United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment


ACCESSION #: 9704240045



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                             Victoreen, Inc.



                             April 11, 1997



VICTOREEN



U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Document Control Center

Washington, DC 20555



Reference:     1.   10 CFR 21 Report of Noncompliance dated March 26,

                    1997

                    Model 530 Electrometer

               2.   NRC Fax (301) 816-5151

               3.   Customer list (see attached)



Subject:       Corrective Action and Close-out, 10 CFR 21 Report of

               Noncompliance Model 530 Electrometer



To Whom It May Concern:



Further to our notification dated March 26, 1997, this letter has been

prepared to provide formal notification of the corrective action

performed and to close out the subject 10 CFR 21 Report of Noncompliance.



General Description:



The Victoreen Model 530 Electrometer/Dosemeter is a high precision, dual

polarity electrometer designed to accept Victoreen and many commercially

available ionization chambers.  As an electrometer, it displays charge in

nC and current in pA.  As a dosemeter, it displays exposure in Roentgens

(S.I. version-Gy) and Exposure Rate in R/min (Gy/min).  Ion chamber

calibration factors can be stored in the model 530 via a computer

hook-up, but are not required for operation in the charge or current

modes.



This notification identifies the potential for a component failure in

some of the Victoreen Model 530 Electrometer/Dosemeter's (serial numbers

101-250 only) which under very specific circumstances may cause the Model

530 to calculate radiation exposures or rates incorrectly.  The component

that may fail is a resistor network in the Model 530's calibration select

switch circuit.  In rare cases these resistor networks have been observed

to crack which causes them to open and become non functional.  If this

occurs, the calibration select switch setting may be read incorrectly by

the 530 and one of two things can happen:



1.   An -E4- error message is displayed in the Rate and Exposure modes.

     When this error message is displayed, no measurements may be made.



2.   If multiple ion chamber calibration factors have been stored in the

     530, an ion chamber calibration factor other than the factor

     indicated by the calibration select switch may be selected.  If this

     occurs, measurements made in the rate and exposure modes may be in

     error.  In most circumstances, the user would immediately identify

     the problem.  If the unit being calibrated experienced a failure of

     the same magnitude as the calibration factor error, a substantial

     safety hazard could occur.  The probability of this occurrence is

     extremely remote.  Although the defect was originally discovered in

     April of 1996, the possibility of a substantial safety hazard was

     not presented until February 11, 1997.  Measurements made in the

     charge or current modes are not affected.



                            6000 Cochran Road

                       Cleveland, Ohio 44139-3395

                             (216) 248-9300

                           FAX (216) 248-9301

                           DATA (216) 248-9043



April 9, 1997 - Page 2 of 4



If the user has not stored any calibration factors in the 530, a cracked

resistor network has no effect because the 530 cannot be used in the rate

or exposure mode unless calibration factors have been stored in the 530.



This notification applies to Model 530's with serial numbers between 101

and 250, and all Model 530SI's with serial numbers between 101 and 128.



April 9, 1997 - Page 3 of 4



Victoreen Corrective Action:



All Victoreen corrective action has been completed.



To correct this problem, the original epoxy coated thick film resistor

networks (Victoreen 185-3994-1) have been replaced with more durable,

molded thick film resistor networks (Victoreen 351041) in all 530's.  To

implement this change, Victoreen has taken the following action:



1.  Replaced all 185-3994-1 resistor networks with 351041 resistor

networks in all Model 530's that were returned for repair or calibration

since April 16, 1996. (via internal memo)



2.  Replaced all 185-3994-1 resistor networks with 351041 resistor

networks in all Model 530's and Model 530 main printed circuit boards

that were in stock or in process since May 15, 1996.  (Ref. DCR 4CR25--

96).



3.  Changed resistor networks on the Bill of Material for the Model 530-

100-10 main printed circuit board from 185) 994-1 to 351041.  (Ref. DCR

4CR25-96) since May 15, 1996.



Customer Corrective Action:



Perform the following visual inspection or call Victoreen Customer

Service for assistance.



1.   Verify that the Model 530 is turned off and is disconnected from

     it's AC adapter.



2.   Remove the four Phillips head screws from the front bezel.



3.   Lift the front of the top cover to clear the front panel and remove

     the front panel by pulling it forward.



4.   Locate resistor networks RN1 and RN4 on the Model 53 0 printed

     circuit board per drawing below.



Figure "Rear of Unit" omitted.



April 9, 1997 - Page 4 of 4



5.  Compare the resistor networks to those pictured below.  If they are

of the type shown in Figure 1, (0.35" tall with square comers) no further

action is required.  If they are of the type shown in Figure 2, (0.2"

tall with rounded comers) reassemble the Model 530 and contact Victoreen

Customer Service for assistance.



Figure 1 omitted.



Figure 2 omitted.



Root Cause Analysis:



From our review it has been determined that the cracking of this resistor

network may be the result of manufacturing defects or by mechanical

stress, vibration or thermal shock.  In our normal processing of these

parts they are not subjected to any excess stress, vibration or thermal

shock.  The functionality of these parts has been tested and is tested on

every Model 530 main printed circuit board as part of Victoreen's

standard test procedure for this product (Ref. TP530-100-10).



We thank you for your cooperation in this matter.  Please advise if you

have any questions or comments of the information provided here-in.



Best Regards



Linda S. Nash                      Bill Zimmerman

Corporate Director                 Senior R&D Engineer

Regulatory Affairs & Q.A



                             Victoreen, Inc.



                                             April 10, 1997



VICTOREEN



PP & L

Attention: HEALTH PHYSICS DEPT.

