United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 96-14: Degradation of Radwaste Facility Equipment at Millstone Nuclear Power Station, Unit 1

                                 UNITED STATES
                         NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                     OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION
                         WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555-0001

                                 March 1, 1996


NRC INFORMATION NOTICE 96-14:  DEGRADATION OF RADWASTE FACILITY EQUIPMENT AT   
                               MILLSTONE NUCLEAR POWER STATION, UNIT 1


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 discuss degradation of radwaste facility equipment at Millstone
Nuclear Power Station, Unit 1.  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 are not NRC requirements; therefore, no specific
action or written response is required.

Description of Circumstances

During a routine NRC inspection at Millstone, inspectors found that the Unit 1
radwaste facility equipment was significantly degraded, especially vessels and
piping in the facility.  In general, a lack of continuing and preventive
maintenance appeared to have allowed several systems and components to
significantly degrade, in some instances creating unnecessary adverse
radiological conditions.  Piping located in the mezzanine areas above the "C"
and "D" floor drain collector tanks were notably rusted, with a dusting of
flaked-off paint and rust deposited across all horizontal surfaces in this
area.  Inspectors also noted the degraded condition of several valve bodies
and pipe flanges in the radwaste system.  Five areas in this facility (the
filter sludge tank room, the spent resin tank room, the evaporator
concentrator rooms, and concentrates tank room) were sealed off because of
radiological conditions.  In the case of the filter sludge and spent resin
tank rooms, these facilities are still in use and have temporary hoses passing
through hand-stacked block walls to make the connections from these vessels to
the waste processing systems in the Unit 1 waste processing buildings.  The
concentrates tanks and waste evaporators were no longer in use.  A video tape
taken in November 1994 during the last manned entry into the filter sludge
tank room indicated that a crack in the filter sludge tank led to the 
dispersal of highly radioactive spent filter sludge throughout the tank room. 
Discussions with licensee staff members indicated that a similar condition
exists in the spent resin tank room, which in this case is caused by the
overfill of the spent resin tank.


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                                                            IN 96-14    
                                                            March 1, 1996
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Subsequent licensee investigation determined that in the evaporator "A" room,
a pile (approximately 50 cubic feet) of spent resin was on the floor, as well 
as dried evaporator concentrates.  Dried evaporator concentrates were also
found in the "A" and "B" concentrated tank room.

Discussion

Although the licensee was recently able to significantly reduce the amount of
spent resins and other media generated as a result of the replacement of the
main condenser, large volumes of other resins continue to be generated because
of processing and system control.  The continued use of powdered filters, in
addition to the problem previously identified with regard to the material
condition of the sludge tank, has resulted in the generation of unnecessary
wastes.

In NRC Inspection Report, 50-245/95-35; 50-336/95-35; 50-423/95-35, dated
September 11, 1995, NRC Accession Number 9509180222, the degraded condition of
the radwaste systems, resulting from a general lack of appropriate
maintenance, was identified as a significant weakness in the licensee program. 
Subsequently, the NRC Region I Office has requested the licensee submit a
description of its plans to improve the conditions in these radwaste areas. 
Additional information is also found in Appendix B to NRC Inspection Report
50-245/95-38; 50-336/95-38; 50-423/95-38.

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 contacts listed below or the appropriate Office of Nuclear
Reactor Regulation (NRR) project manager.


                                          signed by

                                    Dennis M. Crutchfield, Director
                                    Division of Reactor Program Management 
                                    Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

Technical contacts:  Joseph T. Furia, RI
                     (610)-337-5041
                     Internet:jtf@nrc.gov

                     Egan Y. Wang, NRR
                     (301) 415-1076
                     Internet:eyw@nrc.gov
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, November 21, 2013