United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 94-86: Legal Actions Against Thermal Science, Inc., Manufacturer of Thermo-Lag

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

                               December 22, 1994


NRC INFORMATION NOTICE 94-86:  LEGAL ACTIONS AGAINST THERMAL SCIENCE, INC.,
                               MANUFACTURER OF THERMO-LAG


Addressees

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

Purpose

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this information
notice to inform addressees of a grand jury indictment of Thermal Science,
Inc., and Rubin Feldman, President, for allegedly making false statements to
the NRC and others concerning the fire barrier material known as Thermo-Lag. 
In a separate legal action, Industrial Testing Laboratories, Inc., and
Alan M. Siegel, President, pleaded guilty to making and aiding and abetting
the making of false statements concerning Thermo-Lag.  It is expected that
recipients will review the information for applicability to their facilities
and consider actions, as appropriate.  Suggestions contained in this
information notice are not NRC requirements; therefore, no specific action or
written response is required. 

Background

Many NRC licensees use the Thermo-Lag fire barrier material to meet NRC
requirements regarding the protection of safe shutdown equipment.  In      
June 1991, the NRC established a special review team to address the safety
issues associated with industry operating experience and allegations regarding
the use of Thermo-Lag.  On August 6, 1991, the NRC issued Information Notice 
91-47, "Failure of Thermo-Lag Fire Barrier Material to Pass Endurance Tests." 
This information notice informed NRC nuclear power reactor licensees to
problems that could result from the use or improper installation of Thermo-Lag
to comply with the requirements in Section III.G.2 of Appendix R to Part 50 of
Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR Part 50).  On June 23,
1992, the NRC issued Information Notice 92-46, "Thermo-Lag Fire Barrier
Material Special Review Team Final Report Findings, Current Fire Endurance
Tests, and Ampacity Calculation Errors," which addressed the findings of the
NRC special review team on Thermo-Lag.  In its final report, the NRC special
review team concluded that the fire-resistance ratings and ampacity derating
factors for the Thermo-Lag fire barrier system were indeterminate. 

On August 28, 1992, the NRC issued Supplement 1 to Bulletin 92-01, "Failure of
Thermo-Lag 330 Fire Barrier System to Perform its Specified Fire Endurance     
Function," in which it concluded, on the basis of tests sponsored by the NRC
and industry, that Thermo-Lag fire barriers should be treated as inoperable 

9412160132.                                                            IN 94-86
                                                            December 22, 1994
                                                            Page 2 of 3


if acceptable plant-specific tests are not available.  The bulletin also
concluded that NRC power reactor licensees should implement compensatory
measures until the barriers could be declared operable.  These conclusions
remain unchanged.

In addition to the NRC special technical review team, the U.S. Attorney's
Office, the NRC Office of the Inspector General, and the NRC Office of
Investigations conducted an investigation.  

Attachment 1 of this information notice lists the NRC generic communications
that have been issued regarding the Thermo-Lag fire barrier material.

Description of Circumstances

On March 30, 1994, Industrial Testing Laboratories, Inc., of St. Louis,
Missouri, and Alan M. Siegel, the president of the company, pleaded guilty to
five counts of making and aiding and abetting the making of false statements
within the jurisdiction of the NRC, in violation of Title 18, United States
Code, Sections 1001 and 1002.  As stated in the plea agreement, Industrial
Testing Laboratories, Inc., and Alan M. Siegel aided and abetted the issuance
of more than 30 false reports transmitted from Thermal Science, Inc., to the
NRC and other entities.  The false reports provided information on the fire
endurance and ampacity testing of the Thermo-Lag material.  Industrial Testing
Laboratories, Inc., was fined $150,000.  Industrial Testing Laboratories, Inc.
agreed to fully cooperate in the criminal investigation and prosecution of
organizations and individuals associated with the Thermo-Lag fire barrier
material.  Alan M. Siegel has not been sentenced. 

