United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

ACCESSION #: 9609230065

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Commonwealth Edison Company
LaSalle Generating Station
2601 North 21st Road
Marseilles, IL 61341-9757
Tel 815-357-6761

                                                                    ComEd

September 11, 1996

United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Attention: Document Control Desk
Washington, D.C.  20555

Subject:  LaSalle County Station Units 1 and 2
          10CFR Part 21 Notification 9603
          General Electric
          GE Type RMS-9 Overcurrent Trip Device Programmers
          NRC Docket Numbers 50-373 and 50-374

Enclosed in Exhibit B is ComEd's 10CFR Part 21 Notification of the
deficiency of GE Type RMS-9 Overcurrent Trip Device Programmers,
manufactured by General Electric Company and in use at LaSalle Station.
This notification is submitted in accordance with the requirements of
10CFR 21, Section 21.1 (b), 21.3a(3), and 21.3d(4).

If there are any questions or comments concerning this letter, please
refer them to me at (815) 357-6761, extension 3600.

Respectfully,

W.  T.  Subalusky
Site Vice President
LaSalle County Station

Enclosure

cc:  A.  B.  Beach, NRC Region III Administrator
     M.  P.  Huber, NRC Senior Resident Inspector - LaSalle
     D.  M.  Skay, Project Manager - NRR - LaSalle
     F.  Niziolek, Office of Nuclear Facility Safety - IDNS
     DCD - Licensing (Hardcopy: Electronic:)
     Central File

A Unicom Company

Memorandum

                                                                    ComEd

Date:     September 11, 1996

To:       Nuclear Licensing Manager

From:
          Charles J.  Bohan        Date
          SEC Engineer

          Charles H.  Furlow       Date
          SEC E/I&C Supervisor

          Petros Antonopoulos      Date
          SEC Manager

Subject:  Part 21 Notification 9603-GE Type RMS-9 Overcurrent Trip Device
          Programmers

LaSalle Site Support Engineering has evaluated the subject document and
determined that the defect/noncompliance is reportable under the
requirements of 10CFR Part 21.  The attached report has been prepared for
submittal to the NRC, and should be submitted by to the NRC Operations
Center.

Questions regarding this report should be directed to Lawrence Bukantis,
ext.  2576.

Enclosure

cc:  President and Chief Operating Officer
     Senior Vice President, Nuclear Operations
     Vice President BWR Operations
     Vice President PWR Operations
     Vice President Nuclear Engineering and Construction
     General Manager Nuclear Services
     General Manager Quality Programs and Assessments
     Nuclear Station Managers
     Nuclear Engineering Manager
     Safety Assessment Manager
     Manager of Quality Assurance/Nuclear Safety
     Part 21 Coordinator
     ENC Regulatory Assurance Supervisor

I:\opex\miscdocs\gememo.doc

h:\worddata\gememo.doc
A Unicom Company

                       10CFR Part 21 Notification

Possible Failure of GE Type RMS-9 Overcurrent Trip Device Programmers
with Instantaneous Trip Function

Applicability       This notification is submitted in accordance with the
requirements of 10CFR Part 21, Section 21.1 (b), 21.3a(3), and 21.3d(4)

Identification of Facility and Component     LaSalle County Station,
                                             Units One and Two
                                             Commonwealth Edison Chicago,
                                             Illinois

                                             GE Type RMS-9 Overcurrent
                                             Trip Device Programmers

Identification of Component Manufacturer     General Electric

Nature of Defect

On May 28th, 1996, LaSalle County Station reported to General Electric
Nuclear Energy (GE-NE) that a number of GE Type RMS-9 Overcurrent Trip
Device Programmers were failing to operate as expected The Instantaneous
Trip Function was tripping the circuit breakers at values less than the
RMS-9 Programmer switch settings would have implied.  LaSalle County
Station sent three of these RMS-9 Programmers to GE-NE for testing,
evaluation and failure analysis.

General Electric's SC96-04, 10CFR Part 21 Notification Letter of August
12, 1996, states that the cause of the problem with the instantaneous
pickup switch to be a polyester epoxy film on the internal switch
contacts.  This film acts as an insulator and consequently, when the
switch position is changed, the contacts are prevented from making full
contact and the RMS-9 Programmer fails to a lower Instantaneous Pickup
setting.  This film is apparently the result of insufficient curing of
the conformal coating (polyester epoxy) applied to the RMS-9 Programmer
circuit board during final assembly.

