United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

ACCESSION #: 9701130161           

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Master Builders, Inc.                        Master Builders Technologies

23700 Chagrin Boulevard 

Cleveland, Ohio 44122-5554

Phone 216/831-5500

January 8, 1997

Document Control Desk

U.S.  Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Washington DC 20555

RE:  Notification Of Potential Nonconformance for Masterflow 713 (CMTR)


To Whom It May Concern:

     This is to advise you of a reported nonconformance related to

Masterflow 713 (CMTR) Grout, which Master Builders, Inc. has supplied as

a nuclear safety-related product to 18 nuclear power plants.

     Please find attached, a letter of notification that was mailed to

the affected nuclear utilities.  It summarizes the nature of the reported

nonconformance.  Also attached is the distribution list for the

notification letter.  We are currently awaiting response from the various


     At this point, we have not determined whether or not this situation

has created a substantial safety hazard at any of the affected nuclear

utilities.  As stated in the notification letter, the scope and impact of

the nonconformance is highly dependent upon use, age of the material at

the time of placement, and behavior of the material during placement

Nevertheless, we feel that it is prudent to keep your office informed of

all developments and activities pertaining to this situation.

     Finally, future correspondence regarding this matter will be handled

by John Dorado, Quality Control Manager or Tom Will, Assistant Product

Manager, who are coordinating all activities related to this matter, with

the exception of an incident involving a substantial safety hazard.  Upon

completion of our evaluation, and if necessary, all correspondence

related to the reporting of a substantial safety hazard caused by this

nonconformance will be submitted by me.

     If you have any questions, or need additional information, please

contact John or Tom at 216831-5500.  If needed, you may contact me at the

same telephone number, as well.

Respectfully Yours,

William K. Secre

Vice President, Research & Development

Master Builders, Inc.

cc:  L. M. Shydlowski, J. P. Boyer, P. Vinocur, J. Truax, C. Soeder, 

     B. Smith, T. Will, T. Coverdale, B. Caine, R. Wells, J. Dorado


Master Builders, Inc.                        Master Builders Technologies

23700 Chagrin Boulevard

Cleveland, Ohio 44122-5554

Phone 216/831-5500

Date                                                          Page 1 of 3




RE:  Notification of Potential Nonconformance for Masterflow 713 (CMTR)


Dear Customer,

     Master Builders recently received notice (written notice on

11/14/96) from the Entergy Operations' Grand Gulf Nuclear Station (Port

Gibson, MS) regarding potentially defective Masterflow 713 (CMTR) Grout.

     Based on our records, and in accordance with the requirements and

standard operating procedures of the Master Builders Quality Assurance

Program, we are notifying any nuclear facilities that have ordered

Masterflow 713 (CMTR) Grout from Master Builders in 1996 of the foregoing

situation.  Priority has been given to those facilities that have been

shipped the specific lots in question (see below).

     Please be advised that we are currently in the evaluation stage of

the process to determine the scope and cause of the problem.

Nature of the Observed Nonconformance

     As reported by Grand Gulf Nuclear, the following nonconformances

were observed during their testing:

     o    foaming/frothing

     o    segregation

     o    shrinkage

     o    slow setting

     o    low compressive strength

     Material was returned to the Master Builders Streetsboro, Ohio QC

Lab for testing.  Our preliminary testing confirmed the nonconformances

noted by Grand Gulf Nuclear with the exception of the low strengths (1

day compressive strengths of approximately 2,900 psi were obtained from

our testing).

Lot Numbers in Question

     The following are the lot numbers in question:

     o    24-3849-W5

     o    24-4187-N6

     o    24-4582-S6

                                                              Page 2 of 3

Other Masterflow 713 (CMTR) Lots from 1996

     Although our testing has focused on the above referenced lots, other

lots of Masterflow 713 (CMTR) produced in 1996 include:

     o    24-4427-R6

     o    24-4884-W6

     No material from Lot No, 24-4427-R6 was available for retesting.

     Lot No.  24-4884-W6 was tested by the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station and

performed in an acceptable manner (i.e.  no frothing/foaming or

segregation).  Retesting of material from this lot on material by the

Master Builder Streetsboro, Ohio QC Lab confirmed acceptable performance.

Suspected Cause

     At this point, we are in the preliminary stages of our assessment to

determine the root cause of the problem.  We suspect that there may be

some type of shelf-life instability associated with one or more of the

raw materials.  However, we can only speculate as to the cause until

additional information becomes available.

     Testing to date, has demonstrated that any Masterflow 713 (CMTR)

Grout that was used within 3 months of the manufacture date is not

affected by the suspected shelf-life instability problem.  As mentioned,

testing performed on a recent lot of Masterflow 713 (CMTR) Grout (Lot No. 

24-4884-W6) by Grand Gulf Nuclear and subsequently retested by Master

Builder shows it to perform as expected (i.e.  no signs of foam/froth or


     In addition, the irregular behavior only occurs in the unhardened

state, immediately after mixing.  Therefore, material that does not

exhibit this behavior (i.e.  foaming/frothing, segregation) will perform

as expected in the hardened state (i.e.  conformance to the requirements

of ASTM C1107).

     Several efforts are underway to isolate the source of the problem in

order to rectify the situation.

Request for Information

     An important part of our evaluation to gain insight as to the scope

and possible cause of the problem, is information from the nuclear

utilities that have been shipped Masterflow 713 (CMTR) Grout in 1996. 

Consequently, we respectfully request that you provide us the following

information regarding Masterflow 713 (CMTR) shipped to your facility(s)

in 1996.

     o    The amount of material that has been installed by lot number.

     o    How was the material used (type of application/installation).

     o    When was the material installed.

     o    Specific lot number(s) of the material used.

     o    Lab or field test reports pertaining to the material installed

          (i.e.  performance data, observations about the material

          behavior, etc.)

     o    Any additional documentation that may be helpful.

                                                              Page 3 of 3

     For any material that has not been placed into service, we recommend

that you do not use such material (put on QA "Hold").  Please contact Tom

Will at ext.  2018 to work out the details on its disposition and

replacement.  In addition, we recommend that you evaluate any of the

subject lots of Masterflow 713 (CMTR) Grout that you have placed into

service to ensure that it met the requirements of your specific


     As mentioned earlier, based on our testing to date, it has been

demonstrated that any material that was used within 3 months of its date

of manufacture is unaffected by the suspected shelf-life instability

problem.  The best indication of the material's acceptable performance is

whether or not the material exhibited any foaming/frothing after mixing. 

This behavior would be noticeable immediately after mixing.  If the

material did not exhibit this behavior, then the material was not


     Finally, in order for us to proceed with our evaluation in an

expeditious manner, we request that you provide us with the above

mentioned information by 1/17/97.  As mentioned, the information is an

important part of our evaluation to determine the scope and cause of the

problem, and to rectify the problem as soon as possible.

     If you have any questions, or need additional information, please

contact me at your earliest convenience at 216-831-5500, extension 2240,

or Tom Will at extension 2018.


John Dorado

Quality Control Manager

Master Builders, Inc.

cc:  L. M. Shydlowski, J. P. Boyer, W. Secre, P. Vinocur, J. Truax, C.

     Soeder, B. Smith, T. Will

     T. Coverdale, R. Wells, L. Huang, B. Caine, G. Culton, Streetsboro



Attachment "Masterflow 713 (CMTR) - Notification Distribution List" 4

pages, omitted.


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