United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-96-025 - Waterford 3 (Entergy Operations, Inc.)

March 28, 1996

EA 96-025

Entergy Operations, Inc.
ATTN: Michael B. Sellman, Vice
President Operations - Waterford
P.O. Box B
Killona, Louisiana 70066

SUBJECT:  NOTICE OF VIOLATION AND PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL
          PENALTY - $50,000 (NRC Inspection Report No. 50-382/95-23) 

Dear Mr. Sellman:

This refers to the predecisional enforcement conference held in the NRC's Arlington, Texas office on March 5, 1996, with you and other Entergy Operations, Inc. (Entergy) representatives. The conference was conducted to discuss apparent violations of requirements identified during an NRC inspection conducted on December 20, 1995, through January 12, 1996, at the Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 3 site. The NRC's inspection report, issued on February 20, 1996, described four apparent violations related to: the operability of the auxiliary component cooling water (ACCW) system; actions taken to address known design deficiencies in this system; the testing of ACCW system check valves; and adherence to work authorization procedures.

Based on the information developed during the inspection and the information that you provided during the conference, the NRC has determined that violations of NRC requirements occurred. These violations are cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty and the circumstances surrounding them are described in detail in the subject inspection report.

The most significant violation identified in the attached Notice, and the only violation that was assessed a civil penalty, involves a failure to implement effective actions to preclude repetition of a significant condition adverse to quality, a violation of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVI. Specifically, on several occasions from March 1986 through December 1995, Waterford personnel failed to correct a known design deficiency in the ACCW system. This design deficiency would allow air to intrude into the ACCW system and could, under certain conditions, result in a hydraulic transient (water hammer) that could have damaged the system to the point where the system would not have been capable of performing its intended safety function.

In addressing the question of system operability, the Waterford staff performed detailed analyses that showed that the system was operable at all times, even though the system design deficiency had not been corrected. However, the NRC is concerned that, since 1986, plant personnel had multiple opportunities to correct the design problem but failed to do so. Instead of taking actions to correct the design problem, work-arounds were institutionalized in system operating procedures. Therefore, this violation has been categorized in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600 at Severity Level III.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $50,000 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Because your facility has been the subject of escalated enforcement actions within the last 2 years, the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for Identification and Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy. The NRC has determined that Entergy is not deserving of identification credit because this violation was discovered as a result of inspections conducted by the NRC and because of the many prior opportunities Entergy had to have recognized the need to take more effective corrective action for the design deficiency. In recognition of the comprehensive corrective actions that you have taken since the discovery of this problem, NRC has determined that credit for Corrective Action is warranted.

The corrective actions taken or planned include: running the ACCW pumps continuously to prevent voids from forming until a system modification could be implemented to eliminate hydraulic transients; reviewing other safety-related fluid systems for air intrusion susceptibility; and reviewing the adequacy and application of existing fill and vent procedures for safety-related and trip-sensitive fluid systems. Additional actions being taken include: correcting problems associated with repetitive task planning functions; enhancing the corrective action program; reviewing other root cause analyses for adequacy; and, most importantly, addressing broader issues such as ensuring that plant personnel critically evaluate identified deficiencies to determine the potential effect on components, equipment, and systems and to assure that appropriate corrective actions are taken.

The NRC notes that in both this case and a previous escalated enforcement action involving Waterford-3, issued by letter dated August 18, 1994, a central element of Waterford's planned corrective action is to enhance the corrective action program. While the two cases are different in that they involved different systems and different technical issues, both indicate that additional attention is needed to ensure that conditions adverse to quality are promptly identified and effectively corrected. We will continue to monitor your performance in this area.

To emphasize the importance of ensuring that conditions adverse to quality, particularly those which may affect the operability of safety systems, are promptly and effectively corrected to prevent recurrence, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, to issue the enclosed Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty (Notice) in the base amount of $50,000 for the Severity Level III violation described above.

The subject inspection report also identified three additional apparent violations. The first apparent violation, which involved the operability of the ACCW system, was appropriately addressed by Waterford's analysis and provided objective evidence that the system was operable; therefore, the NRC has determined that a violation did not occur. A second apparent violation identified that the testing program for ACCW Pump Discharge Check Valves ACC-108A and -108B did not comply with certain requirements specified in Part IWV-2200 of Section XI to the ASME Code. The resolution of this issue is being deferred pending additional NRC review of the Inservice Testing Program; thus, this issue will be tracked as an unresolved item.