Safely Significance

An RMS-9 Programmer with the Instantaneous Pickup Function failed to it's
lowest value or at some value lower than anticipated could result in the
inability to start a safety significant motor due to the starting current
of the motor being above the Instantaneous Pickup setpoint of the RMS-9
Programmer.  This could potentially affect the operation of safety
related loads required for safe shutdown and mitigating accidents.

Time of Discovery

August 19th, 1996 (Receipt of GE-NE SC96-04)

Corrective Actions

Use of the GE TVRMS2 digital tester, to assess as found settings of RMS-9
units currently installed and confirm the as left RMS-9 settings.  The GE
TVRMS2 digital tester provides confirmation of the proper settings of the
RMS-9 Programmer.

Number and Location of All Defective Components

A summary of the safety related breakers equipped with RMS-9 programming
units and their service is provided in the table below.

     Cubicle        Service

     236X-303C      RHR SW Pump 2C
     236X-302A      AEER Air Cooled Condenser Fan 0B

     236X-302B      AEER Supply Fan 0B
     236X-302C      2A DGCW Pump
     236X-302D      AEER Supply System Refrig Compressor 0B
     236X-301B      MCC 236X-3 Feed Breaker
     236X-301C      MCC 236X-2 Feed Breaker
     236X-301D      MCC 236X-1 Feed Breaker
     236Y-403B      Main Feed to 236Y
     236Y-403C      RHR SW Pump 2D
     236Y-401A      Control Room HVAC Air Cooled Condenser Fan 0B
     236Y-402C      Fuel Pool Emergency Makeup Pump 2B
     236Y-402D      Control Room HVAC Refrig Unit 2B
     236Y-401B      MCC 236Y-3 Feed Breaker
     236Y-401C      MCC 236Y-1 Feed Breaker
     236Y-401D      MCC 236Y-2 Feed Breaker
     136X-302B      Main Feed to 136X
     136X-302C      RHR SW Pump 1C
     136X-303A      1A DGCW Pump
     136X-303B      AEER Supply System Compressor 0A
     136X-303C      AEER Air Cooled Condenser Fan 0A
     136X-303D      AEER Supply Fan 0A
     136X-304B      MCC 136X-1 Feed Breaker
     136X-304C      MCC 136X-2 Feed Breaker
     136X-304D      MCC 136X-3 Feed Breaker
     136Y-402B      Main Feed to 136Y
     136Y-402C      RHR SW Pump 1D
     136Y-403A      Control Room Air Cooled Condenser Fan 0A
     136Y-403B      Control Room Refrig. Unit 0A
     136Y-403C      Primary Containment Vent Supply Fan 1B
     136Y-403D      Fuel Pool Emergency Makeup Pump 1B
     136Y-404A      Hydrogen Recombiner Power Cabinet
     136Y-404B      MCC 136Y-1 Feed Breaker
     136Y-404C      MCC 136Y-2 Feed Breaker
     136Y-404D      MCC 136Y-3 Feed Breaker
     135X-102B      Main Feed to 135X
     135X-102C      RHR SW Pump 1A
     135X-103A      0 DGCW Pump
     135X-103B      MCC 135X-1 Feed Breaker
     135X-103C      MCC 135X-2 Feed Breaker
     135X-103D      MCC 135X-3 Feed Breaker
     135Y-202B      Main Feed to 135Y
     135Y-202C      RHR SW Pump 1B
     135Y-203A      Primary Containment Vent Supply Fan 1A
     135Y-203B      Fuel Pool Emergency Makeup Pump IA
     135Y-203C      Cleanup Recirc Pump 1C
     135Y-203D      MCC 135Y-1 Feed Breaker
     135Y-204B      MCC 135Y-2 Feed Breaker
     235X-103B      Main Feed to 235X
     235X-103C      RHR SW Pump 2A
     235X-102A      0 DGCW Pump
     235X-102B      MCC 235X-1 Feed Breaker
     235X-102C      MCC 235X-2 Feed Breaker
     235X-102D      MCC 235X-3 Feed Breaker
     235Y-203B      Main Feed to 235-Y

     235Y-203C      RHR SW Pump 2B
     235Y-202A      Cleanup Recirc Pump 2C
     235Y-202C      Primary Containment Vent Supply Fan 2A
     235Y-201A      Fuel Pool Emergency Makeup Pump 2A
     235Y-201B      MCC 235Y-1 Feed Breaker
     235Y-201C      MCC 235Y-2 Feed Breaker
     235Y-201D      MCC 235Y-3 Feed Breaker

Contacts

Larry Bukantis
Auxilary Power System Engineer
LaSalle County Station
Commonwealth Edison
2601 North 21st Road
Marseilles, Illinois 61341
(815) 357-6761

                               AUG 19 1996                 10 CFR PART 21
                                                           NOTIFICATION
GE Nuclear Energy

     SC96-04                                              August 12, 1996

     TO:  Baltimore Gas & Electric Co.  Northeast Utilities
          Boston Edison Co.             Omaha Public Power District
          ComEd                         Rochester Gas & Electric Corp.
          Duquesne Light Co.            Southern Nuclear Operating Co.
          Entergy Operations, Inc.      Tennessee Valley Authority
          GPU Nuclear Corp.             Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power
          Maine Yankee Atomic Power Co.      Corp.

