United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-97-330 - Crystal River 3 (Florida Power Corp.)

September 5, 1997

EA 97-330

Florida Power Corporation
Crystal River Energy Complex
Mr. Roy A. Anderson (SA2A)
Sr. VP, Nuclear Operations
ATTN: Mgr., Nuclear Licensing
15760 West Power Line Street
Crystal River, Florida 34428-6708

SUBJECT:  NOTICE OF VIOLATION AND EXERCISE OF ENFORCEMENT DISCRETION
          (NRC Inspection Report No. 50-302/97-09)

Dear Mr. Anderson:

This refers to the inspection conducted on June 2 through June 20, 1997, at Florida Power Corporation's (FPC) Crystal River Unit 3 nuclear facility. The purpose of the inspection was to assess emergency diesel generator (EDG) protective trips. The results of the inspection were discussed with members of your staff at an exit meeting conducted on June 20, 1997, and were formally transmitted to you by letter dated July 14, 1997. That letter also provided you the opportunity to respond to the apparent violations in writing or to request a predecisional enforcement conference. Subsequently, you declined a conference, and by letter dated August 11, 1997, you submitted additional information to us regarding the apparent violations, the root causes, and your corrective actions to preclude recurrence. We have reviewed the inspection results and the additional information you provided and have concluded that sufficient information is available to determine the appropriate enforcement action in this matter.

Based on the information developed during the inspection, and the information that was provided in your August 11, 1997 letter, the NRC has determined that violations of NRC requirements occurred. The violations are cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice), and the circumstances surrounding the violations are described in detail in the subject inspection report. Violation A involved the failure to perform an adequate safety evaluation for a 1987 modification which added five protective trips to each EDG. Violation B involved the failure to update the Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR) to describe the added EDG protective trips. The added EDG trips were not bypassed during emergency operation and were not installed with two out of three coincident logic. A single failure in the added circuitry would increase the probability of failure of the EDGs creating an unreviewed safety question (USQ). FPC failed to identify that the changes involved a USQ that required NRC review and approval prior to implementation and failed to incorporate the information into an FSAR revision. In addition, Violation B and another recent example of failure to update the FSAR for a 1996 revised small break loss of coolant accident mitigation strategy (EA 97-162), indicated a weakness in your control of documentation of the design bases for the facility. These violations, including the failure to seek a required license amendment, are a significant failure to meet the requirements of 10 CFR 50.59; and, therefore, have been categorized in the aggregate as a Severity Level III problem.

In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedures for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, a civil penalty normally would be considered for a Severity Level III violation. However, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, to exercise enforcement discretion in accordance with Section VII.B.(6) of the Enforcement Policy and not propose a civil penalty in this case. The NRC has concluded that discretion is appropriate in that: (1) the Crystal River facility is shut down for performance reasons including engineering violations, such as the ones in this case and those issued on March 12, 1997 (EAs 96-365, 96-465 and 96-527), which involved a Severity Level II problem for the failure to perform adequate reviews pursuant to 10 CFR 50.59; (2) the Crystal River facility will remain shut down until completion of a comprehensive program of improvements in the engineering area; (3) FPC has demonstrated that remedial action is being taken to ensure reestablishment of design margins for plant systems prior to plant restart; (4) NRC issued a $500,000 civil penalty on July 10, 1996 (EA 95-126), which included sanctions for engineering violations; and, (5) FPC's decision to restart Crystal River requires NRC concurrence in accordance with a Confirmatory Action Letter issued on March 4, 1997.

We note that based on the dissenting comments from your staff at the June 20, 1997 exit meeting, confusion still existed regarding the use of NSAC-125. This was despite recently completed initial training in accordance with Compliance Procedure CP-213, "Preparation of Safety Assessment and Unreviewed Safety Question Determination" as part of the corrective actions described in your August 11, 1997 letter. Nonetheless, based on additional inspection conducted June 8 through July 12, 1997, documented in Inspection Report 50-302/97-08, we have concluded that your performance of safety assessments has improved and the one example of confusion over the use of NSAC-125 is not indicative of your overall program. Thus, the NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for these violations, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violations and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance will be achieved is already addressed on the docket in your August 11, 1997 letter. With regard to Violation A, the proposed modification to the EDG protective circuitry will be reviewed by the NRC when your license amendment request is submitted, and this letter does not provide NRC approval or concurrence of proposed resolution of the technical issue. 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.

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.

