United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 86-45: Potential Falsification of Test Reports on Flanges Manufactured by Golden Gate Forge and Flange, Inc.

                                                          SSINS No.: 6835  
                                                          IN 86-45         

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

                                June 10, 1986

Information Notice No. 86-45:   POTENTIAL FALSIFICATION OF TEST REPORTS 
                                   ON FLANGES MANUFACTURED BY GOLDEN GATE 
                                   FORGE AND FLANGE, INC. 

Addressees: 

All nuclear reactor facilities (including test and research facilities) 
holding an operating license (OL) or a construction permit (CP). 

Purpose: 

This notice is provided to alert recipients to potential falsification of 
certifications for piping flanges. It is expected that recipients will 
review the information for applicability to their facilities. However, 
suggestions contained in this notice do not constitute NRC requirements; 
therefore, no specific action or written response is required. Further 
efforts are underway and more definitive information and specific 
requirements for licensee action may be issued in the future. 

Description of Circumstances: 

On March 7, 1986 the NRC received notification from Consolidated Pipe and 
Valve Supply Company (CP&VS) of a potentially reportable condition under 10 
CFR Part 21 regarding forged flanges fabricated by Golden Gate Forge and 
Flange (GGF&F) Inc. located at Hunters Point, San Francisco, California. 
Subsequently, some GGF&F management personnel and the president of a testing
laboratory (Westex) pleaded guilty and were sentenced in Federal Court on 
criminal charges in connection with falsification of test certifications for
material supplied to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). 

The convictions were based on falsifications of records and fraud related to
copper nickel forged flanges for marine applications. These activities 
involved (1) altering independent laboratory test reports to make 
unacceptable material appear acceptable, (2) delivering and representing 
unacceptable or untested material from several heats as originating from a 
single heat for which acceptable test results were available, and (3) 
altering original material manufacturer mill test reports to make 
unacceptable material appear acceptable. The NRC cannot conclude by the 
currently available information whether any defective material ,has been 
supplied for use at nuclear power plants. However, GGF&F certifications 
furnished by Consolidated Pipe and Valve Supply Company to NRC for material 
supplied to D.C. Cook and Midland appear to indicate that GGF&F 



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                                                            IN 86-45
                                                            June 10, 1986
                                                            Page 2 of 2 

failed to perform required heat treatment, testing of mechanical properties 
after forging, and nondestructive examination (NDE). These licensees have 
been separately informed. 

Golden Gate Forge and Flange receives alloy materials in ingot or bar form 
to forge and machine the flanges. The steel mills that produce the alloy 
materials provide certificates of chemical and mechanical properties of 
those materials before forging. In some cases, samples are required to be 
submitted to independent testing laboratories to allow certification of 
chemical and mechanical properties after forging. In the case of material 
supplied to DOD, both of these types of reports were altered to make 
unacceptable or unevaluated material appear acceptable. 

Golden Gate Forge and Flange is incorporated in the State of Nevada; its 
only place of business is at Hunters Point, San Francisco, California. GGF&F
produces a full range of flange sizes from 1/2 inch to 24 inches with 
pressure ratings from 125 to 2500 psi. Materials available include carbon 
steel, stainless steel, high nickle and copper alloys. The flanges are 
supplied to specifications including ASTM, ASME Section III Class I, and 
DOD. 

Current information indicates that the falsifications took place from or 
before May 1983 and continued at least until June 1984. 

No specific action or written response is required by this notice. If you 
have any questions regarding this matter, please contact the Regional 
Administrator of the appropriate NRC regional office or this office. 


                                   Edward L. Jordan, Director 
                                   Division of Emergency Preparedness 
                                     and Engineering Response 
                                   Office of Inspection and Enforcement 

Technical Contact:  O. P. Gormley, IE 
                    301-492-9763 

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