SUBJECT:  Possible Failure of GE Type RMS-9 Overcurrent Trip Device
          Programmers with Instantaneous Trip Function

[ ] Reportable Condition [21.21 (c)] 60

[X] Transfer of Information [21.21 (b)]

[ ] Day Interim Report [21.21 (a) (2)

[ ] Safety Information Communication

SUMMARY:

This Notification provides the results of an evaluation by GE Nuclear
Energy (GE-NE) of failures reported in the Instantaneous Trip Function of
GE Type RMS-9 Overcurrent Trip Device Programmers.  These devices were
manufactured by GE Electrical Distribution and Control, and supplied by
GE-NE as Safety Related components for balance-of-plant or unspecified
applications.  Since the applications and associated safety functions of
RMS-9 Programmers supplied by GE-NE are not known, it is not possible for
GE-NE to evaluate the safety significance of a possible failure to
determine if a defect exists in the context of 10CFR Part 21.  We are
therefore transferring the information to the affected utilities for
evaluation.

Issued by:
          M.  A.  Smith, Manager
          Safety Evaluations Project
          GE Nuclear Energy, M/C 187
          175 Curtner Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125

Notice.  This 10 CFR Part 21 Notification pertains only to the plants or
facilities specifically indicated as being affected.  GE Nuclear Energy
(GE-NE) has not considered or evaluated the applicability, if any, of
this information to any plants or facilities other than those
specifically indicated as being affected and for which GE-NE supplied the
equipment or services addressed in the Notification.  Determination of
applicability of this information to a particular plant or facility, and
the decision of whether or not to take action based on the Notification,
are the responsibilities of the Owner of that plant or facility.

SC96-04

Background

A domestic BWR licensee has reported to GE Nuclear Energy (GE-NE) that a
number of GE Type RMS-9 Overcurrent Trip Device Programmers were failing
to operate as expected.  The Instantaneous Trip Function was tripping the
circuit breaker at values less than the RMS-9 Programmer switch setting
would have implied.

The licensee sent three (3) of these RMS-9 Programmers to GE-NE for
testing, evaluation, and failure analysis.  Subsequent testing confirmed
that the Instantaneous Pickup Switches sometimes failed to their lowest
value (1.5X).  At other times, changing the switch setting had no
apparent effect on the RMS-9 Programmer setting.  Only the Instantaneous
Pickup Switch appears to be affected.  GE-NE has not identified any
problem with the other switches on the RMS-9 Programmers.

GE-NE has determined the cause of the problem with the Instantaneous
Pickup Switch to be a polyester epoxy film on the internal switch
contacts.  This film acts as an insulator and consequently, when the
switch position is changed, the contacts are prevented from making full
contact and the RMS-9 Programmer fails to it's lowest Instantaneous
Pickup setting (1.5X).  This film is apparently the result of
insufficient curing of the conformal coating (polyester epoxy) applied to
the RMS-9 Programmer during final assembly.  Testing has shown that some
of the conformal coating ran under the switch when it was applied and was
not cured because it was shadowed by the switch during the ultraviolet
curing process.  Over a period of time the external contacts of the
switch acted as wicks and drew some of the uncured conformal coating into
the switch where it then formed the film on the internal switch contacts.
Since the thickness of the film on the internal contacts varies, the
effect is to cause the switch to fail to it's lowest setting.  At this
setting the film is thick enough to act as an open circuit and to cause
the switch to operate erratically.

While this same action may have occurred at other switches in the RMS-9
Programmer, the higher current through the other switches allowed the
film to "burn off".  This is why only the Instantaneous Pickup Switch is
being affected.

Based on the testing performed by GE-NE the film does not appear to form
between the movable contacts and the stationary contacts in the switch.
This means that if the switch is operating properly and is not moved from
the position verified to have proper operation, the switch will continue
to operate properly.

The affected RMS-9 Overcurrent Trip Device Programmers were manufactured
by GE Electrical Distribution and Control, and supplied by GE-NE as
Safety Related components for balance-of-plant or unspecified
applications.  They were variously provided as spare parts or as
components of either refurbished circuit breakers or new AK7/AKR7 circuit
breakers.

