United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Morning Report for May 20, 2003



                       Headquarters Daily Report

                         MAY 20, 2003

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                    REPORT             NEGATIVE        
                    ATTACHED           INPUT RECEIVED 

HEADQUARTERS                              X                   
REGION I                                  X                   
REGION II                                 X                   
REGION III                                X                   
REGION IV              X      


                                
PRIORITY ATTENTION REQUIRED  MORNING REPORT - REGION IV  MAY 20, 2003

Licensee/Facility:                     Notification:

Houston Lighting & Power Co.           MR Number: 4-03-0002
South Texas 1                          Date: 05/20/03
Wadsworth,Texas                        SPECIAL INSPECTION TEAM LEADER     
Dockets: 50-498
PWR/W-4-LP                            

Subject: SOUTH TEXAS PROJECT BOTTOM MOUNTED INSTRUMENTATION PENETRATIONS 
         -PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION RESULTS                                


Discussion:

This morning report provides a preliminary update of the initial         
examination results of the leaking bottom mounted instrumentation (BMI)  
penetrations at South Texas Project, Unit 1 (STP-1).                     
                                                                         
The licensee has begun examination of the STP-1 BMI penetrations.        
Nondestructive examination (NDE) techniques currently in use include     
visual examination of the j-groove welds and ultrasonic (UT) examination 
using probes that travel inside the nozzles.                             
                                                                         
Examinations have been performed of the two BMI penetrations (Nos. 1 and 
46) identified with boric acid on the exterior surface of the reactor    
vessel.  Results of the ultrasonic examination of each of these          
penetrations show the presence of axially-oriented indications in the    
nozzle wall in the vicinity of the j-groove weld that are likely the     
source of the observed leakage.  No indications were identified on the   
crown of the j-groove weld by the visual examination for either of these 
penetrations. The licensee plans additional examinations to further      
characterize the indications and provide additional information for      
analyses to determine the root cause of this condition.                 
                                                                         
Nondestructive examinations are in progress for the remaining STP-1 BMI  
penetrations.                                                            

Regional Action:

The NRC Special Inspection Team including NRC inspectors and a consultant
NDE expert have been onsite monitoring the licensee's examinations and   
independently reviewing data.  The Special Inspection Team will continue 
with observations of licensee examinations and evaluation of results.    

Contact:  DWIGHT CHAMBERLAIN         (817)860-8180


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