United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 89-45, Supplement 1: Metalclad, Low-Voltage Power Circuit Breakers Refurbished with Substandard Parts

                                  UNITED STATES
                          NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                      OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION
                             WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555

                                  July 6, 1989


Information Notice No. 89-45, SUPPLEMENT 1:  METALCLAD, LOW-VOLTAGE POWER
                                                 CIRCUIT BREAKERS REFURBISHED
                                                 WITH SUBSTANDARD PARTS


Addressees:

All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power 
reactors.

Purpose:

This information notice supplement is being provided to present additional 
information regarding the supply of surplus or refurbished circuit breakers 
and related electrical equipment to nuclear power plants as discussed in NRC 
Information Notice No. 89-45.  It is expected that recipients will review this 
information for applicability to their facilities and consider actions, as 
appropriate, to avoid similar problems.  However, suggestions contained in 
this information notice do not constitute NRC requirements; therefore, no 
specific action or written response is required.

Description of Circumstances:

Information Notice No. 89-45 discussed a General Electric (GE) type 
AKF-2-25 metalclad, low-voltage power circuit breaker (field discharge configu-
ration) from the Quad Cities nuclear power plant found to be refurbished with 
nonstandard and substandard parts.

In conducting followup inspections at utilities that have procured circuit 
breakers of this type and other related electrical equipment from Satin Ameri-
can Corporation, the NRC has learned of the existence of other equipment from 
Satin American, refurbished with nonstandard and possibly substandard parts 
and fabrication methods, some of which may contain latent defects resulting 
from the introduction of nonstandard materials and components.  These defects 
may not be readily detectable by means of normal inspection and testing, and 
the nature of the defects is such that they could render the equipment 
inoperable without warning.

Discussion:

Recent information, received in the course of the NRC's review and inspections 
of refurbished electrical equipment, indicates that GE EC-type, series 
overcurrent trip devices (particularly EC-1 and EC-2A) commonly used in GE 



8907060183
.                                                       IN 89-45, Supplement 1
                                                       July 6, 1989
                                                       Page 2 of 3


AK-type, low-voltage power circuit breakers, and supplied by a vendor other 
than the original manufacturer, may have been represented as new or original 
equipment.  Documentation such as "certificates of certification" stated that 
the trip devices were "duplicates" of "identical" equipment originally sup-
plied, when in fact, they were refurbished.  Many were fitted with irregular 
nameplates and nonstandard and substandard parts.  The trip devices were 
supplied primarily during the period 1983 through 1987.  These electro-
mechanical devices are presently used in Class 1E DC electrical systems 
because the newer solid-state devices use current trans-formers as sensors 
which do not operate on DC.  They are also used in safety-related AC 
electrical systems that may be exposed to the harsh radiation environments of 
design-basis accidents.  Solid-state trip devices have limited capability to 
withstand the effects of accident radiation doses greater than 10,000 rads or 
to function properly under the conditions of high accident radiation dose 
rates.

Of particular concern is the fact that, in addition to irregular nameplates 
and refurbishments not in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications, 
some of the units could be considered potentially defective as a result of the 
use of nonstandard parts and questionable refurbishing methods.  Specifically, 
disassembly and detailed examination of trip units supplied to Nine Mile 
Point, Unit 1, by Satin American revealed that some trip units were modified, 
apparently to alter their trip characteristics, by (1) substituting series 
coils with nonstandard numbers of turns, (2) changing instantaneous trip 
springs and/or varying the number of active spring turns and/or adjusting 
tension to compensate, and (3) altering longtime trip characteristics by such 
practices as using nonstandard longtime trip calibration springs, apparently 
enlarging the bleed orifices in the dashpot pistons and/or substituting 
pistons (the markings of some of which were found to be incorrect for the 
nameplate longtime trip characteristic and current rating) or using other than 
the original dashpots to obtain different time delays.  Additionally, in some 
trip units examined, the samples of oil taken from the dashpots exhibited some 
variance from their expected color and odor, indicating that the mechanical 
modifications may have been complemented by the use of nonstandard dashpot 
oils (of yet undetermined composition, viscosity, and compatibility) to aid in 
obtaining the desired longtime trip characteristics.  

Aside from the issue of representation of refurbished equipment as original, 
such modifications constitute the introduction of potential latent defects 
into equipment, already of indeterminate quality, that would not be readily 
detected by normal field testing and inspection and which could result in 
degraded trip unit performance, inability to be adjusted properly, or failure 
to operate entirely.

Attachment 1 identifies differences that have been observed between several 
characteristics of construction of refurbished series overcurrent trip devices 
as supplied by Satin American and original ones from GE.  Some of these at-
tributes, identified by an asterisk (*), can often be observed without 
removing an installed trip unit from its circuit breaker (although the breaker 
may have to be racked out) and the rest may be observed by removing only the 
trip unit cover.  These attributes may be used to identify refurbished units, 
although they, in themselves, may not all represent defects.

