United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-97-446 - Byron 1 (Commonwealth Edison Company)

November 25, 1997

EA 97-446

Mr. K. Graesser
Site Vice President
Byron Nuclear Power Station
Commonwealth Edison Company
4450 North German Church Road
Byron, IL 61010


SUBJECT: Notice of Violation
(NRC Inspection Report Numbers 50-454/455-96019)

Dear Mr. Graesser:

This refers to the inspection conducted at the Byron Nuclear Power Plant from September 8 to 18, 1997. The inspection scope included a review of post-fire safe shutdown concerns as specified in Licensee Event Reports (LER) 50-454)/95005, revisions 0, 1, and 2. The report documenting our inspection was sent to you by letter dated October 2, 1997. This report documented an apparent violation pertaining to inadequate separation of cables associated with safe shutdown. The significance of the apparent violation and the need for lasting and effective corrective actions were discussed with members of your staff at the inspection exit meeting on September 18, 1997. Our October 2, 1997, letter offered you the option to request a predecisional enforcement conference or respond to the apparent violation. You elected to respond to the apparent violation and did not request a predecisional enforcement conference.

The NRC determined that one violation (with seven examples) of NRC requirements occurred. This determination was based on the information developed during the inspection; the information that you provided during the exit meeting; LER 50-454/95005 with revisions dated November 7, 1995, July 2, 1996, and December 6, 1996; and your October 29, 1997, response to the apparent violation discussed in the inspection report. The violation is cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice) and the circumstances surrounding the violation and each example is described in detail in the inspection report.

The Notice contains one violation that was identified by your staff and involved seven examples of the failure to provide adequate fire protection for safe shutdown equipment. These examples existed since initial plant operations, and were resolved in 1996 when your staff performed additional fire protection modifications. This violation was caused by an inadequate post-fire analysis for protection of safe shutdown capability. The NRC considered this violation to be safety significant because some of the equipment required to achieve and maintain safe shutdown would have been rendered inoperable by a fire. Therefore, this violation has been categorized according to the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," (Enforcement Policy) NUREG-1600 as a Severity Level III violation.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $55,000 is considered for a Severity Level III problem. Because your facility has been the subject of escalated enforcement actions within the last two 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. You were given credit for both identifying the violation and initiating prompt and effective corrective action. The Corrective Actions discussed in your response included installing rated fire barriers on critical cables and cable re-routing to ensure the availability of safe shutdown equipment. Additionally, your staff developed a comprehensive plan to review the safe shutdown analysis in the Fire Protection Report to validate the technical integrity of the safe shutdown analysis.

Therefore, to encourage prompt identification and comprehensive correction of safety significant issues, 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.

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violation and the corrective actions taken to correct and prevent recurrence of the violation, is already adequately addressed on the docket in Inspection Report 50-454(455)/97019, LER 50-454/95005, and your October 29, 1997 response to the apparent violations. Therefore, you are not required to respond to this letter unless the description therein does not accurately reflect your corrective actions or your positions. 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 or Practice," a copy of this letter, its enclosure, and your response (if you elected to provide a response) will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR).

    Sincerely,

    Original Signed by
James L. Caldwell for

    A. Bill Beach
Regional Administrator

Docket Nos. 50-454; 50-455
License Nos. NPF-37; NPF-66

Enclosure: Notice of Violation

cc w/encl:
O. Kingsley, Nuclear Generation Group
President and Chief Nuclear Officer
M. Wallace, Senior Vice
President, Corporate Services
H. G. Stanley, Vice President
PWR Operations
Liaison Officer, NOC-BOD
D. A. Sager, Vice President,
Generation Support
D. Farrar, Nuclear Regulatory
Services Manager
I. Johnson, Licensing
Operations Manager
Document Control Desk-Licensing
K. Kofron, Station Manager
D. Brindle, Regulatory Assurance
Supervisor
Richard Hubbard
Nathan Schloss, Economist
Office of the Attorney General
State Liaison Officer
State Liaison Officer, Wisconsin
Chairman, Illinois Commerce
Commission


NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Commonwealth Edison Company
Bryon Station
 
Docket Nos. 50-454; 50-455
License Nos: NPF-37; NPF-66
EA 97-446

During an NRC inspection conducted on September 8 to 18, 1997, one violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with NUREG-1600, "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," the violation is listed below:

Byron Station Operating Licenses, NPF-37 and NPF-66, Sections 2.C.(6) and 2E, respectively, required, in part, that the licensee shall implement and maintain in effect all provisions of the approved fire protection program as described in the licensee's Fire Protection Report.

Byron Updated Final Safety Analysis Report, Section 9.5.1, "Fire Protection System," stated, in part, that the design bases; system descriptions; safety evaluation, inspection and testing requirements; personnel qualification; and training are described in "Byron/Byaidwood Stations Fire Protection Report in Response to Appendix A of Branch Technical Position APCSB 9.5-1."

