United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

IE Circular No. 79-10 - Pipefittings Manufactured from Unacceptable Material


                               June 21, 1979 

MEMORANDUM FOR:     B. H. Grier, Director, Region I 
                    J. P. O'Reilly, Director, Region II 
                    J. G. Keppler, Director, Region III 
                    K. V. Seyfrit, Director, Region IV 
                    R. H. Engelken, Director, Region V 

FROM:               Harold D. Thornburg, Director, Division of Reactor 
                      Construction Inspection, IE 

                    UNACCEPTABLE MATERIAL 

     The subject circular should be dispatched for action to all power 
reactor licensees with a construction permit and/or operating license no 
later than June 26, 1979. The text of the circular and draft letter to 
licensees are enclosed for this purpose. 

                                        Harold D. Thornburg, Director 
                                        Division of Reactor Construction 
                                        Office of Inspection and Enforcement

1.   Draft Transmittal Letter
2.   IE Circular No. 79-10

CONTACT:  W. Laudan, IE 

(Draft letter to all holders of Reactor Operating Licenses and Construction 

IE Circular No. 79-10 


This Circular is provided as an early notification of a possibly significant
matter. It is expected that recipients will review the information for 
possible applicability to their facilities. No specific action or response 
is requested at this time. If further NRC evaluations so indicate, an IE 
Bulletin will be issued to recommend or request specific licensee actions. 
If you have questions regarding this matter, please contact the Director of 
the appropriate NRC Regional Office. 


                                        (Regional Director) 

1.   IE Circular No. 79-10
2.   List of IE Circulars
       Issued in Last 12 

                              UNITED STATES 
                          WASHINGTON, D. C. 20555 

                               June 26, 1979 

                                                      IE Circular No. 79-10 


Description of Circumstances: 

Liberty Equipment and Supply Company of Kennewick, Washington and Tube Turns
Division, Chemetron Corporation of Louisville, Kentucky reported on April 4 
and 12, 1872, respectively, that potentially defective pipe fittings were 
manufactured from material with a high carbon content beyond the range 
allowed by ASTM A 234 WPB. These high carbon content fittings may crack when

Tube Turns received 3.500 0D x .250W pipe from U. S. Steel - Lorain -
identified as U. S. Steel Heat No. N570028. A total of 28,153 feet was 
received and identified by Tube Turns as Lot W6719. U. S. Steel has not been
able to determine the exact number of lengths of pipe of incorrect 
chemistry, but indicated it could be at least four lengths. From this pipe, 
4" - 90 degrees and 45 degrees - .237 wall elbows and 2" - .237 wall 
straight tees, ASTM A-234 WPB, were produced by Tube Turns. Each length of 
pipe is twenty feet and makes from 20 to 30 fittings. Approximately 27,000 
fittings were produced and each is identified by Tube Turns Lot No. W6719. 
Shipment of these fittings started in March of 1978, and it is estimated all 
were shipped before the end of 1978. 

On May 10, 1979, the Tube Turns Division reported to the NRC that 4" elbows,
Lot W6719, have been provided to the nuclear power plants listed below. U.S.
Steel has tested about one hundred and fifty (150) loose and installed 
fittings at the seven sites noted by an asterisk. 

*Grand Gulf         *Zimmer        *Phipps Bend             *Waterford III 
*Brown's Ferry       Midland        Limerick
 Shoreham           *LaSalle        Sequoyah 
*Brunswick           Hartsville     Bellefonte

On June 1, 1979, the Tube Turns Division reported to the NRC via telephone 
that of the 160 fittings tested at Nuclear Power Plants, three (3) pieces 
were found to have a high carbon content and were replaced. 

All construction permit holders are advised to conduct a review of their 
pipefitting receiving documents for the period from March 1978 to January 
1979 and determine if fittings manufactured by the Tube Turn Division can be
identified as Tube Turn Lot W6719. If shipment of the defective material lot
were received, appropriate corrective action should be initiated. 

IE Circular No. 79-10                                      June 26, 1979 
                                                           Page 2 of 2 

No written response to this circular is required, if you require additional 
information regarding this subject, contact the Director of the appropriate 
NRC Regional Office 

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, September 01, 2015