United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 79-12, Attempted Damage to New Fuel Assemblies

IN79012 

                               May 10, 1979 

MEMORANDUM FOR:     B. H. Grier, Director, RI 
                    J. P. O'Reilly, Director, RII 
                    J. G. Keppler, Director, RIII 
                    K. V. Seyfrit, Director, RIV 
                    R. H. Engelken, Director, RV 

FROM:               E. Morris Howard, Director, Division of Safeguards 
                      Inspection, Office of Inspection and Enforcement 

SUBJECT:            Information Notice No. 79-12, ATTEMPTED DAMAGE TO NEW
                    FUEL ASSEMBLIES 

The subject Information Notice No. is transmitted for issuance on May 11, 
1979.  The  Information Notice should be issued to all fuel facilities, 
research reactors, and power reactors with an operating license or 
construction permit.  Also, enclosed is a draft copy of the transmittal 
letter.  No inspection followup is necessary since no action  by the 
licensee is requested.  We anticipate forwarding additional information when 
the final results of the FBI investigation are available. 


                                        E. Morris Howard, Director 
                                        Division of Safeguards Inspection 
                                        Office of Inspection and Enforcement

Enclosures:
1.   IE Information Notice
       No. 79-12
2.   Draft Transmittal Letter

CONTACT:  R. G. McCormick, IE 
          49-28080 
.

(Draft letter to all fuel facilities, research reactors, and power reactors 
with an operating license or construction permit) 

                                           Information Notice No. 79-12 

Addressee: 

This Information Notice 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 Circular or Bulletin will be issued to recommend or request 
specific licensee actions. If you have any questions regarding this matter, 
please contact the Director of the appropriate NRC Regional Office. 

                                        Sincerely, 


                                        Signature  
                                        (Regional Director) 

Enclosure: 
1.   Information Notice No. 
       No. 79-12 
.

                              UNITED STATES 
                      NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 
                   OFFICE OF INSPECTION AND ENFORCEMENT 
                         WASHINGTON, D. C. 20555 
                                     
                               May 11, 1979 

                                           Information Notice No. 79-12 

ATTEMPTED DAMAGE TO NEW FUEL ASSEMBLIES 

This Notice provides information concerning the surreptitious introduction 
of a possibly damaging liquid into the new fuel storage pool at the Virginia
Electric and Power Company, Surry Power Station in Surry County, Virginia. 

On Monday, May 7, 1979, while conducting inspections of new fuel for Unit 2,
the licensee found that plastic protective liners on 62 of 64 assemblies had
been tampered with. Further inspection revealed that a white crystalline 
substance had been poured onto the assemblies. Preliminary analysis by VEPCO
indicates that the substance is sodium hydroxide. The new fuel is stored in 
the Fuel Building, an area which is locked and alarmed, and to which access 
is controlled by the issuance of specially coded access cards. These cards 
are issued after the successful completion of a background screening program
for both Virginia Electric and Power Company and contractor personnel. 

The FBI is presently on-site conducting an extensive investigation. 
Westinghouse, the fuel vendor, is assisting in the evaluation of possible 
fuel damage. 

This event could possibly provoke similar behavior on the part of other 
persons. Consequently, you should be aware of such an eventuality. At this 
time the NRC is not placing additional requirements on you, but is advising 
that extra caution be exercised in your existing security program. 

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

No written response to this Information Notice is required. 
.
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