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Information Notice No. 89-59: Suppliers of Potentially Misrepresented Fasteners
UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555 August 16, 1989 Information Notice No. 89-59: SUPPLIERS OF POTENTIALLY MISREPRESENTED FASTENERS Addressees: All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power reactors. Purpose: This information notice is being provided to inform addressees of the names of suppliers and/or manufacturers of suspected counterfeit fasteners that were identified as a result of information reported in response to NRC Bulletin No. 87-02, "Fastener Testing To Determine Conformance With Applicable Material Specifications," and Supplements 1 and 2 thereto. Information is also provided on a Grand Jury indictment, dated June 27, 1989, of AIRCOM Fasteners, Incorporated, for allegedly providing nonconforming and falsely identified fasteners to Comanche Peak, the Department of Defense, and other customers. 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: On November 6, 1987, the NRC issued Bulletin No. 87-02 to all holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power reactors in order to determine whether counterfeit fasteners were a concern in the nuclear power industry. The bulletin requested addressees to determine whether fasteners obtained for use in their facilities met the chemical and mechanical specifi- cations stipulated in the procurement documents by sampling typical studs, bolts, cap screws, and nuts. The bulletin also required addressees to provide the names of suppliers and manufacturers of the fasteners. The NRC staff has compiled the information submitted by the addressees and determined that some fasteners supplied to the nuclear industry may have been misrepresented or counterfeit. A summary of the fastener testing data can be found in NUREG-1349, "Compilation of Fastener Testing Data Received in Response to NRC Compliance Bulletin 87-02." The NUREG summarizes the data according to licensee, manufacturer, supplier, and fastener specification. NUREG documents can be obtained from: 8908100128 . IN 89-59 August 16, 1989 Page 2 of 3 1. The Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Post Office Box 37082, Washington, D.C. 20013-7082. 2. The National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 22161. Discussion: Over the past several years, the presence of counterfeit fasteners has been identified throughout various industries, associations, and Federal agencies. These fasteners have been mismarked to indicate a material content and composition different from the actual bolt content. The primary problem has been with SAE J429 Grade 8.2 fasteners that were marked and sold as Grade 8. Grade 8 refers to the highest standard strength achieved in the manufacture of bolts and hex cap screws. Grade 8 bolts are medium carbon alloy steel, quenched and tempered at a minimum temperature of 800� F. The carbon content is between 0.28 and 0.55 weight percent with no specification for boron. Grade 8 fasteners are heat treated to achieve a hardness of 33 to 39 on the Rockwell C scale. Grade 8.2 fasteners are low carbon martensite steel, fully killed, fine grain, and quenched and tempered at a minimum temperature of 650� F. Grade 8.2 bolts have a carbon content of 0.15 to 0.25 weight percent and a minimum of 0.0005 weight percent boron. Grade 8.2 fasteners are heat treated to achieve a hardness of 35 to 42 on the Rockwell C scale. Two concerns arise with regard to the use of Grade 8.2 fasteners in Grade 8 applications. The first concern is the failure of Grade 8.2 bolts from relaxation under load at elevated temperatures. Because of the lower temper- ing temperature, Grade 8.2 bolts will relax at a lower temperature than Grade 8 bolts. Secondly, industry experience has shown that bolts with hardness values exceeding 39 on the Rockwell C scale are prone to embrittlement if not properly processed during manufacture. In certain applications, the use of mismarked Grade 8.2 bolts in Grade 8 applications could result in failure. The mismarking and selling of SAE J429 Grade 5.2 as Grade 5 fasteners is similar to the Grade 8 issue. Grade 5 and Grade 5.2 fasteners are both tempered at a minimum temperature of 800� F; therefore, relaxation at ele- vated temperatures is not a problem for these bolts. However, the mismarking of the bolts is indicative of product substitution which may extend to other, more critical products. The companies listed below have been identified from addressee responses as providing suspected counterfeit fasteners to the nuclear industry. Supplier Name Address Bennett Bolt Works Unknown Bolts & Nuts, Inc. Chattanooga, Tennessee Glasser & Associates El Cerrito, California Knoxville Bolt & Screw Knoxville, Tennessee Metal Fastener Supply Decatur, Alabama Phoell Manufacturing Co. Minneapolis, Minnesota Service Supply Co. Unknown Southeastern Bolt & Screw Chattanooga, Tennessee Sure-Loc, Inc. Charlotte, North Carolina Victory Bolt, Inc. Knoxville, Tennessee . IN 89-59 August 16, 1989 Page 3 of 3 On June 27, 1989, a Fort Worth, Texas, Grand Jury handed down an indictment of AIRCOM Fasteners, Incorporated, of Arlington, Texas, and Yamaguchi-Seisakusho Company, Limited, of Japan, for allegedly providing nonconforming and falsely identified fasteners to Comanche Peak and other customers. The indictment further alleges that false, fictitious, and fraudulent docu- ments were made and caused to be made at AIRCOM for delivery to the Department of Defense, Peterbilt Motors Company, and Texas Utilities at Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant to execute and cover up the scheme, including certificates of conformance, certified material test reports, laboratory reports, metallurgical reports, plating certificates, gage certifications, heat treat certifications, purchase orders, vendor quote sheets, correspondence, invoices, quality assurance records, and affidavits. As a result of the above information and the indictments identifying alleged record falsification and misrepresentation, addressees may wish to review nuclear procurements from these vendors to ensure that appropriate bases exist for the use of fasteners that they may have supplied for safety-related applications or to be upgraded for use in safety-related applications. Further, it is important for addressees performing audits of fastener manu- facturers and suppliers to include a review of the basis for certifications provided by vendors and the supporting tests and records of traceability. Addressees may wish to review the adequacy of previous vendor audits and their general vendor approval process in light of this information (reference Information Notice No. 88-35, "Inadequate Licensee Performed Vendor Audits"). This information notice requires no specific action or written response. If you have any questions about the information in this notice, please contact the technical contact listed below or the appropriate NRR project manager. Charles E. Rossi, Director Division of Operational Events Assessment Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation Technical Contact: Gregory C. Cwalina, NRR (301) 492-3221 Attachment: List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices . Attachment IN 89-59 August 16, 1989 Page 1 of 1 LIST OF RECENTLY ISSUED NRC INFORMATION NOTICES ____________________________________________________________________________ Information Date of Notice No._____Subject_______________________Issuance_______Issued to_______ 89-58 Disablement of Turbine-Driven 8/3/89 All holders of OLs Auxiliary Feedwater Pump Due or CPs for PWRs. to Closure of One of the Parallel Steam Supply Valves 89-57 Unqualified Electrical 7/26/89 All holders of OLs Splices in Vendor-Supplied or CPs for nuclear Environmentally Qualified power reactors. Equipment 89-56 Questionable Certification 7/20/89 All holders of OLs of Material Supplied to the or CPs for nuclear Defense Department by Nuclear power reactors. Suppliers 89-45, Metalclad, Low-Voltage 7/6/89 All holders of OLs Supp. 1 Power Circuit Breakers or CPs for nuclear Refurbished With Substandard power reactors. Parts 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. ____________________________________________________________________________ OL = Operating License CP = Construction Permit ..
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