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Potential Electrical Equipment Problems
UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION OFFICE OF NUCLEAR MATERIAL SAFETY AND SAFEGUARDS WASHINGTON, D. C. 20555 January 11, 1989 Information Notice No. 89-03: POTENTIAL ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT PROBLEMS Addressees: All Fuel Cycle and Major Nuclear Materials licensees. Purpose: This information notice is being provided to advise certain NRC fuel cycle and materials licensees of potential electrical equipment problems that may be caused by inadequate maintenance, equipment component defects, or procurement practices. It is expected that you will review this information for appli- cability, distribute it to responsible radiation safety, maintenance and procurement staff, and consider actions, as appropriate, to avoid similar problems. However, suggestions contained in this notice do not constitute new NRC requirements; no written response is required. Description of Circumstances: Concerns regarding electrical equipment problems with materials licensees were prompted by recent inspection findings that counterfeit, substandard, or questionable electrical equipment or components had been used in nuclear power reactors. The inspection findings indicated that the electrical equip- ment problems appeared to be significant and pervasive. As a result, several NRC information notices were issued which reflected such equipment problems involving nuclear utilities, equipment manufacturers, and vendors. Further- more, several electrical suppliers were identified as those associated in refurbishing and sale of defective equipment components to nuclear and non- nuclear industries. Therefore, the electrical equipment problem does not appear to be confined to nuclear power reactors or the nuclear industry. Similar problems may also exist in non-nuclear medical and industrial operations as well. A review of previously published NRC information notices and bulletins ad- dressed to materials licensees revealed that there had been incidents which involved failure of electrical equipment and components such as pressure regulator switches, teletherapy timers, solid-state relays, and solenoid valves, which could have resulted in radiation overexposures. A brief description of the incidents is provided below: 8901050122 . IN 89-03 January 11, 1989 Page 2 of 3 1. Information Notice No. 84-77: A defective solid-state relay in a circuit board of a teletherapy unit caused the source unit to move to the exposed position. This could cause both the teletherapy operator and the patient to receive excessive radiation exposures. This incident also may have generic implications because of the non-fail-safe design of the relay circuit. 2. Information Notice No. 85-54: A failure of a pressure regulator switch on the pneumatic system to an Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd. (AECL) Theratron 60 teletherapy unit caused an overpressure condition in the holding tank and prevented the source drawer from immediately closing on command. 3. IE Bulletin No. 86-04: The bulletin described how an operational malfunction of a teletherapy timer could result in radiation misadministration to patients and possible excessive radiation exposures to teletherapy operators. 4. Information Notice No. 87-29: The Notice described several-related incidents at large irradiators. One event involved an irradiator source unable to retract to its fully shielded position due to a frozen solenoid valve. Discussion: Although these incidents apparently did not involve counterfeit equipment, these incidents illustrate the need for facility management to have an adequate maintenance and procurement program. Therefore, licensees are urged to thoroughly review their programs to ensure that the procedures for operations, service, repair, or replacement are being followed properly. Licensees should also review their procurement procedures and practices, especially in areas such as purchase orders, materials requirements, vendor qualifications, and receipt inspections, to ensure quality control and compliance. . IN 89-03 January 11, 1989 Page 3 of 3 No specific action or written response is required by this information notice. If you should have any questions about this matter, please contact the the appropriate NRC regional office or the technical contact listed below. Richard E. Cunningham, Director Division of Industrial and Medical Nuclear Safety Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards Technical Contact: K. C. Leu, NMSS (301) 492-0696 Attachments: 1. List of Recently Issued NMSS Information Notices 2. List of All Recently Issued NRC Information Notices . Attachment 2 IN 89-03 January 11, 1989 Page 1 of 1 LIST OF RECENTLY ISSUED NRC INFORMATION NOTICES _____________________________________________________________________________ Information Date of Notice No._____Subject_______________________Issuance_______Issued to________ 89-02 Criminal Prosecution of 1/9/89 All holders of a Licensee's Former President U.S. NRC specific for Intentional Safety license. Violations 88-23, Potential for Gas Binding 1/5/89 All holders of OLs Supp. 1 of High-Pressure Safety or CPs for PWRs. Injection Pumps During a Loss-of-Coolant Accident 89-01 Valve Body Erosion 1/4/89 All holders of OLs or CPs for nuclear power reactors. 88-46, Licensee Report of Defective 12/30/88 All holders of OLs Supp. 2 Refurbished Circuit Breakers or CPs for nuclear power reactors. 88-101 Shipment of Contaminated 12/28/88 All holders of OLs Equipment between Nuclear or CPs for nuclear Power Stations power reactors. 88-100 Memorandum of Understanding 12/23/88 All major nuclear between NRC and OSHA materials licensees Relating to NRC-licensed and utilities Facilities (53 FR 43950, holding CPs and October 31, 1988) OLs. 88-99 Detection and Monitoring 12/20/88 All holders of OLs of Sudden and/or Rapidly or CPs for PWRs. Increasing Primary-to- Secondary Leakage 88-98 Electrical Relay Degradation 12/19/88 All holders of OLs Caused by Oxidation of or CPs for nuclear Contact Surfaces power reactors. 88-97 Potentially Substandard 12/16/88 All holders of OLs Valve Replacement Parts or CPs for nuclear power reactors. _____________________________________________________________________________ OL = Operating License CP = Construction Permit ..
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