United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 82-24: Water Leaking from Uranium Hexafluoride Overpacks

                                                            SSINS No.: 6835 
                                                            IN 82-24 

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

                               July 20, 1982 

Information Notice No. 82-24:   WATER LEAKING FROM URANIUM HEXAFLUORIDE 
                                   OVERPACKS 

Addressees: 

All NRC licensed enriched uranium fuel fabrication plants. 

Purpose: 

This notice provides information concerning incidents where water was found 
leaking from uranium hexafluoride overpacks during shipment from Department 
of Energy (DOE) facilities to NRC uranium hexafluoride processors. This 
information should be brought to the attention of all personnel having 
operational and safety responsibilities for the shipment, maintenance and 
storage of uranium hexafluoride overpacks. It is expected that recipients 
will review the information for applicability to their activities. No 
specific action or response is required at this time. 

Discussion: 

Some uranium hexafluoride overpacks are being returned to DOE facilities 
without all the bolts installed in the overpack to prevent rain and 
condensation water from building up in the overpack during transportation. 
Water may also be trapped in the overpack from outside storage without 
properly sealing the packaging. This water may leak from the overpack during
transportation through loose bolts, defective seals or rusted through areas.

The leakage of water from overpacks presents no safety hazard to members of 
the public, but unfortunately does cause an unreasonable amount of public 
concern. On a number of occasions, emergency response teams have responded 
to these incidents. This has resulted in delaying shipments already in 
progress until the nature of the hazard has been determined by radiation 
measurements. These incidents have also resulted in the evacuation of nearby
residents with attendant publicity. 

We have asked the DOE not to load uranium hexafluoride cylinders into NRC 
licensee overpacks that contain water or are not in good repair. 



8204210397 
.

                                                           IN 82-24  
                                                           July 20, 1982 
                                                           Page 2 of 2 


If you need additional information regarding this subject, you should 
contact the Regional Administrator of the appropriate regional office. 



                              L. I. Cobb, Director  
                              Division of Fuel Facilities,  
                                Materials & Safeguards 

Technical Contact:  D. K. Sly 
                    301/492-4783 

Attachment: 
List of Recently Issued Information Notices

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