United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-96-122 - Davis-Besse (Toledo Edison Company)

June 13, 1996

EA 96-122

Mr. John P. Stetz
Vice President - Nuclear
Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station
Centerior Service Company
c/o Toledo Edison Company
300 Madison Avenue
Toledo, OH 43652

SUBJECT: DAVIS-BESSE NUCLEAR POWER STATION
         NOTICE OF VIOLATION 
         (NRC INTEGRATED INSPECTION REPORT NO. 50-346/96002) 

Dear Mr. Stetz:

This refers to the inspection conducted from February 9 through April 10, 1996, at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station. During the inspection, the NRC reviewed the circumstances surrounding the failure to satisfy a Technical Specification (TS) surveillance requirement for venting one of the two injection lines for High Pressure Injection (HPI) Train 2 system piping since 1990. The letter transmitting our inspection report (50-346/96002) was dated May 7, 1996, and a predecisional enforcement conference was conducted on May 23, 1996. This failure was also reported to us in Licensee Event Report 346/96-001 on April 3, 1996.

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. The violations are cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation and the circumstances surrounding them are described in detail in the subject inspection report.

On March 4, 1996, during a review of TS surveillance requirements that was ongoing in support of extending the operating cycle from 18 to 24 months, a senior licensing engineer identified a significant failure to satisfy TS requirements. Specifically, the high point on one of two HPI injection lines in HPI Train 2 (line 2A) had not been vented in accordance with TS 4.5.2.b since 1990. TS 4.5.2.b requires, in part, that the HPI injection line high points be vented every 18 months to ensure they are full of water. Both HPI injection lines in Train 1 and one of the two in Train 2 (line 2B) had high point vents and had been vented as required. Prior to 1990, the makeup system injected into line 2A which was an acceptable method of assuring the piping remained full of water. During the 1990 refueling outage a modification was implemented which moved the makeup system injection point from HPI injection line 2A to line 2B. During preparation of the modification and completion of the associated safety evaluation, it was not recognized that a high point vent was needed to meet the surveillance requirement of TS 4.5.2.b for HPI injection line 2A. The failure to perform the TS surveillance within the required time for HPI injection line 2A rendered HPI Train 2 inoperable.

The licensing engineer who identified this failure is to be commended for his questioning attitude and attention to detail in the performance of his duties. However, we are concerned that both the Shift Supervisor and Station Review Board initially concluded after the failure was identified that HPI Train 2 was operable. Because of this, actions to comply with the TS action statement or seek a TS amendment prior to the expiration of the 72 hour Limiting Condition for Operation (LCO) may not have occurred without the intervention of the NRC. Following a telephone conference with the NRC on March 6, 1996, your staff determined that HPI Train 2 was inoperable. The Davis-Besse Station staff then submitted a request for an emergency license amendment to defer the venting surveillance until the Tenth Refueling Outage, which was approved by the NRC on March 7, 1996, prior to the expiration of the 72 hour LCO.

We recognize that the system was functional and water hammer would not have been a factor if the system had been called upon to perform its safety function because HPI Train 2 was found to be full of water. However, the violations represent both a significant failure to meet the requirements of 10 CFR 50.59 such that a required license amendment was not sought, as well as a significant failure to comply with the action statement for a TS LCO where the appropriate action was not taken within the required time. Therefore, the violations have been categorized in the aggregate in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, as a Severity Level III problem.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $50,000 is considered for a Severity Level III problem. Because your facility has not been the subject of escalated enforcement actions 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.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy.

Credit was warranted for your comprehensive corrective actions. A request for an emergency license amendment was made on March 6, 1996, and a modification to install a manual vent valve on the high point of the HPI 2A piping was completed during the Tenth Refueling Outage. The surveillance procedure was also revised to include this new vent valve. In addition, a number of enhancements have been made in the modification and safety evaluation process since 1989. We also note that subsequent Station Review Board determinations on similar matters have since been appropriate and conservative. In particular, an issue associated with TS charcoal filter testing requirements was handled well.

Therefore, to encourage prompt identification and comprehensive correction of violations, and in the recognition of the absence of previous escalated enforcement action, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, not to propose a civil penalty in this case. However, significant violations in the future could result in 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, 

                                    Original signed by H. J. Miller

                                    Hubert J. Miller
                                    Regional Administrator

Docket No. 50-346
License No. NPF-3

Enclosure: Notice of Violation

cc w/encl:
D. C. Shelton, Senior Vice President - Nuclear
J. K. Wood, Plant Manager
J. L. Freels, Manager, Regulatory Affairs
State Liaison Officer, State of Ohio
Robert E. Owen, Ohio
Department of Health
C. A. Glazer, State of Ohio,
Public Utilities Commission


NOTICE OF VIOLATION
Toledo Edison Company                                        Docket No. 50-346
Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station                            License No. NPF-3
                                                             EA 96-122

During the NRC inspection conducted from February 9 through April 10, 1996, violations of NRC requirements were identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the violations are listed below:

A. 10 CFR 50.59(a) permits a licensee to make changes in the facility as described in the safety analysis report, without prior Commission approval, unless the proposed change involves a change in the technical specifications incorporated in the license or an unreviewed safety question.
10 CFR 50.59(b)(1) requires that a licensee maintain records of changes in the facility made pursuant to this section, to the extent that these changes constitute changes in the facility as described in the safety analysis report. The records must include a written safety evaluation which provides the bases for the determination that the change does not involve an unreviewed safety question.
The High Pressure Injection (HPI) System functional drawing is provided in UFSAR Figure 6.3-2.
Contrary to the above, on December 5, 1989, the licensee completed Safety Evaluation SE89-0245, for modification 89-066 (to re-route the normal HPI makeup discharge from HPI line 2A to HPI line 2B during the sixth refueling outage in 1990), and failed to determine that the change involved a change in Technical Specification (TS) 4.5.2.b or an unreviewed safety question. (01013)
B. TS 3.5.2 requires that two independent ECCS subsystems shall be operable in Modes 1, 2, and 3. TS 3.5.2.a requires that with one ECCS subsystem inoperable, restore the inoperable subsystem to operable status within 72 hours or be in Hot Shutdown within the next 12 hours.
TS surveillance requirement 4.5.2.b requires that each ECCS subsystem shall be demonstrated operable at least once per 18 months, or prior to operation after ECCS piping has been drained, by verifying that the ECCS piping is full of water by venting the discharge piping high points.
Contrary to the above from June 16, 1990, until March 4, 1996, while in Modes 1, 2, and 3, HPI Train 2 (an ECCS subsystem) was inoperable because not all HPI Train 2 piping was verified to be full of water by venting the high points as required by TS 4.5.2.b, and action was not taken to restore the inoperable subsystem to operable status within 72 hours or to be in Hot Shutdown within the next 12 hours. (01023)

This is a Severity Level III problem (Supplement I).

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, Toledo Edison Company is hereby required to submit a written statement or explanation to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN: Document Control Desk, Washington, D.C. 20555 with a copy to the Regional Administrator, Region III, and a copy to the NRC Resident Inspector at the facility that is the subject of this Notice, within 30 days of the date of the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation (Notice). This reply should be clearly marked as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation" and should include for each violation: (1) the reason for the violation, or, if contested, the basis for disputing the violation, (2) the corrective steps that have been taken and the results achieved, (3) the corrective steps that will be taken to avoid further violations, and (4) the date when full compliance will be achieved. Your response may reference or include previous 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. Where good cause is shown, consideration will be given to extending the response time.

Under the authority of Section 182 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2232, this response shall be submitted under oath or affirmation.

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 Lisle, Illinois
this 13th day of June 1996

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