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Event Notification Report for November 18, 2008

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Operations Center

Event Reports For
11/17/2008 - 11/18/2008

** EVENT NUMBERS **


44657 44660 44661 44662

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General Information or Other Event Number: 44657
Rep Org: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Licensee: LUDLUM MEASUREMENTS
Region: 4
City: SWEETWATER State: TX
County:
License #: LO1963
Agreement: Y
Docket:
NRC Notified By: RUBEN CORTEZ
HQ OPS Officer: JOHN KNOKE
Notification Date: 11/13/2008
Notification Time: 12:16 [ET]
Event Date: 11/13/2008
Event Time: 10:49 [CST]
Last Update Date: 11/14/2008
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
AGREEMENT STATE
Person (Organization):
JACK WHITTEN (R4)
MICHELE BURGESS (FSME)

Event Text

AGREEMENT STATE REPORT - BREACHED 90 MILLICURIE CS-137 SOURCE

"Ludlum-Sweetwater just called [state] to report a breached source. A 90 milliCurie cesium-137 source was cut open in the machine shop about 45 minutes ago. [A company representative] believes most of the contamination was contained to the machine shop area with a small amount being tracked to different parts of the plant.

"Workers were machining a piece of metal and did not realize it had a source in it. The workers were using a grinder and cutting on what they thought was a spacer. The source was to be mounted into a pig and used as a calibration source.

"The licensee needs assistance [from the state] with the names of companies licensed to assist with clean up."

Texas Incident Number: I-8580

UPDATE ON 11/14/2008 AT 1427 FROM ART TUCKER TO MARK ABRAMOVITZ * * *

The following information was received from the state via e-mail:

"On 11/13/08, Ludlum Instruments, a Texas licensee located in Sweetwater, Texas, reported that an employee accidentally breached a small Cesium (Cs) - 137 source while modifying a piece of calibration equipment. An [State of Texas] agency inspector was dispatched to the scene to investigate. Initial reports were that 40 or more employees were involved and that contamination had been spread by foot traffic through the facility.

"The inspector provided the following information.

"Ludlum has contracted an out-of-state company (Energy Solutions) to perform assessment and decontamination activities resulting from the breach of the 90 mCi Cesium (Cs) -137 source. The company will perform initial assessments over the weekend and begin operations Monday. Our [State of Texas] inspector reported that contamination levels were fairly low with some spots reading approximately five times background levels. That would equate to about 10,000 - 15,000 counts per minute on a scintillation detector.

"Ludlum has also contacted the Department of Energy's Radiation Emergency Assistance Center /Training Site for guidance on assessing possible internal deposition of material. Urine specimens are being collected for analysis to determine the presence of Cs-137.

"Overall, it appears that Ludlum acted quickly and responsibly in reporting and containing the contamination once it was discovered. We will continue to monitor the situation as the assessment and cleanup progresses.

"Ludlum has issued a press release and the story is being reported in the D/FW [Dallas/Fort Worth] area.

"Conversation with the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) at Ludlum on November 14, 2008, provided the following information:

"The whole facility is currently posted and controlled as a Contaminated Area. The area is isolated and posted 'Do Not Enter.' There has been some decontamination done by Ludlum, but they are going to wait for the contactor to assess the areas before removing barriers. Energy Solutions is due to arrive at the facility this afternoon (11/14/08). They should start work as soon as they receive reciprocity from the State of Texas. The RSO stated that they were in contact with our [State of Texas] Radioactive Materials Group Manager to expedite the reciprocity. They anticipate allowing some workers to return to work on Monday.

"The RSO stated that they have four individuals of concern currently. Oak Ridge recommended 24-hour in-vitro bioassays samples for those four individuals. No one was sent home contaminated. Two individuals were concerned that they may have taken contamination home. The homes were surveyed and no contamination was detected.

"Ludlum will begin reenactments and dose studies for the workers involved next week.

"The source was a gamma gauging source, AEA technology Model number CDC.800 source. The Cs-137 sources is an inorganic pellet, fired at high temperature to bond the Cs -137 in the ceramic pellet. The serial number has not yet been provided. It is currently believed that 30 to 40 percent of the 90 millicuries contained in the source was removed by the grinding operation.

"The RSO stated that a group was working on some calibrations and noted the background in their area was slowly increasing. At first they thought someone who had received a medical procedure was the cause, but tracked the source of the elevated dose rates to the individuals grinding on the source.

"The RSO stated that they had not conducted any air sampling of the area as they do not have the equipment necessary to do so. They will rely on bioassay results for internal dose assessments."

