United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Morning Report for September 15, 2003

Headquarters Daily Report

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REGION III

Completion of Search for Uranium Fuel Pellets in Scrap Zirconium tubes Shipped to Recycling Facility in Canada

Licensee/Facility:

WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY, LLC
WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY,
HEMATITE, Missouri
Dockets: 07000036

License No: SNM-33
Notification:

MR Number: 3-2003-0013
Date: 09/12/2003

Corporate Communication

Discussion:

On September 12, 2003, Westinghouse informed the NRC that they had completed a search for uranium fuel pellets at the Mississauga Metals and Alloys (MM&A) facility in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. The fuel pellets were inadvertently included in two shipments of scrap zirconium tubes that had been sent to MM&A for recycling on June 18 and 25, 2003. The licensee, working with MM&A, completed inspecting 123 shipping boxes containing approximately 30,000 scrap zirconium tubes, and found a total of 168 pellets containing less than 5 percent enriched uranium-235 (U-235). The pellets were first discovered in the shipments on July 24, 2003, and reported to the NRC on July 28, 2003.

The fuel pellets discovered at the MM&A facility are being packaged for shipment to the Westinghouse Columbia facility in Columbia, South Carolina. The situation poses no threat to public health and safety.

Regional Action:

In response to the July 24th event, Region III conducted a special inspection at the Hematite Fuel Manufacturing facility (where the scrap zirconium tube shipment originated) on July 31 and August 1, 2003. During the inspection, the NRC identified a number of issues that were impacting the licensee's ability to effectively execute a decommissioning program. As a result, the NRC issued a Confirmatory Action Letter (CAL) to Westinghouse on September 4, 2003, that included notifying the NRC if any additional fuel pellets (or significant fractions thereof) were found at the MM&A facility by MM&A while completing the processing of the remaining boxes of zirconium tubes. This notification was in accordance with the September 4, 2003 CAL.

Accession Numbers:

Accession No Accession Date
ML032580286 09/12/2003

Contacts:

Name Office Abbrev Phone No E-Mail
W. SNELL   (630) 829-9871  
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