United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment


ACCESSION #: 9710090068



Master Builders, Inc.



23700 Chagrin Boulevard

Cleveland, Ohio 44122-5554

Phone 216/831-5500



September 29, 1997



Document Control Desk

U.S.  Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Washington DC 20555



Attn. Mr. Joel Monday



RE:  Final Disposition of Masterflow 713 (CMTR) and Embeco 636 (CMTR)

     Grout Nonconformance



Dear Mr.  Monday:



     This is to provide you with a summary of the final disposition of

Masterflow 713 (CMTR) and Embeco 636 (CMTR) Grout nonconformance reported

by Master Builders, Inc. earlier this year.



     Please find attached, a letter of notification that will be mailed

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

reported nonconformance, suspected cause, additional testing/points of

relevance, and actions to prevent recurrence.



     As mentioned in the letter, the suspected cause of the

nonconformance is an incompatibility between key formulation components

and the locally available portland cement (Streetsboro, OH) used in the

above mentioned products.  Further, we have determined that the specific

nonconforming behavior is observed only after the Streetsboro, OH

formulated products "ages" (shelf-life) for more than 3 months.  These

problems DO NOT exist with the products produced at our Rancho Cucamonga,

CA plant from portland cement which is locally available in Southern

California.



     Additionally, the matter was discussed extensively with

representatives from Entergy Operations during a NUPIC audit in March of

this year.  Unfortunately, these discussions produced no additional

insights as to the exact cause of the nonconformance.



     In any event, we are issuing the attached letter in an effort to

bring this issue to closure, It will be mailed to all utilities

originally notified earlier this year.



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

contact John Dorado or myself at 216-831-5500.



Respectfully Yours,



William K.  Secre

Vice President, Research & Development

Master Builders, Inc.



cc:  L. M. Shydlowski, J. P. Boyer, P. Vinocur, B. Violatta, L. Yappel

     B. Smith, T. Coverdale, B. Caine, C. Yerico, R. Wells, J. Dorado



nrc97final/jd



Date                                                          Page 1 of 2



Customer



                                 Sample



Attn.



RE:  Final Disposition of Masterflow 713 (CMTR) and Embeco 636 (CMTR)

     Grout Nonconformance



Dear Customer,



     This is to provide you with a summary of the final disposition of

Masterflow 713 (CMTR) and Embeco 636 (CMTR) Grout nonconformance reported

by Master Builders, Inc. earlier this year.



Nature of the Observed Nonconformance



     As reported by Grand Gulf Nuclear, in November 1996, the following

nonconformances were observed during their testing of Masterflow 713

(CMTR) Grout:



     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).



     In addition, we have tested several bags of material, produced at

different points of the year, and have observed the same foaming/frothing

and segregation.  Similar behavior was also observed for Streetsboro

produced Embeco 636 (CMTR) Grout, which is based on the same primary

formulation as Masterflow 713 (CMTR) Grout.



Suspected Cause



     The suspected cause of the nonconformance is an incompatibility

between key formulation components and the locally available portland

cement (Streetsboro, OH) used in the above mentioned products.  Further,

we have determined that the specific nonconforming behavior is observed

only after the Streetsboro, OH formulated products "ages" (shelf-life)

for more than 3 months.  These problems DO NOT exist with the products

produced at our Rancho Cucamonga, CA plant from portland cement which is

locally available in Southern California.



Additional Testing/Points of Relevance



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

Grout or Embeco 636 (CMTR) Grout that was used within 3 months of the

manufacture date is not affected by the suspected shelf-life instability

problem.  Initially, testing was performed by Grand Gulf Nuclear and

subsequently retested by Master Builders on a lot of Masterflow 713

(CMTR) Grout (Lot No. 24-4844-W6) that was less than 3 months old.  In

both cases, the gout performed as expected (i.e. no signs of foam/froth

or segregation).  Subsequently, this material has been retested at 3, 4,

5 and 6 months of age.  We found that up to 5 months, the material

performed in an acceptable manner.  However, the material showed signs of

the undesirable behavior at 6 months.  Testing of Embeco 636 (CMTR) Grout

produced similar results.  In any event, the 3 month timeframe is a very

conservative estimate.



                                                              Page 2 of 2



     In addition, we have confirmed through testing that 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 C 1107 and CRD-C621).



     Furthermore, we have confirmed that the undesirable behavior occurs

only when the grout is mixed to a fluid consistency (20-30 sec. through a

flow cone).  Suspect grout mixed at flowable, stiff or damp-pack

consistencies does not exhibit the behavior, and performs as intended

(i.e.  no foaming, frothing, segregation; and meeting the requirements of

ASTM C 1107 and CRD-C621).



Actions to Prevent Recurrence



     Since the initial report from Grand Gulf Nuclear, Master Builders

has discontinued production of Masterflow 713 (CMTR) and Embeco 636

(CMTR) Grouts at the Streetsboro, OH plant, All orders for Masterflow 713

(CMTR) and Embeco 636 (CMTR) Grouts have been and will continue to be

supplied from our Rancho Cucamonga, CA plant.  Masterflow 713 (CMTR) and

Embeco 636 (CMTR) Grouts, produced at this facility, have not exhibited

the same undesirable behavior.  We are continuing to monitor the shelf-

life of Masterflow 713 (CMTR) and Embeco 636 (CMTR) Grouts produced at

Rancho Cucamonga, as a precautionary measure.