Notified R4DO (Whitten) and FSME (Flannery).

* * * UPDATE ON 11/14/2008 AT 1603 FROM ART TUCKER TO MARK ABRAMOVITZ * * *

"The Radiation Safety Officer states that the source was cut in half and that no grinder was involved in the process. She also stated that the calculated decayed activity of the source before it was damaged was 80 millicuries. The remaining sections of the source were assayed and the activity remaining is 48 millicuries. It is believed that the majority of the activity released is in the area of the saw. The source is 0.24 inches in diameter and 0.32 inches long and a cumulative wall thickness of 0.05 inches."

Notified the R4DO (Whitten) and FSME (McConnell).

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Power Reactor Event Number: 44660
Facility: ROBINSON
Region: 2 State: SC
Unit: [2] [ ] [ ]
RX Type: [2] W-3-LP
NRC Notified By: CURTIS A. CASTELL
HQ OPS Officer: DONALD NORWOOD
Notification Date: 11/17/2008
Notification Time: 09:21 [ET]
Event Date: 11/17/2008
Event Time: 05:51 [EST]
Last Update Date: 11/17/2008
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
50.72(b)(2)(iv)(B) - RPS ACTUATION - CRITICAL
50.72(b)(3)(iv)(A) - VALID SPECIF SYS ACTUATION
Person (Organization):
BRIAN BONSER (R2)

Unit SCRAM Code RX CRIT Initial PWR Initial RX Mode Current PWR Current RX Mode
2 M/R Y 78 Power Operation 0 Hot Standby

Event Text

MANUAL REACTOR SCRAM DUE TO HIGH TURBINE VIBRATION

"At 0551 hours EST, on November 17, 2008, the H. B. Robinson Steam Electric Plant, Unit No. 2, reactor was manually tripped from approximately 78% power due to high vibrations detected on the main turbine. The reactor trip was initiated in accordance with Abnormal Operating Procedure, AOP-006, "Turbine Eccentricity / Vibration." At approximately 0230 hours EST, it was noticed that turbine vibration on the No. 9 bearing was at approximately 10.9 mils and increasing. At 0516 hours EST, the No. 9 bearing was at about 13.5 mils and still increasing. A power reduction from 100% power was commenced in accordance with Operating Procedure, OP-105, "Maneuvering the Plant when Greater than 25% Power." At approximately 0551 hours EST, with power level at approximately 78%, the No. 9 bearing vibrations reached the trip criterion of 14 mils and the reactor was tripped in accordance with AOP-006.

"Path-1, which is the flow chart based on the Westinghouse Owners Group Emergency Response Guideline E-0 for reactor trip response, and Procedures EPP-4, "Reactor Trip Response," and GP-004, "Post Trip Stabilization," were used after initiation of the reactor trip. The auxiliary feedwater system started automatically, as expected, in response to steam generator level changes after the reactor trip. It was also noted that the "B" Main Feedwater Pump had tripped. The cause of the main feedwater pump trip has not been determined and is under investigation. The primary system and steam generator power operated relief valves and safety valves did not actuate during this event. The main feedwater system, main steam system, and condenser remained available during the event and are currently being used for decay heat removal. The normal post-trip electrical configuration is providing power to the required buses and the offsite electrical system is stable at this time. The emergency diesel generators are operable. The unit is currently stable in MODE 3. An estimated restart date has not yet been established.

"This report is being made in accordance with 10 CFR 50.72(b)(2)(iv)(B) for reactor protection system actuation and 10 CFR 50.72(b)(3)(iv)(A) for automatic actuation of the auxiliary feedwater system."

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector.

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Power Reactor Event Number: 44661
Facility: BEAVER VALLEY
Region: 1 State: PA
Unit: [ ] [2] [ ]
RX Type: [1] W-3-LP,[2] W-3-LP
NRC Notified By: R. G. LOOSE
HQ OPS Officer: DONALD NORWOOD
Notification Date: 11/17/2008
Notification Time: 10:26 [ET]
Event Date: 10/16/2008
Event Time: 09:07 [EST]
Last Update Date: 11/17/2008
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
50.73(a)(1) - INVALID SPECIF SYSTEM ACTUATION
Person (Organization):
MARIE MILLER (R1)

Unit SCRAM Code RX CRIT Initial PWR Initial RX Mode Current PWR Current RX Mode
2 N Y 100 Power Operation 100 Power Operation

