United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 89-56, Supplement 1: Questionable Certification of Material Supplied to the Defense Department by Nuclear Suppliers

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

                              November 22, 1989


Information Notice No. 89-56, SUPPLEMENT 1:  QUESTIONABLE CERTIFICATION
                                                 OF MATERIAL SUPPLIED TO THE
                                                 DEFENSE DEPARTMENT BY 
                                                 NUCLEAR SUPPLIERS

Addressees:

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

Purpose:

This information notice supplement is intended to alert addressees of 
additional information concerning a problem with the certification of 
material furnished by Meredith Corporation, Pressure Vessel Nuclear (PVN), 
of Hillside, New Jersey, which was discussed previously in NRC Information 
Notice No. 89-56.  It is expected that recipients will review the 
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. 89-56 discussed a 27-count indictment rendered on  
May 4, 1989, by a Newark Federal Grand Jury charging PVN and Alloy & Carbon 
Steel Company Incorporated (Alloy) corporate officers with substituting 
commercial-grade steel for military-grade steel and fraudulently documenting 
the substitutions as meeting military specifications.  The notice indicated 
that NRC was interested in obtaining information relevant to material 
supplied to nuclear utilities or vendors by PVN or Alloy in which 
discrepancies have been found or discrepancies have been discovered as a 
result of independent verification testing of chemical and mechanical 
properties, and information on recent procurements.  The NRC is aware that a 
number of organizations are continuing to perform independent testing of PVN 
material.  The following discussion details the results of testing performed 
to date that has been made available to the NRC.

Discussion:

As of mid-September 1989, the NRC had received the results of tests 
conducted by a laboratory performing tests for the Virginia Power Company on 
PVN material supplied to the Surry nuclear power station.  The results 
indicated that 17 of 




8911160058
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                                                  IN 89-56, Supplement 1 
                                                  November 22, 1989 
                                                  Page 2 of 3 


94 items tested did not meet specification.  Heat No. PV00199 of ASTM 
A570-79 Grade 40 steel sheet exhibited a tensile strength of 45,993 pounds 
per square inch (psi) and a yield strength of 26,282 psi, which are lower 
than the 55,000 psi tensile strength and 40,000 psi yield strength required 
by specification.  Ten items of ASTM A36-81A steel exhibited tensile 
strengths that were as high as 86,109 psi which exceeded the specified range 
of 58,000 to 80,000 psi.  Other deviations were found, including yield 
strength, manganese content, elongation, and hardness, which were all lower 
than material specifications.  Virginia Power Company initiated corrective 
actions to review the location and application of the nonconforming material 
to assure that safety and operability concerns are addressed.

On September 20, 1989, the NRC received the results of tests conducted by a 
laboratory performing tests for General Public Utilities Nuclear Corporation 
(GPUN) on PVN material supplied to the Oyster Creek nuclear power station.  
The results indicated that a 2 1/2-inch diameter round forged bar of ASME 
SA-350, LF2, normalized and tempered steel failed to meet the minimum speci-
fied Charpy impact test requirement of 20 foot-pounds.  ASME SA-350, LF2, 
imposes ASME SA-370, which specifies that not more than one specimen may 
exhibit a value below the specified minimum average, and in no case shall an 
individual value be below either two thirds of the specified minimum average 
or 5 foot-pounds, whichever is greater.  GPUN Charpy impact testing of three 
initial specimens resulted in values of 19, 13, and 32 foot-pounds which 
failed to meet the ASME SA-370 requirement.  Section 22.2.1 of ASME SA-370 
requires a retest of three additional specimens, each of which shall have a 
value equal to or exceeding the specified minimum.  GPUN Charpy impact 
retesting of three additional specimens resulted in values of 20, 11, and 14 
foot-pounds which did not meet the retest requirement of Section 22.2.1.  
PVN certified Charpy impact values for three specimens of this material were 
26, 24, and 24 foot-pounds.  GPUN initiated corrective actions by requiring 
that an engineering evaluation be made of the location and application of 
the non-conforming material to address safety and operability concerns.

The NRC also received the results of tests conducted by a laboratory 
performing tests for Anchor Darling Enterprises, Incorporated (AD), on PVN 
material to be used by AD for nuclear applications.  Five of the 16 items 
tested exhibited chemical analysis values that were different from the 
values listed on the PVN certified material test report, and two of the five 
items exhibited chemical properties that did not meet the ASTM 
specification.  Heat No. 412L1181 of ASTM A-588 Grade B steel plate 
exhibited a chromium content of 0.17 percent, a copper content of 0.06 
percent, and a vanadium content of less than 0.01 percent, which were lower 
than the ASTM specified values of 0.4 to 0.7 percent, 0.2 to 0.4 percent, 
and 0.01 to 0.1 percent, respectively.  Heat No. 402N5561 of ASTM A-588 
Grade B steel plate exhibited a chromium content of 0.17 percent, a copper 
content of 0.02 percent, and a vanadium content of less than 0.01 percent, 
which were also lower than the ASTM specified values listed above.  AD is 
notifying their customers of the nonconforming material and performing 
evaluations in accordance with 10 CFR Part 21.

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                                                  IN 89-56, Supplement 1 
                                                  November 22, 1989 
                                                  Page 3 of 3 


A PVN letter  dated July 17, 1989, to Dubose Steel Incorporated in Roseboro, 
North Carolina, advised of a potential defect in two pieces of 1 3/4-inch 
diameter round bar of ASME SA-193 Grade B7 quenched, tempered, and stress-
relieved steel (Heat 58783, Trace Heat Code HJK, Stress Charge #85-737) 
manufactured by the Copperweld Steel Company and supplied to Dubose Steel by 
PVN on November 18, 1981.  Louisiana Power and Light Company (LP&L) found 
5/8 inch deep quench cracks on one end face of material from the same heat 
that had been supplied to Dubose Steel.  Dubose advised the NRC in a letter 
dated October 25, 1989, that Dubose records do not indicate who received the 
PVN material.  This information is provided to encourage addressees to 
locate the missing material.

Addressees may wish to consider the results of the recent testing performed 
for Virginia Power, GPUN and AD in planning their activities to assess the 
certification of materials supplied by PVN.  The NRC remains particularly 
interested in receiving additional results from independent verification 
testing of material supplied by PVN. 

This information notice requires no specific action or written response.  If
you have any questions about the information in this notice, please contact 
one of the technical contacts listed below or the appropriate NRR project 
manager.




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

Technical Contacts:  Ramon Cilimberg, NRR
                     (301) 492-3220

                     E. William Brach, NRR
                     (301) 492-0961

Attachment:  List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices

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