United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

95054
PRIORITY ATTENTION REQUIRED  MORNING REPORT - REGION I  FEBRUARY 16,
1995

Licensee/Facility:                     Notification:

New York Power Authority               MR Number: 1-95-0024
Fitz Patrick 1                         Date: 02/16/95
Lycoming,New York                      SRI PC                             
Dockets: 50-333
BWR/GE-4                              

Subject: DEBRIS FOUND IN IRRADIATED FUEL BUNDLES                         
                                                                         
Reportable Event Number: N/A

Discussion:

During irradiated fuel inspections on 2/14 by the GE staff, both of the  
GE08 fuel assemblies inspected were found to have debris within the      
assembly fuel matrix. Most of the debris was found in the vicinity of the
bottom support plate. These two GE08 assemblies (not scheduled to be     
reloaded into the core) were identified earlier in December 1994 (during 
core off-load) via fuel sipping as two of the three fuel assemblies which
demonstrated cladding degradation during the last operating cycle. One   
assembly's cladding degradation was attributed to debris inducted        
fretting. The other assembly did not show any indication of cladding     
wear, but did show signs of pellet clad interaction (PCI) failure. During
removal of the top guide assembly, the welded end-cap fell off one of the
fuel pins.  As a result of these discoveries, NYPA expanded their        
inspection of irradiated fuel assemblies to include 20 of the 144 GE10   
assemblies scheduled for core reload.                                    
                                                                         
Results this morning (2/15) showed that 3 of the 11 GE10 assemblies      
inspected had debris within the fuel assemblies. The GE technicians have 
characterized this debris as "soft", in that, it broke apart when removed
from the assemblies. The remaining 9 GE10 assemblies will be inspected   
today. All 56 irradiated GE08 assemblies scheduled for core reload will  
be inspected in parallel with core spiral reload efforts.                
                                                                         
NYPA is awaiting GE's evaluation of the debris found during these fuel   
assembly inspections and the potential consequences. No additional       
inspections are currently scheduled prior to core reload. The resident   
inspectors are monitoring the fuel inspection activities.                
                                                                         
                                                                         

Regional Action:

Resident followup                                                        

Contact:  William Cook               (315)342-4907.PRIORITY ATTENTION REQUIRED  MORNING REPORT - REGION I  FEBRUARY 17,
1995

Licensee/Facility:                     Notification:

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp.     MR Number: 1-95-0027
Vermont Yankee 1                       Date: 02/17/95
Vernon,Vermont                         RI PC                              
Dockets: 50-271
BWR/GE-4                              

Subject: FOREIGN MATERIAL FOUND IN GE FUEL ASSEMBLY                      
                                                                         
Reportable Event Number: N/A

Discussion:

On February 16, 1995, Vermont Yankee found a small, spiral wound, metal  
flake within an unirradiated fuel assembly (YJA047) received from General
Electric (GE). The metal flake, charaterized more accurately as a machine
turning, was located within the lattice structure of the lower tie plate 
(LTP) and was physically wedged between a LTP tie rod boss and an        
adjacent fuel pin boss. The flake was shiny, approximately 1/4" x 3/16" x
6-7 mils thick and was similar to the description of the metal flakes    
identified at the GE fuel fabrication facility by another licencee's     
quality assurance group. Vermont Yankee was performing supplemental new  
fuel inspections in response to this potential generic foreign material  
concern.                                                                 
                                                                         
At VY, the metal flake was identified visually when the fuel channel was 
lifted approximately 10 inches from the LTP and VY's inspector looked    
into the LTP from an angle. This visual inspection is the first of four  
steps in VY's inspection process which also includes GE's water spray    
device, GE's mechanical finger tool, and a fiber optic camera inspection 
performed by an independent contractor. Although the flake was retrieved,
aggressive mechanical agitation (using the GE LTP finger tools) was      
necessary to dislodge the flake suggesting that the use of the GE finger 
inspection tools alone would not have found the foreign material.        
                                                                         
According to a VY representative, GE has stated that they had one case   
where they had missed identifying a metal flake in a LTP using only their
inspection tools. Further, based on documentation received at VY, GE has 
not reported this one occurrence and has not recommended an inspection   
methodology requiring visual and mechanical inspections. As of 2/16, VY  
has inspected 56 of 120 assemblies. Preliminary information indicates    
that of 600 bundles already inspected nation-wide, 1.5% have had metal   
flakes present. GE has determined that this debris in the LTOP           
does not represent a safety concern.                                     
                                                                         
Currently, VY plans to radiologically characterized and chemically       
evaluate the metal flake. Within the LTP of two other fuel assemblies    
(YJA014 and YJA031), VY also identified small pieces of what appeared to 
be paint flakes (white-gray in color). This material is also being       
evaluated. Supplemental fuel inspections of the remaining fuel assemblies
received from GE continues.                                              

REGION I  MORNING REPORT     PAGE  2                    FEBRUARY 17, 1995
MR Number: 1-95-0027 (cont.)


Regional Action:

The resident inspector will continue to monitor the status of VY's       
inspections.                                                             

Contact:  Paul Harris                (802)257-4319
          Richard Conte              (610)337-5183.PRIORITY ATTENTION REQUIRED  MORNING REPORT - REGION I  FEBRUARY 24,
1995

Licensee/Facility:                     Notification:

New York Power Authority               MR Number: 1-95-0030
Fitz Patrick 1                         Date: 02/24/95
Lycoming,New York                      SRI PC
Dockets: 50-333
BWR/GE-4

Subject: (MR 1-95-0024 UPDATE) DEBRIS FOUND IN IRRADIATED FUEL BUNDLES
                                                                         
Reportable Event Number: N/A

Discussion:

The previous morning report discussed the identification by the licensee
of debris in several fuel bundles during the inspection of irradiated and
suspected leaking fuel bundles.  The discovery prompted the licensee to
expand their original inspection scope to include additional bundles. The
expanded inspection included all GE8 and GE10 fuel bundles which are
planned for reload. The inspections have been completed and the results
are as follows:
                                                                         
TYPE          NO. INSP       NO. WITH DEBRIS         NO. CYCLES
GE8              59                 10                3 Cycles
GE10            144                 22                2 Cycles
GE11LTA           4                  0                2 Cycles
GE11             20                  0                1 Cycle
                                                                         
The debris was removed from the bundles during the inspection process and
they were visually inspected using under water cameras.  All but the 3
leaking fuel bundles, which were GE8's, will be returned to the core.
                                                                         
The preliminary inspections of the three leakers has revealed that one
failure was suspected of being debris induced, a second had debris in the
bundle but failure cause remains unknown at this time.  The third bundle
had no debris but had two splits in one fuel pin of approximately 14" and
4" long.  Root cause analysis for this failure is still in progress.
                                                                         
NYPA is awaiting GE's evaluation of the debris found during these fuel
bundle inspections, including the possible source of the debris and the
potential consequences of having operated with the debris in the fuel
bundles. Additional inspections of the leaking fuel bundles are planned.
The resident inspectors are monitoring the fuel inspection activities.
                                                                         

Regional Action:

Resident followup.

Contact:  Ricardo Fernandes          (315)342-4907
          Curtis Cowgill             (610)337-5233


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