On September 29, 1994, in a separate legal action, a Maryland Federal grand
jury indicted Thermal Science, Inc., of St. Louis, Missouri, and          
Rubin Feldman, the president of the company.  Thermal Science, Inc., is the
manufacturer of the Thermo-Lag fire barrier material.  The seven-count
indictment alleges that Thermal Science, Inc., and Rubin Feldman conspired
with a testing laboratory and others to conceal material facts and make false
statements within the jurisdiction of the NRC, in violation of Title 18,
United States Code, Sections 1001 and 1002.  Also, the indictment alleges
willful violation of the Atomic Energy Act, Title 42, United States Code,
Sections 2273 (a) and 2201 (b), and 10 CFR 50.5 (a)(2).  The indictment, which
culminated a grand jury investigation of nearly 2 years, charged that a
conspiracy began in 1982 and continued through April 1992.

Discussion 

All entities and individuals involved in NRC-regulated activities, including
NRC licensees, suppliers for NRC licensees, and employees of NRC licensees and
suppliers, have a responsibility to comply with applicable NRC regulations and
Federal laws.  Where NRC identifies cases of willful violations of NRC
requirements, NRR wil refer the matter to the U.S. Department of Justice for
consideration of criminal prosecution. 

.                                                            IN 94-86
                                                            December 22, 1994
                                                            Page 3 of 3


Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.5, the NRC can take direct enforcement action against
suppliers and their employees in certain circumstances for (1) deliberately
causing an NRC licensee to be in violation of NRC regulations, or (2)
deliberately providing information to the NRC or an NRC licensee that the
person submitting the information knows to be incomplete or inaccurate in some
respect material to the NRC.

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 Office of Nuclear
Reactor Regulation (NRR) project manager. 

                                    /S/'D BY BDLIAW/FOR


                                    Brian K. Grimes, Director
                                    Division of Project Support
                                    Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation 

Technical contact:  Edward A. Connell, NRR
                    (301) 504-2838

Attachments:
1.  List of NRC Generic Communications 
      Concerning Thermo-Lag Fire Barrier Systems
.                                                            Attachment 1
                                                            IN 94-86
                                                            December 22, 1994


    LIST OF NRC GENERIC COMMUNICATIONS CONCERNING THERMO-LAG FIRE BARRIERS


Bulletin 92-01                "Failure of Thermo-Lag 330 Fire Barrier System
                              To Maintain Cabling in Wide Cable Trays and
                              Small Conduits Free from Fire Damage," June 24,
                              1994

Bulletin 92-01,               "Failure of Thermo-Lag 330 Fire Barrier System
  Supplement 1                To Perform Its Specified Fire Endurance
                              Function," August 28, 1992

Generic Letter 92-08          "Thermo-Lag 330-1 Fire Barriers," December 17,
                              1992

Generic Letter 86-10,         "Fire Endurance Test Acceptance Criteria for
  Supplement 1                Fire Barrier Systems Used To Separate Redundant
                              Safe Shutdown Trains Within the Same Fire Area,"
                              March 25, 1994         



Information Notice 91-47      "Failure of Thermo-Lag Fire Barrier Material To
                              Pass Fire Endurance Test," August 6, 1991

Information Notice 91-79      "Deficiencies in the Procedures for Installing 
                              Thermo-Lag Fire Barrier Materials," December 6,  
                              1991

Information Notice 91-79      "Deficiencies Found in Thermo-Lag Fire Barrier
  Supplement 1                Installation," August 4, 1994

Information Notice 92-46      "Thermo-Lag Fire Barrier Material Special Review 
                              Team Final Report Findings, Current Fire         
                              Endurance Tests, and Ampacity Calculation        
                              Errors," June 23, 1992

Information Notice 92-55      "Current Fire Endurance Test Results for Thermo- 
                              Lag Fire Barrier Material," July 27, 1992

Information Notice 92-82      "Results of Thermo-Lag 330-1 Combustibility    
                              Testing," December 15, 1992

Information Notice 94-22      "Fire Endurance and Ampacity Derating Test
                              Results for 3-Hour Fire Rated Thermo-Lag 330-1
                              Fire Barriers," March 16, 1994

Information Notice 94-34      "Thermo-Lag 330-660 Flexi-Blanket Ampacity
                              Derating Concerns," May 13, 1994


Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, November 15, 2013