The final apparent violation involved a failure to ensure that changes in the scope or intent of a work authorization were reviewed by the original reviewers, as required by procedure. The NRC has determined that a violation did occur. This violation is cited in the attached Notice at Severity Level IV and is not assessed a civil penalty.

In addition, during our review of the performance testing of the ACCW system, as discussed during the predecisional enforcement conference, a violation not previously identified in the subject inspection report was identified and is being cited in the attached Notice. This violation is based on system preconditioning during testing, in that the pump discharge valve was shut prior to performing system testing. Therefore, the system was not tested in accordance with the requirements contained in the applicable design documents. This failure to test the ACCW system in accordance with the requirements specified in Criterion XI of Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50 is cited at Severity Level IV and is not assessed a civil penalty.

You are required to respond to this letter and should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice when preparing your response. In your response, you should document the specific actions taken and any additional actions you plan to prevent recurrence. After reviewing your response to this Notice, including your proposed corrective actions and the results of future inspections, the NRC will determine whether further NRC enforcement action is necessary to ensure compliance with NRC regulatory requirements.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter, its enclosure, and your response will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR). 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 without redaction.

                              Sincerely, 

                              /s/Samuel J. Collins

                              L. J. Callan
                              Regional Administrator

Docket No. 50-382
License No. NPF-38

Enclosure:
Notice of Violation and
Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty

cc w/Enclosure:
Entergy Operations, Inc.
ATTN: Harry W. Keiser, Executive Vice
President and Chief Operating Officer
P.O. Box 31995
Jackson, Mississippi 39286-1995

Entergy Operations, Inc.
ATTN: Jerrold G. Dewease, Vice President
Operations Support
P.O. Box 31995
Jackson, Mississippi 39286-1995

Wise, Carter, Child & Caraway
ATTN: Robert B. McGehee, Esq.
P.O. Box 651
Jackson, Mississippi 39205

Entergy Operations, Inc.
ATTN: D. R. Keuter, General
Manager Plant Operations
P.O. Box B
Killona, Louisiana 70066

Entergy Operations, Inc.
ATTN: Donald W. Vinci
Licensing Manager
P.O. Box B
Killona, Louisiana 70066

Chairman
Louisiana Public Service Commission
One American Place, Suite 1630
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70825-1697

Entergy Operations, Inc.
ATTN: R. F. Burski, Director
Nuclear Safety
P.O. Box B
Killona, Louisiana 70066

William H. Spell, Administrator
Louisiana Radiation Protection Division
P.O. Box 82135
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70884-2135

Parish President
St. Charles Parish
P.O. Box 302
Hahnville, Louisiana 70057

Mr. William A. Cross
Bethesda Licensing Office
3 Metro Center
Suite 610
Bethesda, Maryland 20814

Winston & Strawn
ATTN: Nicholas S. Reynolds, Esq.
1400 L Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005-3502

State of Louisiana


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
AND
PROPOSED IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTY

Entergy Operations, Inc                                              Docket No. 50-382
Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 3                             License No. NPF-38
                                                                     EA 96-025

During an NRC inspection conducted from December 20, 1995, to January 12, 1996, three violations of NRC requirements were identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission proposes to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Section 234 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (Act), 42 U.S.C. 2282, and 10 CFR 2.205. The particular violations and associated civil penalty are set forth below:

I. Violation Assessed a Civil Penalty

A. Criterion XVI of Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50 requires, in part, that measures be established to assure that conditions adverse to quality, such as failures and malfunctions, be promptly identified and corrected. In the case of significant conditions adverse to quality, the measures shall assure that the cause of the condition is determined and corrective action taken to preclude repetition. Contrary to the above, on several occasions, from March 1986 through December 1995, as discussed in NRC Inspection Report 50-382/95-23, licensee personnel failed to implement corrective actions to preclude repetition of a significant condition adverse to quality in that, on each of those occasions, a known design deficiency, which allowed the development of voids in the ACCW system, was not corrected. (01013)

This is a Severity Level III violation (Supplement I).
Civil Penalty - $50,000.

