United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-05-114 - Crystal River 3 (Florida Power Corp.)

September 21, 2005

EA 05-114

Mr. Dale E. Young, Vice President
Crystal River Nuclear Plant (NA1B)
ATTN: Supervisor, Licensing &
Regulatory Programs
15760 West Power Line Street
Crystal River, FL 34428-6708

SUBJECT: FINAL SIGNIFICANCE DETERMINATION FOR A WHITE FINDING AND NOTICE OF VIOLATION (CRYSTAL RIVER UNIT 3, NRC INSPECTION REPORT NO. 05000302/2005011)

Dear Mr. Young:

The purpose of this letter is to provide you with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) final significance determination for a finding involving unprotected post-fire safe shutdown cables and related non-feasible local manual operator actions. The finding was documented in NRC Inspection Report No. 05000302/2005007, issued on June 16, 2005, and was assessed under the significance determination process as a preliminary “greater than Green” issue (i.e., an issue of at least low to moderate safety significance which may require additional NRC inspection). The cover letter to the inspection report informed Florida Power Corporation (FPC) of the NRC’s preliminary conclusion, provided FPC an opportunity to request a regulatory conference on this matter, and forwarded the details of the NRC’s preliminary estimate of the change in core damage frequency (CDF) for this finding.

At FPC’s request, an open regulatory conference was conducted on July 22, 2005, to discuss FPC’s position on this issue. The enclosures to this letter include the list of attendees at the regulatory conference and material presented by FPC and NRC.

During the conference, FPC presented the results of its estimate of the increase in CDF due to the performance deficiency including influential assumptions and risk analysis methodology. FPC concluded that the finding was of very low safety significance. The critical aspects of FPC’s analysis and inputs that differed from the NRC’s preliminary estimate included the following: (1) fully developed fires would produce enough smoke to require extensive removal efforts with a gas-powered ejector (NOTE: FPC estimated that a sufficient amount of smoke would be removed within 20 minutes to allow an operator to reset the emergency diesel generator (EDG) lockout breaker in the 3B 4160-VAC switchgear compartment and recover the 4160-VAC electrical bus.); (2) FWP-7, the non-safety-related feedwater pump, and its associated power and control circuits would remain free from fire damage and could be started from the main control room to provide and maintain secondary side heat removal; (3) the EDGs could operate unloaded without incurring damage for at least 1 hour given the potential lack of room ventilation; (4) the emergency feedwater initiation control system (EFIC) would be available for at least 2 hours instead of 30 minutes as assumed in the NRC’s preliminary estimate; and (5) FPC would use the Technical Support Center (TSC) to provide guidance to the operating and response staff for diverse emergency and auxiliary feedwater lineups and for electrical distribution alignment. FPC did not contest that the finding represented a violation of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix R, Section III.G.2.

After considering the information developed during the inspection and the information FPC provided at the conference, the NRC has concluded that the final inspection finding is appropriately characterized as White in the mitigating systems cornerstone. In summary, the most critical differences between the NRC’s assessment of the change in CDF and that of FPC’s involved the likelihood of success of an operator action to reset the EDG lockout breaker to recover the 4160-VAC electrical bus and credit for use of FWP-7. The NRC ultimately concluded that the probability of failure to reset the EDG lockout was much greater than that assumed by FPC due to the extreme environmental conditions produced by the fire coupled with the very poor ergonomics associated with accomplishing a task in this situation. Therefore, possible accomplishment of this task could not be considered until smoke removal efforts were successfully employed. In considering the use of FWP-7, the NRC agreed with FPC that some credit was warranted which would result in a reduction in the NRC’s preliminary estimate.

Regarding other aspects of FPC’s analysis, the NRC agrees with FPC that the EDG could operate unloaded for at least 1 hour without incurring damage and that EFIC would be available for at least 2 hours. Regarding the use of the TSC, the NRC concluded that the combination of time constraints, the complexity of the emergency situation, power/communications availability, and the variability in the actual TSC response precluded TSC credit.

You have 10 calendar days from the date of this letter to appeal the staff’s determination of significance for the identified finding. Such appeals will be considered to have merit only if they meet the criteria given in NRC Inspection Manual Chapter 0609, Attachment 2.

The NRC also concluded that a violation of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix R, Section III.G.2, occurred in that the protection and metering circuits were not physically separated or protected from fire damage as required. The violation is set forth in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice). The circumstances surrounding the violation are described in detail in NRC Inspection Report No. 05000302/2005007 dated June 16, 2005. In accordance with the NRC Enforcement Policy, NUREG-1600, the Notice of Violation 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 already adequately addressed on the docket in NRC Inspection Report No. 05000302/2004009 dated March 14, 2005; NRC Inspection Report No. 05000302/2005007 dated June 16, 2005; and the information provided by FPC at the July 22, 2005, regulatory conference (Enclosure 3). 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.

