United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice 1999-28: Supplement 1: Recall of Star Brand Fire Protection Sprinkler Heads

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

March 22, 2002

NRC INFORMATION NOTICE 99-28:     Supplement 1: RECALL OF STAR BRAND FIRE PROTECTION SPRINKLER HEADS

Addressees

All holders of licenses for nuclear power, research and test reactors, and fuel cycle facilities.

Purpose

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this supplement to notify addressees that the Consumers Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is seeking to expand the original recall of the Star brand fire protection sprinkler heads. This supplement provides information that came to light after the issuance of the original Information Notice (IN). It is expected that recipients will review the information for applicability to their facilities and consider actions, as appropriate. However, this supplement contains no NRC requirements and requires no specific actions or written response.

Background

On August 4, 1999, CPSC announced a voluntary recall of approximately 1 million Star sprinkler heads manufactured by the Mealane Corporation from 1961 through 1976. CPSC reported that 67 percent of the heads tested failed to activate as they should. One of those models, the Star ME-1, was manufactured by Mealane from 1975 through 1976. The NRC issued IN 99-28 to inform licensees of the recall.

Description of Circumstances

On October 11, 2001, CPSC filed a complaint against certain companies that made the Star ME-1 sprinkler head from 1977 through 1995. The complaint alleges that the Star ME-1 sprinklers are defective and likely to fail to operate properly in a fire. The sprinklers have been installed in many different types of facilities and CPSC is aware of one fire in which three Star ME-1 sprinklers reportedly failed to operate. CPSC seeks a nationwide recall of approximately 700,000 Star ME-1 sprinkler heads manufactured from 1977 through 1995. CPSC filed the complaint after discussions with the companies failed to bring about an agreement to voluntarily recall and replace the sprinkler heads. The press release can be found at www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml02/02013.html. Central Sprinkler Company, which manufactured the Star ME-1 model from 1996 through 1998, has joined the Mealane Corporation in voluntarily recalling these sprinkler heads.

Further Information

The NRC issued Information Notices 97-72, 99-28, and 01-10 to tell licensees of past CPSC recalls of various sprinkler head models. The Mealane Corporation has established a hotline at (800) 866-7807 and a Web site at www.star-recall.com to initiate their recall.

Information on the Central Sprinkler Corporation recall can be obtained at (866) 505-8553 and at www.sprinklerreplacement.com. The NRC has not received any reports of sprinkler head failures at regulated facilities, but it is prudent to keep licensees advised of the latest developments.

Conclusion

This supplement requires no specific action or written response. If you have any questions about the information in this supplement, please contact the technical contacts listed below or your facility's project manager.

/RA/ /RA/
William D. Beckner, Program Director
Operating Reactor Improvements Program
Division of Regulatory Improvement Programs
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
Melvyn N. Leach, Chief
Fuel Cycle Licensing Branch
Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards
Technical contacts: Paul Lain
NRR/DSSA/SPLB
301-415-2346
E-mail: pwl@nrc.gov
Peter Lee
NMSS/FCSS/FCLB
301-415-8111
E-mail: psl1@nrc.gov

Attachments:

  1. List of Recently Issued NRR Information Notices
  2. List of Recently Issued NMSS Information Notices

(NUDOCS Accession Number 020810138)

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