United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Bulletin 87-02: Fastener Testing to Determine Conformance with Applicable Material Specifications

                                                            SSINS No.:  6820 
                                                            OMB No.:  31500011
                                                            NRC Compliance 
                                                            Bulletin  87-02 


                                  UNITED STATES
                          NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                      OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION
                             WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555

                                November 6, 1987


NRC COMPLIANCE BULLETIN NO. 87-02:  FASTENER TESTING TO DETERMINE CONFORMANCE 
                                    WITH APPLICABLE MATERIAL SPECIFICATIONS 


Addressees: 

All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power 
reactors. 

Purpose: 

The purpose of this bulletin is to request that licensees 1) review their 
receipt inspection requirements and internal controls for fasteners and 
2) independently determine, through testing, whether fasteners (studs, bolts, 
cap screws and nuts) in stores at their facilities meet required mechanical 
and chemical specification requirements. 

Description of Circumstances: 

Over the past year, some NRC procurement inspections have included the col-
lection and testing of a small sample of fasteners.  This limited program was 
initiated in response to a concern by the Industrial Fastener Institute over 
the potential use of inferior fasteners in military and industrial 
applications, including nuclear power plants.  The results of NRC testing of 
fasteners obtained from San Onofre, Palo Verde and Rancho Seco indicates that 
11 out of the 32 fasteners tested do not meet specification requirements for 
mechanical and/or chemical properties.  Nine of the nonconforming bolts from 
Palo Verde and San Onofre were out of specification based on chemistry.  Five 
nonconforming bolts came from Palo Verde and were all marked as SAE Grade 8 
but were actually found to be SAE Grade 8.2.  The four nonconforming fasteners 
from San Onofre were slightly out of specification for nickel or chromium.  
Two bolts from Rancho Seco with ASTM A193 B7 head markings were determined to 
have an average ultimate tensile strength of approximately 55 ksi instead of 
the specified 125 ksi for ASTM A193 B7 bolting material.  The chemical 
analysis of these bolts indicated that they were medium carbon steel material.  
Rancho Seco is still investigating the extent and safety significance of these 
substandard fasteners. 




8711050040
.                                                            NRC Compliance 
                                                            Bulletin 87-02 
                                                            November 6, 1987 
                                                            Page 2 of 3 


In a separate effort, Calvert Cliffs recently tested 1539 fasteners following 
their discovery that commercial grade fasteners had been used in 
safety-related applications.  The test results indicated that 399 failed to 
meet specification requirements for mechanical and/or chemical properties.  
Based on evaluations performed by Calvert Cliffs, the fasteners which did not 
meet specification would have still fulfilled their safety function. 

Actions to be Taken: 

The results of the limited testing described above have demonstrated the need 
to obtain additional information on the adequacy of fasteners used in nuclear 
power plants. 

Within 60 days from the receipt of this bulletin, licensees are requested to 
provide the following information concerning their receipt inspection and 
internal control procedures for fasteners and the results of independent 
testing of fasteners: 

1.   Describe a) the characteristics currently examined during receipt 
     inspection of fasteners (i.e., head markings for grade and manufacturer 
     symbols, review of certified material test report or certificate of 
     conformance), and b) internal controls utilized during storage and 
     issuance from stock to assure the appropriate use of fasteners.

2.   Select a minimum sample of ten (10) non-safety related fasteners (studs, 
     bolts, and/or cap screws), and ten (10) safety-related fasteners (studs, 
     bolts, and/or cap screws) from current, in use, stock.  The sample is to 
     be obtained by the licensee with the participation of an NRC inspector.  
     Fasteners procured to meet the following chemical and mechanical 
     properties are of interest:  A-193 grades B7, B8, and B16; SAE J429 
     grades 5 and 8; A-449; A-325 Types 1,2 or 3; A-354 grades BB, BC, BD; 
     A-490; A-320 LTM; A-307; A-563; or equivalent. 
     
3.   For the selected sample of fasteners in item 2, include a sample of 
     typical nuts that would be used with each fastener (one-for-one).  In 
     particular, nuts purchased to the chemical and mechanical speci-fications 
     of A-194 are of interest.

4.   Chemical testing shall be performed on all samples.  Mechanical testing 
     shall be performed on each safety-related fastener.  Hardness testing 
     shall be performed on each nut and non-safety-related fastener.  All 
     testing shall be performed by a laboratory which the licensee has quali-
     fied for this type of testing and appears on the licensee's approved 
     vendor list.  Testing performed shall be done in accordance with the 
     requirements of the fastener's specification, grade, and class, and the 
     test shall evaluate the ultimate tensile strength, hardness and chemical 
     properties as required by the fastener's specification, grade, and class.  
     Each sample shall be tagged with the sample's ID number.
.                                                            NRC Compliance 
                                                            Bulletin 87-02 
                                                            November 6, 1987 
                                                            Page 3 of 3 


5.   The results of all tests, together with supporting information, are to be 
     reported to the NRC utilizing the format shown in Attachments 1 and 2 of 
     this bulletin.  Include the names and addresses of suppliers and 
     manufacturers of safety-related fasteners and, to the extent possible, of 
     non-safety-related fasteners.  For any fastener found out of specifica-
     tion, provide an evaluation of the safety significance including 
     consider-
     ation of the most limiting application.

6.   Based on the results of the testing and review of current procedures, 
     describe any further actions being taken to assure that fasteners used in 
     the plant meet the requisite specifications and requirements and that the 
     operability of safety-related plant components is not affected. 
     
The written reports shall be submitted to the appropriate Regional 
Administrator under oath or affirmation under provisions of Section 182a, 
Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended.  Also, the original copy of the cover 
letters and a copy of the reports shall be transmitted to the U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Document Control Desk, Washington, D.C., 20555 for 
reproduction and distribution. 

This request for information was approved by the Office of Management and 
Budget under a blanket clearance number 31500011.  Comments on burden and 
duplication may be directed to the Office of Management and Budget, Reports 
Management, Room 3208, New Executive Office Building, Washington, D.C., 20503.

If you have any questions about this matter, please contact one of the 
technical contacts listed below or the Regional Administrator of the 
appropriate regional office. 




                              Charles E. Rossi, Director 
                              Division of Operational Events Assessment 
                              Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation 

Technical Contacts:  J. T. Conway, NRR
                     (301) 492-9740

                     E. T. Baker, NRR
                     (301) 492-4783

                     J. C. Harper, NRR
                     (301) 492-4143

Attachments:
1.   Fastener Testing Data Sheet
2.   Data Summary
3.   List of Recently Issued Bulletins
.


Attachment 1


Fastener Testing Data Sheet



*Sample ID#


Fastener Description:


Description of Sample Stock Location:


Material Specification as Documented by Licensee Records:


Head Marking (Specification and Manufacturer):


**Class/Procurement Level:


General Plant Application (e.g., Pressure Boundary, Structural)


Vendor:


QA Requirements Imposed on Vendor:


Licensee Representative:


Signature                                                Date                


*The sample ID# shall have a prefix that contains the licensee facility 
 initials. 


**If applicable, please provide an explanation for your classification system.


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