.                                                       IN 89-45, Supplement 1
                                                       July 6, 1989
                                                       Page 3 of 3


Attachment 2 tabulates differences between various attributes of irregular 
nameplates found on some refurbished series overcurrent trip devices supplied 
by Satin American and authentic ones from GE.  These differences may also be 
used to identify refurbished units.

Addressees are cautioned that although the differences described in 
Attachments 1 and 2 may be used to identify refurbished units from one vendor, 
each characteristic should be considered, since not all refurbished units will 
exhibit all of the differences that have been identified.  Therefore, the lack 
of some of the differences described, or variations on them, should not be 
considered sufficient evidence to conclude that a given trip unit has not been 
refurbished.

The NRC is particularly interested in obtaining information on circuit 
breakers and related electrical equipment supplied by Satin American or others 
in which differences or deficiencies have been found that are similar to those 
described in IN 89-45 and this supplement.  Of special interest is information 
on recent procurements.  Documentation, in as much detail as practicable, of 
any such differences or deficiencies discovered, especially in cases in which 
a piece of equipment may have been improperly serviced or refurbished, is 
important.  Licensees may communicate information of this type by telephone to 
one of the technical contacts listed below.

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




                                   Charles E. Rossi, Director
                                   Division of Operational Events Assessment
                                   Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

Technical Contacts:  S. D. Alexander, NRR
                     (301) 492-0995

                     U. Potapovs, NRR
                     (301) 492-0984

Attachments:
1.  Observed Differences in Original and Refurbished Trip Device Construction
2.  Observed Differences in Authentic and Irregular Trip Device Nameplates
3.  List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices
.                                                       Attachment 1 
                                                       IN 89-45, Supplement 1
                                                       July 6, 1989
                                                       Page 1 of 1

    OBSERVED DIFFERENCES IN ORIGINAL AND REFURBISHED TRIP DEVICE CONSTRUCTION
This attachment identifies differences that have been observed between several 
characteristics of construction of refurbished series overcurrent trip devices 
as supplied by Satin American and original ones from GE.  Some of these at-
tributes, identified by an asterisk (*), can often be observed without 
removing an installed trip unit from its circuit breaker (although the breaker 
may have to be racked out) and the rest may be observed by removing only the 
trip unit cover.  These attributes may be used to identify refurbished units.

     COMPONENT                ORIGINAL GE              REFURBISHED
*1.  Magnetic structure       Fastened with            Fastened with split
     pole-piece laminations   rivets                   pins (also called
                                                       roll-pins)

*2.  EC-2A dashpot fasteners  Riveted to frame         Bolted to frame with
                                                       nuts and machine screws

 3.  Longtime calibration     Half near adjusting      Slightly larger
     spring (EC-2A)           thumbwheel is painted;   diameter and not 
                              color corresponds to     painted
                              rating range.

 4.  EC-2A instantaneous      Usually 8 active turns   > 9 active turns,
     trip adjusting spring    and 1 inactive turn,     painted including screw
                              unpainted (1)            adjusting nut or < 8
                                                       active turns

*5.  Paint on magnetic        Flat black, even and     Glossy, drips, may be
     structure and/or frame   smooth                   applied over rust

 6.  Dashpot lever arm shaft  Secured with two wraps   May still use old style
     rubber oil seal boots    of copper wire, ends     pinch/spring type
                              twisted since 1984       "hose" clamps

 7.  Longtime trip dashpots   Cast aluminum alloy      Body may have been
                              body - unfinished        sandblasted

*8.  Square, flat cardboard   Usually bears handwrit-  Often shows no marking
     series coil insulators   ten instantaneous trip   or is a used insulator,
                              setting marking and the  inverted so original
                              tester's rubberstamp     marks are hidden

*9.  EC-1 trip setting or     Factory set for long-    Replacement plates
     calibration plates       time and short-time      stamped to work on
                              characteristics,         refurbished unit,
                              bright aluminum, coarse  matte finish, finer
                              stamped characters       stamped characters
 
*10. Series coil: condition,  Uniform amber "varnish"  Discolored/darkened;
     number of turns, lug     insulation, number of    may appear recoated, 
     type, and position       turns correct for cur-   overheated; may have 
                              rent rating              wrong lug pattern or 
                                                       number of turns
________________
Note 1:   Consult technical documentation and/or the manufacturer for specific
          functional and construction specifications if in doubt.
.                                                       Attachment 2 
                                                       IN 89-45, Supplement 1
                                                       July 6, 1989
                                                       Page 1 of 1

     OBSERVED DIFFERENCES IN AUTHENTIC AND IRREGULAR TRIP DEVICE NAMEPLATES
This attachment tabulates differences between various attributes of irregular 
nameplates found on some refurbished series overcurrent trip devices supplied 
by Satin American and authentic ones from GE.  These attributes can usually be 
observed without removing an installed trip unit from its circuit breaker 
(although the breaker may have to be racked out).  These differences may be 
used in conjunction with Attachment 1 to identify refurbished units.