Should you have any questions concerning this letter, please contact us.

                             Sincerely, 

                             ORIGINAL SIGNED BY

                              Luis A. Reyes
                              Regional Administrator

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

Enclosure: Notice of Violation

cc w/encl:
John P. Cowan, Vice President
Nuclear Production (NA2E)
Florida Power Corporation
Crystal River Energy Complex
5760 West Power Line Street
Crystal River, FL 34428-6708

Chip Pardee, Director
Nuclear Plant Operations (NA2C)
Florida Power Corporation
Crystal River Energy Complex
15760 West Power Line Street
Crystal River, FL 34428-6708

Robert E. Grazio, Director (SA2A)
Nuclear Regulatory Affairs
Florida Power Corporation
Crystal River Energy Complex
15760 West Power Line Street
Crystal River, FL 34428-6708

James S. Baumstark (SA2C)
Director, Quality Programs
Florida Power Corporation
Crystal River Energy Complex
15760 West Power Line Street
Crystal River, FL 34428-6708

R. Alexander Glenn
Corporate Counsel
Florida Power Corporation
MAC - A5A
P. O. Box 14042
St. Petersburg, FL 33733

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

Director
Office of Radiation Control
Department of Health and
Rehabilitative Services
1317 Winewood Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0700

Director
Division of Emergency Preparedness
Department of Community Affairs
2740 Centerview Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2100

Chairman
Board of County Commissioners
Citrus County
110 N. Apopka Avenue
Inverness, FL 34450-4245

Robert B. Borsum
B&W Nuclear Technologies
1700 Rockville Pike, Suite 525
Rockville, MD 20852-1631


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Florida Power Corporation                        Docket No.50-302
Crystal River Nuclear Plant                      License No. DPR-72 
Unit 3                                           EA 97-330

During NRC inspections conducted on June 2 through June 20, 1997, violations of NRC requirements were identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedures for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the violations are listed below:

A. 10 CFR 50.59(a)(1) states, in part, that licensees may make changes to the facility or procedures as described in the safety analysis report, without prior Commission approval, unless the proposed change involves an unreviewed safety question (USQ). 10 CFR 50.59(a)(2) states, in part, that a proposed change shall be deemed to involve a USQ if the probability of occurrence of a malfunction of equipment important to safety previously evaluated in the safety analysis report may be increased. 10 CFR 50.59 (b)(1), in part, states that the licensee shall maintain records of changes in the facility and of changes in procedures made pursuant to this section. These records must include a written safety evaluation which provides the bases for the determination that the change does not involve a USQ. 10 CFR 50.59 states that a licensee who desires to make a change in the facility or procedures described in the safety analysis report which involves a USQ shall submit an application for amendment of his license pursuant to 10 CFR 50.90.

Contrary to the above, on December 21, 1987, the licensee made a change to the facility, without prior Commission approval, that involved an unreviewed safety question (USQ). The change, which was implemented under plant modification MAR No. 80-09-13-01, Emergency Diesel Generators (EDG) Relaying Modification, modified the EDG control circuits as described in Figure 8-9 of the Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR). The change increased the probability of failure of the EDGs by adding electrical components to the EDG protective lockout circuit that were not bypassed during emergency operation and were not installed with two out of three coincidence logic. A single failure in the added components could cause the EDG to trip during emergency operation. The modification safety evaluation, which was approved by the licensee's staff on February 17, 1987, failed to identify the USQ. (01013)

B. 10 CFR 50.71(e) states that each person licensed to operate a nuclear power reactor shall periodically update the FSAR to assure that the information included in the FSAR contains the latest material developed. Revisions must be filed annually or 6 months after each refueling outage provided the interval between successive updates does not exceed 24 months.

Contrary to the above, as of June 25, 1997, the licensee had failed to update Figure 8-9 of the FSAR to include MAR 80-09-13-01, Emergency Diesel Generators (EDG) Relaying Modification, completed on December 21, 1987. (01023)

These violations represent a Severity Level III problem (Supplement I).

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violations, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violations and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance will be achieved is already addressed on the docket in your letter dated August 11, 1997. 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, D.C. 20555 with a copy to the Regional Administrator, Region II, and a copy to the NRC Resident Inspector at Crystal River, within 30 days of the date of the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation (Notice).

Under the authority of Section 182 of the Action, 42 U.S.C. 2232, any response provided 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. 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 2.790(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.

Dated at Atlanta, Georgia
this 5th day of September 1997

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