     In terms of nuclear safety-related orders, we are shipping material

from the Rancho Cucamonga, CA plant to the Streetsboro, OH plant (being

held at and shipped from the Aurora, OH warehouse).  The material is

being dedicated for safety-related use by the Streetsboro QC lab, in

accordance with Policy 10-Commercial Grade Dedication of Products, of the

Master Builders QA Manual.  Furthermore, we will continue to dedicate

Rancho Cucamonga produced Masterflow 713 (CMTR) and Embeco 636 (CMTR)

Grouts in this manner, until the shelf-life issue with Streetsboro, Ohio

produced Masterflow 713 (CMTR) and Embeco 636 (CMTR) Grouts is resolved.



     As I mentioned, our plan is to either reformulate Masterflow 713

(CMTR) and Embeco 636 (CMTR) Grouts, or develop replacement grouts for

Masterflow 713 (CMTR) and Embeco 636 (CMTR) Grouts in order to correct

and prevent recurrence of the nonconforming behavior.  Until that time,

Masterflow 713 (CMTR) and Embeco 636 (CMTR) Grouts, as mentioned above,

will only produced at our Rancho Cucamonga plant, and dedicated per our

Policy 10.



     I hope that this information is helpful to you.  Please review the

above information, and contact me, if any additional actions need to be

taken.  Unless we hear otherwise, we will consider this matter closed.



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

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



Sincerely,



John Dorado

Product Manager

(formerly Quality Control Manager)

Master Builders, Inc.



cc:  B.  Caine, G.  Culton



extnotfinal/jd



                              Mailing List



*Final notification will be forwarded to all affected utilities,

originally notified, that DID NOT respond



o    South Carolina Gas & Electric Co.

     P.O.  Box 88

     Jenkinsville, SC 29065



     Attention: Mr.  Thomas Borch - Product Quality



o    Bechtel Power Corporation

     (R.E.  Ginna Nuclear Station)

     89 East Ave.

     Rochester, NY 14649



     Attention: Mr.  Dave Fredrickson



o    Rochester Gas & Electric Co.

     1503 Lake Rd.

     Ontario, NY 14519



     Attention: Mr.  Richard Biedenbach, Director, Safety & Health,

     Nuclear Power



o    Public Service Electric & Gas Co.

     965 Chesterbrook Blvd.

     Mail Code 63C-1

     Wayne, PA 19087



     Attention: Mr.  Bill Bradley, Nuclear Quality Assurancecc: Ms.

     Cathy Talbert (Buyer)



o    Virginia Power Co.

     Innsbrook Technical Center

     5000 Dominion Blvd.

     Glen Allen, VA 23060



     Attention: Mr.  Jeff Bailey



o    Consolidated Edison of New York

     4 Irving Place

     Room 615 S

     New York, NY 10003



     Attention: Mr.  Arthur Ng, Q.A.  Engineer



o    Southern Nuclear Operating Co.

     Georgia Power Co.  (re: Hatch and Vogtle plants)

     P.O.  Box 1295

     Birmingham, AL 35201



     Attention:     Nuclear Engineering & Licensing Manager

                    and Manager - Materials Services



o    Georgia Power Co.  (re: Vogtle plant)

     Nuclear Operations

     P.O.  Box 1600

     Waynesboro, GA, 30830



     Attention: General Manager



o    Entergy Operations, Inc.

     P.O.  Box 31995

     Jackson, MS 39286-1995



     Attention: Glenn Griffen



o    Consumers Power Co.

     212 West Michigan Ave.

     Jackson, MI 49201



     Attention: Ms.  Nancy Borton



o    New York Power Authority

     James A.  Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant

     268 Lake Rd.

     P.O.  Box 41

     Lycoming, NY 13093



     Attention: Mr.  Doug Mullens and Mr.  Dan Sullivan



o    Baltimore Gas & Electric Co.

     Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant

     1650 Calvert Cliffs Parkway

     Lusby, NM 20657



     Attention: Supervisor, Vendor Audits



o    North Atlantic Energy Services

     Seabrook Station

     Box 300

     Seabrook, NH 03874

     Attention: B.L. Drawbridge, Executive Director, Nuclear Production

                R.J. DeLoach, Executive Director, Engineering & Licensing

                M.D. Harrington, Material Requirements Department

                    Supervisor



o    American Electric Power Co.

     Indiana/Michigan Power Co.

     1 Riverside Plaza

     Columbus, OH 43215



     Attn.     Manager - Nuclear Safety

               Licensing & Fuels Division



o    Florida Power Corporation     <<<< *Sent for informational purposes

     Crystal River Energy Complex        only.

     15760 W.  Power Line St.

     Crystal River, FL 34428-6708

     Attention: Mr. J. O. Poston, Senior Nuclear Quality Assurance

                Specialist



*** END OF DOCUMENT ***



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