II. Violations Not Assessed a Civil Penalty

A. Technical Specification 6.8.1.a states, in part, that written procedures shall be implemented covering the applicable procedures recommended in Appendix A of Regulatory Guide 1.33, "Quality Assurance Program Requirements," Revision 2, February 1978.
Paragraph 9.a of Appendix A to Regulatory Guide 1.33 states, in part, that procedures for performing maintenance that can affect the performance of safety-related equipment should be performed in accordance with written procedures appropriate to the circumstances.
Section 5.6 of Procedure UNT-005-015, "Work Authorization Preparation and Implementation," stated, in part, that the work authorization affected by a change in scope or intent shall be reviewed by the original reviewers.
Contrary to the above, a change in the scope or intent of a work authorization was performed and the changes were not reviewed by the original reviewers in that:
1. On October 27, 1995, the system engineer entered "NA" for the requirement specified in Work Authorization 01135214 for performance of a valve differential pressure test. The original reviewers did not review the change to the test requirements.
2. On November 25, 1995, a maintenance planner marked "NA" for the postmaintenance test specified in Work Authorization 01135214. The original reviewers did not review the change to the postmaintenance test. (02014)

This is a Severity Level IV violation (Supplement I).

B. Criterion XI of Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50 specifies, in part, that all testing required to demonstrate that systems will perform satisfactorily in service is performed in accordance with written test procedures which incorporated the requirements contained in applicable design documents.
Section 7.3 of the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report, an applicable design document, states, in part, that the ESF [engineered safety feature] components automatically actuated by signals from ESFAS [engineered safety feature actuation system] are identified in Table 7.3-5. The ACCW system is listed in Table 7.3-5.
The licensee has established through the issuance of System Operating Procedure OP-002-001, "Auxiliary Component Cooling Water," that the normal system lineup requires that the ACCW pump discharge valve be fully opened when the system is in standby and prepared to respond to an automatic actuation signal.
Contrary to the above, the licensee failed to provide a written procedure to test the ACCW system in accordance with the requirements of the applicable design documents in that surveillance procedures required that the ACCW pump discharge valve be shut during testing, which represented a position different from the normal, automatic system actuation lineup. (03014)

This is a Severity Level IV violation (Supplement I).

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, Entergy Operations, Incorporated (Licensee) 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" and should include for each alleged violation: (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. 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 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. Under the authority of Section 182 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2232, this response shall be submitted under oath or affirmation.

Within the same time as provided for the response required above under 10 CFR 2.201, the Licensee may pay the civil penalty by letter addressed to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with a check, draft, money order, or electronic transfer payable to the Treasurer of the United States in the amount of the civil penalty proposed above, or the cumulative amount of the civil penalties if more than one civil penalty is proposed, or may protest imposition of the civil penalty in whole or in part, by a written answer addressed to the Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Should the Licensee fail to answer within the time specified, an order imposing the civil penalty will be issued. Should the Licensee elect to file an answer in accordance with 10 CFR 2.205 protesting the civil penalty, in whole or in part, such answer should be clearly marked as an "Answer to a Notice of Violation" and may: (1) deny the violations listed in this Notice, in whole or in part, (2) demonstrate extenuating circumstances, (3) show error in this Notice, or (4) show other reasons why the penalty should not be imposed. In addition to protesting the civil penalty in whole or in part, such answer may request remission or mitigation of the penalty.

In requesting mitigation of the proposed penalty, the factors addressed in Section VI.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy should be addressed. Any written answer in accordance with 10 CFR 2.205 should be set forth separately from the statement or explanation in reply pursuant to 10 CFR 2.201, but may incorporate parts of the 10 CFR 2.201 reply by specific reference (e.g., citing page and paragraph numbers) to avoid repetition. The attention of the Licensee is directed to the other provisions of 10 CFR 2.205, regarding the procedure for imposing a civil penalty.

Upon failure to pay any civil penalty due which subsequently has been determined in accordance with the applicable provisions of 10 CFR 2.205, this matter may be referred to the Attorney General, and the penalty, unless compromised, remitted, or mitigated, may be collected by civil action pursuant to Section 234c of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2282c.

The response noted above (Reply to Notice of Violation, letter with payment of civil penalty, and Answer to a Notice of Violation) should be addressed to: James Leiberman, Director, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852-2738, with a copy to the Regional Administrator, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Region IV, ATTN: Enforcement Officer, and a copy to the NRC Resident Inspector at the Waterford Steam Electric Station.

Because your response will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR), to the extent possible, it should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be placed in the PDR without redaction. However, if you find it necessary to include such information, you should clearly indicate the specific information that you desire not to be placed in the PDR, and provide the legal basis to support your request for withholding the information from the public.

Dated at Arlington, Texas,
this 28th day of March 1996

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