed during the inspection, and the information presented at the conference, the NRC has determined that a violation of NRC requirements occurred. The violation is cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice), and the circumstances surrounding it are described in detail in the subject inspection report. The violation involves four examples of a failure to adhere to the requirements of 10 CFR 50, Appendix B, Criterion V. All four examples were associated with the BF1 Long-Term Torus Integrity Program, and involved: failure to evaluate or incorporate numerous deficient welds into Deficiency Fix Requests sketches; failure to perform numerous repairs on the correct welds; omission of numerous welds requiring repair from Work Orders, and failure of Quality Control (QC) to independently verify the correct location of numerous weld repairs. At the conference, TVA acknowledged the errors, discussed its root cause and extent of condition reviews, and corrective actions.

As described in NRC Manual Chapter 2509, "Browns Ferry Unit 1 Restart Project Inspection Program", and explained during the conference, BF1 is not considered to fall within the scope of the Commission's current "General Statement of Policy and Procedures for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, for commercially operating nuclear power plants. As such, traditional enforcement is in effect for the restart of BF1 for violations in those cornerstones which cannot be monitored under the Reactor Oversight Program. The significance of violations will be evaluated in accordance with 10 CFR Part 2 and other applicable enforcement guidance, including Supplement II of the Enforcement Policy. In this case, the violation identified above involves TVA's Quality Assurance program for construction related to a single work activity (BF1 Long-Term Torus Integrity Program), and involves a failure to conduct adequate audits/reviews and take prompt corrective action on the basis of such audits/reviews. In addition, the errors were associated with multiple examples of deficient construction due to inadequate program implementation. As such, the NRC has concluded that the violation is appropriately characterized at Severity Level III.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $60,000 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Because your facility has not been the subject of escalated enforcement action within the last 2 years, the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.C.2 of the Enforcement Policy. TVA's immediate corrective actions included the development and implementation of a plan to systematically verify the scope of torus weld problems. The plan consisted of training personnel on torus orientation and the proper use of sketches, independent review of the welds that were to be repaired to ensure they were identified in work documents, a walk-down of the torus welds that did not require repair to verify acceptability, and a determination of the cause of each example of the violation. Other corrective actions included the verification and revision of torus sketches, the placement of placards inside the torus to aid in orientation, revision of weld data sheets and weld maps, establishment of a single point of contact to control sketches, meetings with QC inspectors to stress the critical importance of independence, additional training for QC inspectors, increased Nuclear Assurance oversight of field activities, the assignment of dedicated resources for focused oversight of QC and other disciplines, and the conduct of a self-assessment of BF1 Nuclear Assurance oversight effectiveness. Based on these and other corrective actions discussed at the conference, the NRC concluded that credit was warranted for the factor of Corrective Action.

Therefore, to encourage prompt and comprehensive correction of violations and in recognition of the absence of previous escalated enforcement action, I have been authorized to propose that no civil penalty be assessed in this case. However, similar violations in the future could result in further escalated enforcement action. Issuance of this Notice constitutes escalated enforcement action, that may subject you to increased inspection effort.

You are required to respond to this letter and should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice when preparing your response. The NRC will use your response, in part, to determine whether further enforcement action is necessary to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.390 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter, its enclosures, and your response will be made available electronically for public inspection in the NRC Public Document Room or from the NRC's document system (ADAMS), which is accessible from the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To the extent possible, the response should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, classified, or safeguards information so that it can be made available to the Public without redaction. The NRC also includes significant enforcement actions on its Web site at www.nrc.gov; select What We Do, Enforcement, then Significant Enforcement Actions.

  Sincerely,

   /RA/ LAR

   Luis A. Reyes
Regional Administrator

Docket No. 50-259
License No. DPR-33

Enclosures:

1.  Notice of Violation
2.  List of Attendees
3.  Information Presented by NRC
4.  Information Presented by TVAcc w/encls:

Karl W. Singer
Senior Vice President
Nuclear Operations
Tennessee Valley Authority
Electronic Mail Distribution

James E. Maddox, Vice President
Engineering and Technical Services
Tennessee Valley Authority
Electronic Mail Distribution

Ashok S. Bhatnagar
Site Vice President
Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant
Tennessee Valley Authority
Electronic Mail Distribution

General Counsel
Tennessee Valley Authority
Electronic Mail Distribution

Thomas Niessen, Acting General Manager
Nuclear Assurance
Tennessee Valley Authority
Electronic Mail Distribution

Michael D. Skaggs, Plant Manager
Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant
Tennessee Valley Authority
Electronic Mail Distribution

Mark J. Burzynski, Manager
Nuclear Licensing
Tennessee Valley Authority
Electronic Mail Distribution

Timothy E. Abney, Manager
Licensing and Industry Affairs
Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant
Tennessee Valley Authority
Electronic Mail Distribution

State Health OfficerAlabama Dept. of Public Health
RSA Tower - Administration
Suite 1552
P. O. Box 303017
Montgomery, AL 36130-3017

Chairman
Limestone County Commission
310 West Washington Street
Athens, AL 35611

Jon R. Rupert, Vice President
Browns Ferry Unit 1 Restart
Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant
Tennessee Valley Authority
P. O. Box 2000
Decatur, AL 35609

Robert G. Jones, Restart Manager
Browns Ferry Unit 1 Restart
Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant
Tennessee Valley Authority
P. O. Box 2000
Decatur, AL 35609


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
AND
PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTY

 Tennessee Valley Authority
Browns Ferry Unit 1
  Docket No. 50-259
License No. DPR-33
EA-04-063

During an NRC inspection completed on February 13, 2004, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the violation is listed below.