Appendix 5.7, "Appendix R - Fire Protection Program for Nuclear Power Facilities Operating prior to January 1, 1979," in the above mentioned Fire Protection Report, stated, in part, with exceptions not relevant here, that Byron complies with the requirements in 10 CFR 50, Appendix R, Section III.G, "Fire Protection of Safety Shutdown Capability."

10 CFR 50, Appendix R, Section III.G required, in part, that one train of systems necessary to achieve and maintain hot shutdown conditions from either the control room or emergency control station is free of fire damage.

10 CFR 50, Appendix R, Section III.G.2., required, with exceptions not relevant here, where cables or equipment of redundant trains of systems necessary to achieve and maintain hot shutdown conditions are located within the same fire area, separation of cables and equipment and associated non-safety circuits of redundant trains by a fire barrier having a 3-hour rating or a 1-hour rating with fire detectors and an automatic fire suppression system shall be installed.

Contrary to the above, the licensee failed to provide fire barriers for redundant trains of equipment in the same fire zones, as evidenced by the following examples:

A. From initial Unit 1 startup in September 1985 to June 1996, and from initial Unit 2 startup in August 1987 to November 1996, the licensee failed to protect one train of Unit 1 auxiliary feedwater system, control room ventilation system, and miscellaneous electric equipment room (MEER) supply fans in Fire Zone 11.6-0 with rated fire barriers. In addition, the cables associated with system auxiliary transformer (SAT) cooling were unprotected and routed through the zone; therefore, offsite power would not be available to the main feedwater pumps. The aggregate effect of the damaged equipment during a postulated fire was that hot shutdown could not be maintained using the applicable equipment identified in the licensee's Fire Protection Report Sections 2.4.2.51 and 2.4.2.52.

B. From initial Unit 1 startup in September 1985 to May 1996, and from initial Unit 2 startup in August 1987 to November 1996, the licensee failed to protect one train of control room ventilation in Fire Zone 11.4-0 with a three-hour rated fire barrier. In addition, the cables associated with Units 1 and 2 fire hazard panels (FHPs) were unprotected in this zone. Upon exceeding the critical temperature in the main control room and the auxiliary electric room, hot shutdown could not be maintained using the applicable equipment identified in the licensee's Fire Protection Report Sections 2.4.2.43 and 2.4.2.42.

C. From initial Unit 1 startup in September 1985 to May 1997, the licensee failed to protect the 1A diesel generator, one train of DC power, and control room ventilation system in Fire Zone 3.2A-1 with rated fire barriers. In addition, the cables associated with Unit 1 FHP and 4 kv power cable from Bus 141 to essential service water tower unit substation were unprotected in this zone. The aggregate effect of the damaged equipment during a postulated fire was that hot shutdown could not be maintained using the applicable equipment identified in the licensee's Fire Protection Report Section 2.4.2.7.
D. From initial Unit 2 startup in August 1987 to May 1997, the licensee failed to protect one train of DC power and control room ventilation in Fire Zone 3.2A-2 with rated fire barriers. In addition, the 4 kv power cable from Bus 242 to essential service water tower unit substation was unprotected in this zone. The aggregate effect of the damaged equipment during a postulated fire was that hot shutdown could not be maintained using the applicable equipment identified in the licensee's Fire Protection Report Section 2.4.2.6.
E. From initial Unit 1 startup in September 1985 to June 1996, the licensee failed to protect one train of Unit 1 charging pumps with a one-hour rated fire barrier in Fire Zone 11.3-1. Hot shutdown could not be achieved and maintained using the applicable equipment identified in the licensee's Fire Protection Report Section 2.3.2.38.
F. From initial Unit 1 startup in September 1985 to May 1996, the licensee failed to protect either Unit 1 motor operated valve 1RH8701A or 1RH8701B with a three-hour rated fire barrier in Fire Zone 11.5-0. Hot shutdown could not be achieved and maintained using the applicable equipment identified in the licensee's Fire Protection Report Section 2.4.3.2.1.3.
G. From initial Unit 1 startup in September 1985 to May 1996, the licensee failed to protect one train of control room ventilation in Fire Zone 3.2B-1 with a three-hour rated fire barrier. In addition, the cables associated with the Unit 1 FHP were unprotected in this zone. Upon exceeding the critical temperature in the main control room and the auxiliary electric room, hot shutdown could not be maintained using the applicable equipment identified in the licensee's Fire Protection Report Section 2.4.2.8.
This is a Severity Level III violation (Supplement I).
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 adequately addressed on the docket in Inspection Report 50-454(455)/97019, LER 50-454/95005, and your October 29, 1997 response to the apparent violations. 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 III, and copy to the Byron NRC Resident Inspector Office, within 30 days of the date of the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation. Under the authority of Section 182 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2232, this response shall be submitted under oath or affirmation.
Because the 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 would 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 Lisle, Illinois
this 25th day of November 1997

 

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012