United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Bulletin 75-04: Cable Fire at Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Station



BL75004 

                               UNITED STATES 
                     NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION   
                         WASHINGTON, D. C. 20555  

                             March 24, 1975  

J. P. O'Reilly, Director, Region I  
N. C. Moseley, Director, Region II   
J. G. Keppler, Director, Region III
E. M. Howard, Director, Region IV 
R. H. Engelken, Director, Region V 

IE BULLETIN NO. - 75-04 - CABLE FIRE AT BROWNS FERRY 
NUCLEAR POWER STATION 

The subject Bulletin should be dispatched for action to the following   
facilities by close of business on March 24, 1975. 

     Arkansas 1    
     Brunswick 2   
     Calvert Cliffs 1   
     Cook 1 
     Hatch 1   
     Indian Point 2 
     Millstone 1 
     San Onofre 1  
     Three Mile Island 1   

The Bulletin should also be dispatched for information to all other power 
reactor facilities with operating license or construction permit no later 
than close of business on March 26, 1975. 

The text of the Bulletin and draft letter to licensees are enclosed for this
purpose.  


                                             John G. Davis 
                                             Deputy Director for  
                                                  Field Operations  
                                             Office of Inspection  
                                                  and Enforcement 

Enclosures: 
As stated   
.

                                   -2- 

Distribution: 

D. F. Knuth, IE 
J. G. Davis, DDFO:IE 
L. I. Cobb, A/D, IE (3) 
H. H. Brown, D, ISP 
D. Thompson, AD, IP, OOE:IE 
B. H. Grier, AD, CO:IE 
C. W. Kuhlman, AD, REMP:IE 
Director NRR
Director, RL 
Director, TR 
Assistant Directors, RL (6) 
Assistant Directors, TR (4) 
H. D. Thornburg, Chief, FSEB:IE 
J. L. Crews, FSEB:IE 
FADreher; GCGower; SEBryan; GHSmith; FSEB:IE 
M. Meadows, Secretary, DDFO:IE 
D. Hodges, Secretary, FSEB:IE (Original) 
Central Files 
EDO Reading Files 
IE Files 
IE Reading Files 
DDFO:IE Reading Files  
.

IE Bulletin No. 75-04                                       Date: 3/24/75 

CABLE FIRE AT BROWNS FERRY NUCLEAR POWER STATION 

DESCRIPTION OF CIRCUMSTANCES: 

Preliminary information from Tennessee Valley Authority regarding a fire 
which occurred on March 22, 1975, at their Browns Ferry site near Athens, 
Alabama, indicates that the fire was started as a result of construction 
activities. The fire resulted in the shutdown of two operating nuclear 
plants and made several safety systems inoperative, including systems 
normally used for decay heat removal during shutdown. The workmen were 
engaged in construction activities on a third unit not yet licensed for 
operation by NRC. 

Initial information indicates that during the installation and testing of 
cable through-wall penetrations an open flame ignited a flammable material 
used in the penetration seals. 

ACTION TO BE TAKEN BY LICENSEES: 

The following actions are requested of selected Licensees with operating 
power reactor facilities and major construction activities at a common site:

1.   Review your overall procedures and system for controlling construction 
     activities that interface with reactor operating activities, with 
     particular attention to the installation and testing of seals for 
     electrical cables between compartments of the reactor building, e.g., 
     control room to cable spreading room. 

2.   Review the design of floor and wall penetration seals, with particular 
     attention to the flammability of materials. 

3.   Evaluate your procedures for the control of ignition sources which may 
     be used for leak testing or other purposes in areas containing 
     flammable materials. 

4.   Report to this office, in writing within 20 days of the date of this 
     Bulletin, the results of your reviews or evaluations regarding items 1 
     through 3 above. 

ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY LICENSEES MAY BE REVISED: 

The actions requested of Licensees above may be revised as additional 
details of the Browns Ferry occurrence are available and evaluated by the 
NRC. 
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, July 23, 2013