     ATTRIBUTE                AUTHENTIC GE             IRREGULAR NAMEPLATE
  1. Finish on EC-1           Bright brushed aluminum  White anodized/matte-
     nameplates                                        finished aluminum

  2. Finish on EC-2A          White anodized finish    Similar finish,
     nameplates               often lacquered          but not lacquered

  3. "INSPECTED" block        Unique, single-line      Blank or stamp figure
     stamps (made at GE       closed figure/shape(1)   made by reorienting
     Plainville, CT factory   (not used on new units   and/or superimposing
     prior to about 1984)     made after 1984 at GE    one standard stamped
                              Atlanta, GA factory)     character on another

  4. Shop or work order       Letters "ATL-" followed  Not seen on refur-
     number (only on trip     by unique five-digit     bished trip units
     units made in GE Atlan-  number usually stamped   with irregular
     ta factory, 1984 on)     in upper left corner(1)  nameplates

  5. Date code (should not    Stamped, 2-ltr code on   Present on most EC-2As,
     appear on plates with    top line between catalog missing on many EC-1s
     shop order number)(1)    "NO." and type desig-    examined, year and
                              nation, year ltr         month letters same
                              different weight from    weight
                              month letter

  6. "NO." block (catalog     0549D0497G-1 printed on  May be stamped onto
     part or drawing number)  EC-2As of this design    irregular nameplates

  7. "NO." block              "NO." corresponds to     Numbers may not
                              type and unique "NP"     correspond correctly
                              (nameplate) number for   or be valid at all
                              each design(1)           

  8. "NO." block              "8"s in "NO." block on   Plain figure "8"s
                              EC-1s appear as: "8 "
                              e.g., 238D685G-1

  9. Frequency symbol "CY"    Printed on EC-1s         Stamped

  10.Stamped characters       Darkened with paint      Darkened with grease

  11.EC-1 trip setting        Coarse stamped numbers   Finer numbers, gradu-
     calibration plates                                ations closer spaced

  12.EC-2A type designation   "EC-2A" printed          "A" suffix stamped
________________
Note 1:   Consult manufacturer for identification of valid date codes, catalog 
          numbers (and corresponding nameplate numbers), inspection stamps, 
          and shop order numbers.
.                                                       Attachment 3
                                                       IN 89-45, Supplement 1 
                                                       July 6, 1989
                                                       Page 1 of 1

                             LIST OF RECENTLY ISSUED
                             NRC INFORMATION NOTICES
_____________________________________________________________________________
Information                                  Date of 
Notice No._____Subject_______________________Issuance_______Issued to________

89-55          Degradation of Containment    6/30/89        All holders of OLs
               Isolation Capability by a                    or CPs for nuclear
               High-Energy Line Break                       power reactors.

89-54          Potential Overpressurization  6/23/89        All holders of OLs
               of the Component Cooling                     or CPs for nuclear
               Water System                                 power reactors.

89-53          Rupture of Extraction         6/13/89        All holders of OLs 
               Steam Line on High                           or CPs for nuclear 
               Pressure Turbine                             power reactors. 

88-46,         Licensee Report of            6/8/89         All holders of OLs
Supp. 3        Defective Refurbished                        or CPs for nuclear
               Circuit Breakers                             power reactors.

89-52          Potential Fire Damper         6/8/89         All holders of OLs
               Operational Problems                         or CPs for nuclear
                                                            power reactors.

89-51          Potential Loss of Required    5/31/89        All holders of OLs
               Shutdown Margin During                       or CPs for nuclear
               Refueling Operations                         power reactors.

88-88,         Degradation of Westinghouse   5/31/89        All holders of OLs
Supp. 1        ARD Relays                                   or CPs for nuclear
                                                            power reactors.

89-50          Inadequate Emergency          5/30/89        All holders of OLs
               Diesel Generator Fuel                        or CPs for nuclear
               Supply                                       power reactors.

89-49          Failure to Close Service      5/22/89        All holders of OLs
               Water Cross-Connect                          or CPs for nuclear
               Isolation Valves                             power reactors.

89-48          Design Deficiency in the      5/22/89        All holders of OLs
               Turbine-Driven Auxiliary                     or CPs for nuclear
               Feedwater Pump Cooling                       power reactors.
               Water System
_____________________________________________________________________________
OL = Operating License
CP = Construction Permit 
..
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