For administrative purposes, this letter is issued as a separate NRC Inspection Report, No. 05000302/200500011, and the above violation is identified as VIO 0500302/200500011-01, Unprotected Post-Fire Safe Shutdown Cables and Related Non-feasible Local Manual Operator Action. Accordingly, Apparent Violation 05000302/2005007-01 is closed.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.390 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter, its enclosures, and your response (should you choose to provide one) 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, any 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.

Should you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact Mr. D. Charles Payne, Chief, Engineering Branch 2, Division of Reactor Safety, at (404)562-4669.

Sincerely,

/RA/

William D. Travers
Regional Administrator

Docket No.: 50-302
License No.: DPR-72

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


cc w/encls:

Daniel L. Roderick
Director Site Operations
Crystal River Nuclear Plant (NA2C)
Electronic Mail Distribution
Chairman
Board of County Commissioners
Citrus County
110 N. Apopka Avenue
Inverness, FL 36250

Jon A. Franke
Plant General Manager
Crystal River Nuclear Plant (NA2C)
Electronic Mail Distribution

Jim Mallay
Framatome Technologies
Electronic Mail Distribution
FPC
Richard L. Warden
Manager Nuclear Assessment
Crystal River Nuclear Plant (NA2C)
Electronic Mail Distribution

 
Michael J. Annacone
Engineering Manager
Crystal River Nuclear Plant (NA2C)
Electronic Mail Distribution

 
R. Alexander Glenn
Associate General Counsel (MAC - BT15A)
Florida Power Corporation
Electronic Mail Distribution

 
Steven R. Carr
Associate General Counsel - Legal Dept.
Progress Energy Service Company, LLC
Electronic Mail Distribution

 
Attorney General
Department of Legal Affairs
The Capitol
Tallahassee, FL 32304

 
William A. Passetti
Bureau of Radiation Control
Department of Health
Electronic Mail Distribution

 
Craig Fugate, Director
Division of Emergency Preparedness
Department of Community Affairs
Electronic Mail Distribution
 

NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Florida Power Corporation
Crystal River Nuclear Plant
Unit 3
  Docket No. 50-302
License No. DRP-72
EA-05-114

During an NRC inspection completed on June 8, 2005, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the NRC Enforcement Policy, the violation is listed below:

 

10 CFR 50.48(b)(1) requires, in part, that all nuclear power plants licensed to operate prior to January 1, 1979, must satisfy the applicable requirements of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix R, Section III.G, Fire Protection of Safe Shutdown Capability.

Section III.G.2 states that, except as provided for in Section III.G.3, where cables or equipment (including associated non-safety circuits that could prevent operation or cause maloperation due to hot shorts, open circuits, or shorts to ground) of redundant trains of systems necessary to achieve and maintain hot shutdown conditions are located within the same fire area outside of primary containment, one of the following means of ensuring that one of the redundant trains is free of fire damage shall be provided:


  a. separation of cables and equipment and associated non-safety circuits of redundant trains by a fire barrier having a 3-hour rating (Structural steel forming a part of or supporting such fire barriers shall be protected to provide fire resistance equivalent to that required of the barrier.);

  b. separation of cables and equipment and associated non-safety circuits of redundant trains by a horizontal distance of more than 20 feet with no intervening combustible or fire hazards (In addition, fire detectors and an automatic fire suppression system shall be installed in the fire area.); or

  c. enclosure of cable, equipment, and associated non-safety circuits of one redundant train in a fire barrier having a 1-hour rating. (In addition, fire detectors and an automatic fire suppression system shall be installed in the fire area.)

 

Contrary to the above, on January 26, 2005, the licensee failed to ensure that one of the redundant trains of systems necessary to achieve and maintain hot shutdown conditions would be free of fire damage via one of the three means specified in 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix R, Section III.G.2. Specifically, cables for the electrical protection and metering circuit located in the 3A 4160-V engineered safeguards (ES) switchgear room were vulnerable to fire damage that could disable both the 3A 4160-V ES switchgear and the redundant train 3B 4160-V ES switchgear resulting in a loss of all safety-related alternating current power.

This violation is associated with a White Significance Determination Process finding for Unit 3 in the mitigating systems cornerstone.

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 No. 05000302/2004009 dated March 14, 2005; NRC Inspection Report No. 05000302/2005007 dated June 16, 2005; and the information provided by FPC at the July 22, 2005, regulatory conference (Enclosure 3). 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 - EA-05-114," 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 II, 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, U.S. 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 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 2 working days.

Dated this 21st day of September 2005

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