                                 Page 2

SC96-04

Safety Basis

An RMS-9 Programmer with the Instantaneous Pickup Function failed to it's
lowest value or at some value lower than anticipated could result in the
inability to start a motor due to the starting current of the motor being
above the Instantaneous Pickup setpoint of the RMS-9 Programmer.
Likewise, if the Instantaneous Pickup setpoint is at some value higher
than expected, it is possible that a circuit fault could result in the
circuit breaker not tripping in accordance with the selective tripping
scheme of the power system.  This could result in losing significant
portions of the power system due to the circuit breaker failing to trip
when expected and thus forcing upstream circuit breakers to isolate a
fault.

Corrective Actions and Preventative Measures

GE-NE recommends that as the final step in any procedure requiring the
repositioning of the Instantaneous Pickup Switch, the proper operation of
the Instantaneous Trip Function be verified by testing.  This testing may
be performed by Primary Current Injection or by using the GE TVRMS Test
Set to verify the "electronic" position of the Instantaneous Pickup
Switch.  This recommendation is based on the evidence that a properly
operating switch will continue to operate properly unless and until the
switch position is changed such that the film (if present) comes into
play.

                                 Page 3

SC96-04

                              ATTACHMENT 1

                             AFFECTED PLANTS

     UTILITY                            PLANT                    AFFECTED

Baltimore Gas & Electric Co.       Calvert Cliffs 1                   x
Baltimore Gas & Electric Co.       Calvert Cliffs 2                   x
Boston Edison Co.                  Pilgrim                            x
Carolina Power & Light Co.         Brunswick 1
Carolina Power & Light Co.         Brunswick 2
Centerior Energy                   Perry 1
ComEd                              CRIT Facility                      x
ComEd                              Dresden 2                          x
ComEd                              Dresden 3                          x
ComEd                              LaSalle 1                          x
ComEd                              LaSalle 2                          x
ComEd                              Quad Cities 1                      x
ComEd                              Quad Cities 2                      x
Consumers Power Co.                Big Rock Point
DTE Energy                         Fermi 2
Duquesne Light Co.                 Beaver Valley 1                    x
Duquesne Light Co.                 Beaver Valley 2                    x
Entergy Operations, Inc.           Grand Gulf
Entergy Operations, Inc.           River Bend                         x
Entergy Operations, Inc.           Waterford 3                        x
GPU Nuclear Corp.                  Oyster Creek                       x
IES, Utilities, Inc.               Duane Arnold
Illinois Power Co.                 Clinton
Long Island Lighting Co.           Shoreham
Maine Yankee Atomic Power Co.      Maine Yankee                       x
Nebraska Public Power District     Cooper
New York Power Authority           FitzPatrick
Niagara Mohawk Power Corp.         Nine Mile Point 1
Niagara Mohawk Power Corp.         Nine Mile Point 2
Northeast Utilities                Millstone 1                        x
Northern States Power Co.          Monticello
Omaha Public Power District        Fort Calhoun                       x
PECO Energy Go.                    Limerick 1
PECO Energy Co.                    Limerick 2
PECO Energy Co.                    Peach Bottom 2
PECO Energy Co.                    Peach Bottom 3
Pennsylvania Power & Light Co.     Susquehanna 1
Pennsylvania Power & light Co.     Susquehanna 2
PIMS                               PIMS
Public Service Electric & Gas Co.  Hope Creek

                                 Page 4

SC96-04

     UTILITY                            PLANT                    AFFECTED

Rochester Gas & Electric Corp.     R.  E.  Ginna                      x
Southern Nuclear Operating Co.     Hatch 1                            x
Southern Nuclear Operating Co.     Hatch 2                            x
Southern Nuclear Operating Co.     Vogtle 1                           x
Southern Nuclear Operating Co.     Vogtle 2                           x
Tennessee Valley Authority         Browns Ferry 1                     x
Tennessee Valley Authority         Browns Ferry 2                     x
Tennessee Valley Authority         Browns Ferry 3                     x
Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp. Vermont Yankee                     x
Washington Public Power Supply
System                             WNP-2                              x

                                 Page 5

SC96-04

                              ATTACHMENT 2

               10 CFR PART 21 NOTIFICATIONS FOR 1995/1996

The following is a list of 10CFR Part 21 notifications that GENE has
provided to BWR owners in 1995 and 1996 as Reportable Conditions (RC),
Transfers of Information (TI), Safety Information Communications (SC) or
60 Day Interim Reports (60 Day).

Table omitted.

                                 Page 6

*** END OF DOCUMENT ***

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