REF NO.  4-39698-1 POB 467

Susquehanna SES Store Rm

Berwick, PA 18101



Subject:  Victoreen Model 530 and 530SI Electrometer

          Corrective Action and Close-Out



Reference:     NRC NOTICE ON DEFECTIVE INSTRUMENTS, March 27,1997



Dear Model 530 Customer;



The purpose of this letter is to notify you that Victoreen, Inc. has

issued a 10 CFR 21 report with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, for the

Model 530 Electrometer, Serial No's 101 through 250.



Our records show the following was shipped to you:



                                                  Victoreen

Purchase Order No.  Serial Number  Date Invoiced  Sales Order No.



     4-39698-1           163       2/16/95           84478



The notification is attached, along with corrective action taken by

Victoreen and corrective action to be taken by our customers.  Please

refer to the attached for steps to be taken by you.



We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.



                                        Sincerely,



                                        Len Bader

                                        Director of Sales



Attachment



                         6000 Cochran Road

                         Cleveland, Ohio 44139-3395

                         (216) 248-9300

                         FAX (216) 248-9301

                         DATA (216) 248-9043



General Description:



The Victoreen Model 530 Electrometer/Dosemeter is a high precision, dual

polarity electrometer designed to accept Victoreen and many commercially

available ionization chambers.  As an electrometer, it displays charge in

nC and current in pA.  As a dosemeter, it displays exposure in Roentgens

(S.1.  version Gy) and Exposure Rate in R/min (Gy/min).  Ion chamber

calibration factors can be stored in the model 530 via a computer hook-

up, but are not required for operation in the charge or current modes.



This notification identifies the potential for a component failure in

some of the Victoreen Model 530 Electrometer/Dosemeter's (serial numbers

101-250 only) which under very specific circumstances may cause the Model

530 to calculate radiation exposures or rates incorrectly.  The component

that may fail is a resistor network in the Model 530's calibration select

switch circuit.  In rare cases these resistor networks have been observed

to crack which causes them to open and become non functional.  If this

occurs, the calibration select switch setting may be read incorrectly by

the 530 and one of two things can happen:



1.   An -E4- error message is displayed in the Rate and Exposure modes.

     When this error message is displayed, no measurements may be made.



2.   If multiple ion chamber calibration factors have been stored in the

     530, an ion chamber calibration factor other than the factor

     indicated by the calibration select switch may be selected.  If this

     occurs, measurements made in the rate and exposure modes may be in

     error.  In most circumstances, the user would immediately identify

     the problem.  If the unit being calibrated experienced a failure of

     the same magnitude as the calibration factor error, a substantial

     safety hazard could occur.  The probability of this occurrence is

     extremely remote.  Although the defect was originally discovered in

     April of 1996, the possibility of a substantial safety hazard was

     not presented until February 11, 1997.  Measurements made in the

     charge or current modes are not affected.



If the user has not stored any calibration factors in the 530, a cracked

resistor network has no effect because the 530 cannot be used in the rate

or exposure mode unless calibration factors have been stored in the 530.



This notification applies to Model 530's with serial numbers between 101

and 250, and all Model 530SI's with serial numbers between 101 and 128.



April 9, 1997 - Page 2 of 3



Victoreen Corrective Action:



All Victoreen corrective action has been completed.



To correct this problem, the original epoxy coated thick film resistor

networks (Victoreen 185-3994-1) have been replaced with more durable,

molded thick film resistor networks (Victoreen 351041) in all 530's.  To

implement this change, Victoreen has taken the following action:



1.   Replaced all 185-3994-1 resistor networks with 351041 resistor

     networks in all Model 530's that were returned for repair or

     calibration since April 16, 1996.  (via internal memo)



2.   Replaced all 185-3994-1 resistor networks with 351041 resistor

     networks in all Model 530's and Model 530 main printed circuit

     boards that were in stock or in process since May 15, 1996. (Ref DCR

     4CR25-96).



3.   Changed resistor networks on the Bill of Material for the Model 530-

     100-10 main printed circuit board from 185-3994-1 to 351041. (Ref

     DCR 4CR25-96) since May 15, 1996.



Customer Corrective Action:



Perform the following visual inspection or call Victoreen Customer

Service for assistance.



1.   Verify that the Model 530 is turned off and is disconnected from

     it's AC adapter.



2.   Remove the four Phillips head screws from the front bezel.



3.   Lift the front of the top cover to clear the front panel and remove

     the front panel by pulling it forward.



4.   Locate resistor networks RN1 and RN4 on the Model 530 printed

     circuit board per drawing below.



Figure omitted.



April 9, 1997 - Page 3 of 3



5.   Compare the resistor networks to those pictured below.  If they are

     of the type shown in Figure 1, (0.35" tall with square comers) no

     further action is required.  If they are of the type shown in Figure

     2, (0.2" tall with rounded corners) reassemble the Model 530 and

     contact Victoreen Customer Service for assistance.



Figure 1 omitted.



Figure 2 omitted.



Root Cause Analysis:



From our review it has been determined that the cracking of this resistor

network may be the result of manufacturing defects or by mechanical

stress, vibration or thermal shock.  In our normal processing of these

parts they are not subjected to any excess stress, vibration or thermal

shock.  The functionality of these parts has been tested and is tested on

every Model 530 main printed circuit board as part of Victoreen's

standard test procedure for this product (Ref. TP530-100-10).



We thank you for your cooperation in this matter.  Please advise if you

have any questions or comments of the information provided here-in.



Linda S Nash                       Bill Zimmerman

Corporate Director                 Senior R&D Engineer

Regulatory Affairs & QA



*** END OF DOCUMENT ***



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