Event Text

INVALID ACTUATION OF STEAM DRIVEN AUX FEED PUMP

"On October 16, 2008 during a routine clearance restoration activity, two solenoid-operated steam supply isolation valves on one of the three steam lines to the steam-driven Auxiliary Feedwater Pump (2FWE-P22) unexpectedly opened at Beaver Valley Power Station (BVPS) Unit No.2, admitting steam to and causing this pump to commence rotating. The control room operator monitoring the plant quickly recognized the unwarranted system response and attempted to terminate steam flow to the auxiliary feedwater pump by re-closing the two unexpectedly open steam supply isolation valves from the control room. At the same time, the local operator performing the restoration activity of opening a separate manual upstream steam isolation valve also recognized the unwarranted system response (by hearing too much steam flow through the manual valve) and also terminated steam flow to the pump by re-closing the upstream manual isolation valve. The total time that this pump rotated was less than approximately 30 seconds and the plant computer indicated that no auxiliary feedwater was actually pumped into any of the steam generators. Neither of the other two Auxiliary Feedwater System motor-driven pumps were actuated at BVPS Unit No.2.

"The design for these two solenoid-operated isolation valves are susceptible to briefly popping open if steam is initially introduced too rapidly. These valves fail open with no power and are pilot-operated solenoid-actuated to close. An initial large steam rush can briefly overcome the solenoid force holding the valve shut. This is what occurred on October 16, 2008. Therefore, this brief rotation of the steam-driven Auxiliary Feedwater Pump was not initiated by a valid actuation signal.

"This event is reportable pursuant to 10 CFR 50.73(a)(2)(iv)(A) since it involved a train-level actuation of the PWR auxiliary feedwater system as listed in 10 CFR 50.73(a)(2)(iv)(B)(6). This actuation was not part of a pre-planned sequence and did not occur with system properly removed from service.

"However, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.73(a)(1), this event is being reported via this telephone notification instead of submitting a written Licensee Event Report since the actuation of the Auxiliary Feedwater System train was not generated by a valid actuation."

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector.

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Power Reactor Event Number: 44662
Facility: GRAND GULF
Region: 4 State: MS
Unit: [1] [ ] [ ]
RX Type: [1] GE-6
NRC Notified By: PATRICK BLUDAU
HQ OPS Officer: BILL HUFFMAN
Notification Date: 11/17/2008
Notification Time: 10:48 [ET]
Event Date: 11/17/2008
Event Time: 09:25 [CST]
Last Update Date: 11/17/2008
Emergency Class: UNUSUAL EVENT
10 CFR Section:
50.72(a) (1) (i) - EMERGENCY DECLARED
Person (Organization):
CHUCK CAIN (R4)
BRIAN HOLIAN (NRR)
ERIC LEEDS (NRR)
ELMO COLLINS (R4)
JEFFERY GRANT (IRD)
SIMONE MOORE (DHS)
MIKE BLANKENSHIP (FEMA)

Unit SCRAM Code RX CRIT Initial PWR Initial RX Mode Current PWR Current RX Mode
1 N Y 100 Power Operation 48 Power Operation

Event Text

UNUSUAL EVENT DECLARED DUE TO FIRE IN PROTECTED AREA LASTING GREATER THAN 15 MINUTES

Grand Gulf declared an unusual event at 0925 CST based on a fire in the protected area lasting longer than 15 minutes. The fire was discovered at 0911 CST under the B reactor feedwater pump. The fire involved oil accumulated under the feedwater pump. The fire brigade responded and extinguished the fire at 0935 CST. The B reactor feedwater pump was tripped offline and reactor power was reduced to 48% power due to the reduction in feedwater flow. The reactor is stable and there is no ongoing threat from the fire. There is no apparent damage to plant equipment and the cause of the oil leak is unknown at this time. The licensee plans to exit the UE when the licensee confirms there is no concern from fire reflash.

The license has notified the required State and local authorities. The NRC Resident Inspector has been notified.

* * * UPDATE FROM PAT BLUDAU TO JOHN KNOKE AT 1300 EST ON 11/17/08 * * *

"Fire confirmed at 0911 CST in 'B' Reactor Feed Pump Turbine room. Plant power was reduced by Control Room; then "B" Reactor Feed Pump Turbine was tripped in order for the Fire Brigade to combat the fire. Unusual Event declared due to Fire in Protected Area lasting greater than 15 minutes. (HU4). Fire reported out at 0935. No external assistance is needed. Unusual Event terminated at 1134 CST."

Licensee has notified the NRC Resident Inspector, and state and local agencies. Notified R4 RA (Collins), R4 (Cain), NRR (Leeds), NRR (Thorp), IRD (Grant), FEMA (Barden), DHS (Moore).

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Thursday, March 29, 2012