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Falsification of Welder Qualifications for Contractor Employees
UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555 November 20, 1989 Information Notice No. 89-75: FALSIFICATION OF WELDER QUALIFICATIONS FOR CONTRACTOR EMPLOYEES Addressees: All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power reactors. Purpose: This information notice is intended to alert addressees to potential problems related to the need to assure that welding personnel hired to perform activities affecting safety are properly qualified in accordance with ASME Code requirements. It is expected that recipients will review the information for applicability to their facilities and activities, 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: In 1984, Virginia Electric and Power Company (VEPCO) hired Southwestern Engineering Company (SECO) to modify and install moisture separator reheater (MSR) internals at the licensee's North Anna and Surry Nuclear Power Stations in late 1984 and early 1985. SECO, in turn, formed a joint venture with Powerplant Specialists, Inc. (PSI) for craft labor (boilermakers, welders, etc.) to perform the work. Welder qualification for the MSR projects was to be completed in accordance with the specifications set forth in Section IX of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. Investigation activities by NRC, prompted by an allegation, revealed that 16 of the 45 boilermaker/welder personnel utilized for the VEPCO projects were properly tested and certified by an authorized, independent testing facility. Although Welder Qualification Test (WQT) records were completed by PSI for the remaining 29 welder personnel, indicating that the test welds were prepared, welded, and tested in accordance with the requirements of Section IX of the ASME Code, the investigation revealed that company officials intentionally falsified the welders' records by certifying them without requiring the proficiency tests. Discussion: It is important to note that it is the responsibility of each licensee to assure that welders assigned to nuclear power plant tasks, whether or not 8911140073 . IN 89-75 November 20, 1989 Page 2 of 2 the tasks are categorized as safety-related, are qualified to the appropriate standard. In the specific circumstances cited above, the welder qualification records were falsified by PSI to the licensee through SECO, and recipients of this notice should be aware of the potential for this situation at their facilities. 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 Contact: Gregory C. Cwalina, NRR (301) 492-3221 Walter P. Haass, NRR (301) 492-3219 Attachment: List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices .
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