United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 87-11: Enclosure of Vital Equipment within Designated Vital Areas

                                                       SSINS No.: 6835 
                                                         IN 87-11 

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

                              February 13, 1987

Information Notice No. 87-11:   ENCLOSURE OF VITAL EQUIPMENT WITHIN 
                                   DESIGNATED VITAL AREAS 

Addressees: 

All nuclear power reactor facilities holding an operating license or 
construction permit. 

Purpose: 

This notice is provided to describe examples of significant degradation of 
facility security programs resulting from the failure to enclose vital 
equipment within designated vital areas. It is expected that recipients will 
review the information for applicability to their facilities and consider 
actions as appropriate to ensure that similar degradations do not exist or 
occur at their facilities. However, suggestions contained in this 
information notice do not constitute NRC requirements; therefore, no 
specific action or written response is required. 

Past Related Correspondence: 

Information Notice No. 85-79, "Inadequate Communications between Maintenance, 
Operations, and Security Personnel." 

Information Notice No. 86-27, "Access Control at Nuclear Facilities." 

Description of Circumstances: 

Failure to provide adequate physical protection for vital equipment is one 
of the most significant safeguards vulnerabilities that can occur at a 
nuclear power facility. In recent months, plant walkdowns and inspections by 
NRC and licensee personnel have identified instances in which vital 
equipment was incompletely enclosed in a vital area designated in the 
physical security plan, resulting in inadequate protection. The following 
examples were discovered. 

1.   High-pressure coolant injection (HPCI) pump rooms and 480-V shutdown 
     transformers were not enclosed within designated vital areas with 
     positive access controls established. 

2.   125-V dc power panels and steam supply piping designated as vital 
     equipment was not enclosed within designated vital areas. 



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                                                       IN 87-11
                                                       February 13, 1987 
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3.   The vital area barrier surrounding the diesel generator room had 
     openings in it that would have allowed someone to reach in and 
     manipulate valves on vital equipment. 

In the first two examples, positive access controls or compensatory measures 
had not been established to restrict access to the vital equipment. 

Discussion: 

Failure to protect vital equipment by not ensuring that the equipment is 
located within an appropriately established and controlled vital area poses 
a potentially significant threat to the security and safety of the facility 
because of the opportunity for unauthorized and undetected access. 

A review of the circumstances of the examples noted above indicate that the 
most significant factors contributing to the degradations in protection of 
vital equipment were: 

     -    Failure by the licensee to adequately review and verify the 
          as-built drawings relative to the location and identity of 
          designated vital equipment. 

     -    Failure of the site security organization to verify the location 
          and protection afforded areas and equipment identified as vital 
          in the physical security plan. 

     -    Inadequate training of security and other licensee personnel in 
          the necessity for appropriate protection for designated vital 
          areas and equipment. 

     -    Failure to adequately coordinate and followup on maintenance and 
          modification activities that may result in exposing vital 
          equipment to an inadequately protected environment.
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                                                       IN 87-11
                                                       February 13, 1987 
                                                       Page 3 of 3 

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




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

Technical Contact:  R. P. Rosano, IE
                    (301) 492-4006

Attachments:
1.   Information Notice No. 85-79
2.   Information Notice No. 86-27
3.   List of Recently Issued IE Information Notices
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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, November 12, 2013