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Information Notice No. 92-66: Access Denied to NRC Inspectors at Five Star Products, Inc. and Construction Products Research, Fairfield, Connecticut
UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555 September 1, 1992 NRC INFORMATION NOTICE 92-66: ACCESS DENIED TO NRC INSPECTORS AT FIVE STAR PRODUCTS, INC. AND CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS RESEARCH, FAIRFIELD, CONNECTICUT Addressees All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power reactors and all recipients of NUREG-0040, "Licensee, Contractor and Vendor Inspection Status Report" (White Book). Purpose The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this information notice to alert addressees to the NRC's concern that Five Star Products, Incorporated (Five Star), and its laboratory contractor, Construction Products Research (CPR), denied NRC inspectors necessary access to the contracted test laboratory and test data for grout and concrete mix products. It is expected that recipients will review this information and consider actions, as appropriate. However, suggestions contained in this information notice are not NRC requirements; therefore, no specific action or written response is required. Description of Circumstances On Tuesday, August 18, 1992, NRC inspectors arrived at the Five Star facility, located at Fairfield, Connecticut, to conduct an inspection pursuant to the provisions of Section 21.41, "Inspection," of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21 (10 CFR Part 21). The NRC promulgated 10 CFR Part 21 under the authority of Section 206 of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. 5846, and Sections 161b and 161o of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, (42 U.S.C. 2201(b) and 2201(o)). Section 21.41 authorizes NRC inspections of facilities supplying "basic components," or parts thereof, for commercial nuclear power plants as that term is defined in 10 CFR Part 21. Five Star supplies grout and concrete mix materials, tested at its facility by CPR, to the commercial nuclear industry. Five Star certifies these materials as being manufactured and controlled in accordance with the requirements of Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50. 9209010039. IN 92-66 September 1, 1992 Page 2 of 3 On Tuesday, August 18, 1992, and Wednesday, August 19, 1992, the NRC inspectors were denied access necessary for an inspection of the CPR test laboratory and test records on the Five Star premises. On Wednesday, August 19, 1992, Five Star managers told the NRC inspectors that they would not be allowed to continue the inspection as of the end of the day even though the NRC inspectors indicated that they had not completed the inspection. Discussion The NRC conducted this inspection to determine the extent to which Five Star has supplied material or services to licensed nuclear plants, the adequacy of its quality assurance and testing programs, and the adequacy of its products. Purchase orders reviewed during the limited inspection indicated that licensees have purchased concrete products from Five Star and are invoking the requirements of Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50 and 10 CFR Part 21 on the orders to Five Star. The NRC learned that licensees and licensee contractors auditing Five Star who requested access to CPR's test laboratory and test records were denied necessary access to the test laboratory and records. During the limited inspection at Five Star, the NRC inspectors found that not all licensees purchasing from Five Star had performed implementation audits of Five Star. In October, 1991, a member of the Nuclear Utility Procurement Issues Council (NUPIC) performed a NUPIC audit and concluded that the Five Star quality assurance program and its implementation were unacceptable and did not meet certain requirements of Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50. However, the NRC inspectors determined that some licensees have accepted the Five Star quality assurance program as meeting all applicable Appendix B requirements. The NRC inspectors reviewed Five Star customer purchase orders for the period from 1988 to 1992 and determined that at least seven licensees and one licensee contractor issued purchase orders to Five Star for grout and concrete mix products and specified compliance to Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50 and 10 CFR Part 21. Purchasers may have accepted the use of Five Star products upon performing audits that did not include reviewing the test laboratory and test records. Therefore, the affected audits were not adequate to determine the quality of the Five Star products. The denial of access to NRC inspectors appears to be a willful violation of Section 21.41, which permits the NRC access to Five Star's records, premises, activities, and basic components as necessary to effect the purposes of this part. Upon being denied access, the NRC could not examine the extent and adequacy of the products produced by Five Star and therefore does not have reasonable assurance that the products produced are adequate for use in safety-related applications in nuclear power plants. Consequently, the NRC is interested in receiving any information on tests or instances of failure of Five Star products. . IN 92-66 September 1, 1992 Page 3 of 3 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 NRC Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) project manager. ORIGINAL SIGNED BY Charles E. Rossi, Director Division of Operational Events Assessment Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation Technical contacts: Robert Pettis, NRR (301) 504-3214 Stewart Magruder, NRR (301) 504-3220 Attachment: List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices .
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