United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

ACCESSION #: 9509130222


                                                     Amersham Corporation

                                                     40 North Avenue

                                                     Burlington, MA 01803

                                                     tel (617) 272-2000

8 September 1995                                     tel (800) 225-1383

                                                     fax (617) 273-2216

Document Control Desk

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission                   Amersham

Washington, DC 20555                                 QSA

Dear Sir or Madam:

Amersham is reporting a potential Part 21 defect in accordance with 10CFR

21.21.  This interim report concerns a model 899 drive cable connector

that pulled off the drive cable.

The potential defect is related to the model 899 drive cable connector

pulling off the drive cable during radiographic operations at a Dayton

X-Ray facility.  The drive cable was used with a Gamma Century exposure

device and a model 899 style source assembly.  The device had been in use

and upon retracting the source into the device on the last exposure the

drive cable connector became detached from the drive cable.  No source

retrieval was performed since the disconnect occurred after returning the

source to the fully shielded position.  The customer states that there

were no unusual occurrences with this equipment.

The drive cable (but not the male connector) was returned to Amersham for

evaluation.  A preliminary review of the equipment was made on 19 Dec

1994 on the cable without the rest of the equipment involved.  Attempts

were made to try and obtain the rest of the involved equipment for full

evaluation.  These attempts were unsuccessful and it was determined on 10

July 95 to try and perform the Part 21 evaluation based on the drive

cable component alone.  Since that time, preliminary investigation into

this issue has included:

1.   An examination of the drive cable which showed no obvious signs of

     damage, however, since the male connector was not available for

     review failure due to connector damage cannot be completely ruled

     out.  The drive cable sleeve attached to the end of the drive cable

     showed evidence that the connector had been swaged onto the drive


2.   The drive cable did not shoot any signs of excessive age and had

     been fabricated at the Amersham facility in Burlington, MA.  The

     exact age of the drive cable could not be determined based on our

     review, however, it was manufactured under our QA program and

     successfully passed a 125 pound pull test upon completion of the


3.   We did not receive the male connector, exposure device, source

     assembly, control housings or guide tubes used in conjunction with

     this event, so no determinations as to their impact and\or effect

     relating to this failure could be made.

4.   Some additional testing has been done regarding hypothetical

     fabrication scenarios, but no conclusive results have surfaced as to

     the cause of this drive cable connector failure.

We are reviewing all similar drive cable occurrences to determine if any

related information is applicable to the potential causes for this

occurrence.  Also we are performing some additional testing of connector

swages using worst case tolerances and undergoing potential field related

use with Century type equipment to determine what if any impact these

results might have related to this occurrence.  Until this testing is

complete we cannot make a full Part 21 determination.

We expect to have those results by the end of November 95, I will update

you on the evaluation's completion shortly thereafter.  Please contact me

if you require any additional information.


Cathleen Roughan

Regulatory Affairs Manager

cc:  Mr.  Francis Costello

     U.S.  Nuclear Regulatory Commission

     Region I

     475 Allendale Road

     King of Prussia, PA 19406

     Mr.  Steve Baggett

     Sealed Source Safety Section

     Source Containment and Devices Branch

     Division of Industrial and Medical Safety, NMSS

     U.S.  Nuclear Regulatory Commission

     1 White Flint North

     11555 Rockville Pike

     Rockville, Maryland 20852


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