10 CFR 50, Appendix B, Criterion V, requires activities affecting quality shall be prescribed by documented instructions, procedures, or drawings, of a type appropriate to the circumstances, and shall be accomplished in accordance with these instructions, procedures, or drawings. Instructions, procedures, or drawings shall include appropriate quantitative or qualitative acceptance criteria for determining that important activities have been satisfactorily accomplished.

Contrary to the above, as of February 13, 2004, instructions, procedures, or drawings were inadequate or were not implemented for weld repairs to ECN P-0093 torus modifications as described below:

1.   TVA procedure NEDP-5, Design Documents Review, Section 3.1.1 requires the preparer of design documents to provide an adequate and accurate solution for the problem, provide a quality product, and ensure that the design documents are complete. Section 3.1.2 requires the Checker (design verifier) to ensure that the design documents are adequate, complete and accurate.

Deficiency Fix Request Sketches for the Long Term Torus Integrity Program were inadequate, in that approximately 50 examples of deficiencies requiring repairs were not identified on the sketches. In this regard, the preparer and design verifier failed to ensure that discrepancies identified during the torus walkdowns were adequately and accurately evaluated, failed to ensure that the discrepancies requiring repair were included in engineering output documents (Deficiency Fix Request Sketches), and failed to ensure the sketches were accurate and that required repairs were shown at the correct locations.

2.   The drawings titled Deficiency Fix Requests, Sketches 4 through 38, detailing corrective actions for Problem Evaluation Report (PER) 03-017339, Unit 1 Torus, Differences Between As-Built and As-Designed Configurations, show locations for repairs to welds.

Welds designated as weld numbers MS-1-WO 03017394016-008 in work order 03-017394-016, weld numbers PCI-1-WO 03017394002-029 and -30 in work order 03-017394-002, and weld numbers MS-1-WO 03017394006-047, -048, PCI-1-002-004, -005, and -006 in work order 03-017394-006, were repaired (welded) at the incorrect location. However, review of the work order documentation, specifically weld maps and data sheets, indicated the welds had been repaired. The deficient welds at these locations shown on Deficiency Fix Requests, Sketches 31 and 36 were not repaired. Approximately 20 additional welds were identified by the licensee which were repaired in the incorrect location.

3.   TVA Procedure VT-6, Visual Examination of Structural Welds Using the Criteria of NCIG-01, requires quality control inspectors to perform an independent inspection of completed work activities important to safety. A requirement of the inspection procedure is independent verification that the work was performed at the correct location.

Quality Control (QC) inspection personnel failed to independently verify that welds designated as weld numbers MS-1-WO 03017394016-008 in work order 03-017394-016, weld numbers PCI-1-WO 03017394002-029 and -30 in work order 03-017394-002, and weld numbers MS-1-WO 03017394006-047, -048, PCI-1-002-004, -005, and -006 in work order 03-017394-006 were repaired at the correct location. However, review of the QC inspection documentation in the work orders indicated the welds had been repaired, inspected, and accepted by quality control inspectors. The deficient welds at these locations shown on Deficiency Fix Requests, Sketches 31 and 36 were not repaired.

4.   TVA Procedure MMDP-1, Maintenance Management System, Paragraph 3.2, requires work orders to be developed to a level of detail appropriate for the circumstances which address the aspects of the work, including the scope of the work and work instructions. MMDP-1 requires that the work order specify that work is to be performed in accordance with approved procedures, when approved procedures are available. Paragraph 3.8.1 of TVA procedure MMDP-1 requires independent/technical review of the work order to insure the work order contains detailed work steps to perform the required work prior to approval and implementation of the work order.

TVA procedure MMDP-10, Controlling Welding, Brazing, and Soldering Processes, Section 3.3, requires work implementing documents and weld data sheets be prepared and included in the work order for all welding activities.

Work implementing documents and weld data sheets for six welds, which required restoration to the sizes shown on Deficiency Fix Request, Sketch Number 30, referenced in PER 03-017394, were omitted from Work Order 030017394-006. The independent/technical review of the work order did not identify the omission when performing the independent technical quality review. As followup, the licensee identified approximately 30 additional welds which were shown on the drawings as requiring repair but were not included in the work order instructions.

This is a Severity Level III Violation (Supplement II).

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, Tennessee Valley Authority is hereby required to submit a written statement or explanation to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, within 30 days of the date of this Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty (Notice). This reply should be clearly marked as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation; EA-04-063" and should include: (1) admission or denial of the alleged violation, (2) the reasons for the violation if admitted, and if denied, the reasons why, (3) the corrective steps that have been taken and the results achieved, (4) the corrective steps that will be taken to avoid further violations, and (5) the date when full compliance will be achieved. Your response may reference or include previously docketed correspondence, if the correspondence adequately addresses the required response. If an adequate reply is not received within the time specified in this Notice, an order or a Demand for Information may be issued as to why the license should not be modified, suspended, or revoked or why such other action as may be proper should not be taken. Consideration may be given to extending the response time for good cause shown.

Because your response will be made available electronically for public inspection in the NRC Public Document Room or from the NRC's document system (ADAMS), to the extent possible, it should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be made available to the public without redaction. ADAMS is accessible from the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. If personal privacy or proprietary information is necessary to provide an acceptable response, then please provide a bracketed copy of your response that identifies the information that should be protected and a redacted copy of your response that deletes such information. If you request withholding of such material, you must specifically identify the portions of your response that you seek to have withheld and provide in detail the bases for your claim of withholding (e.g., explain why the disclosure of information will create an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy or provide the information required by 10 CFR 2.390(b) to support a request for withholding confidential commercial or financial information). If safeguards information is necessary to provide an acceptable response, please provide the level of protection described in 10 CFR 73.21.

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

Dated this 12th day of May 2004

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