Bulletin 82-01, Revision 1: Alteration of Radiographs of Welds in Piping Subassemblies

                                                  SSINS No.:  6820         
                                                  OMB No.: 3150-0084       
                                                  Expiration Date: 3/31/83 
                                                  IEB 82-01 Rev. 1         

                               UNITED STATES 
                           WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555 
                                May 7, 1982 

                                   PIPING SUBASSEMBLIES 


All nuclear power reactor facilities holding an operating license (OL) or a 
construction permit (CP). 


This bulletin was previously forwarded on March 31, 1982 for action to the 
CP holders of the reactors listed in Table 1 and for information to all 
other reactor CP holders and licensees. Table 1 has been revised to add 
three nuclear power reactor facilities. No revision has been made to the 
scope of actions already requested. The bulletin is sent to the CP holders 
of these facilities for action before issuance of an OL or within 90 days of 
receipt of this revised bulletin, whichever occurs first. The action date 
for all other facilities listed in Table 1 is unchanged. 


The purpose of this revision to IE Bulletin No. 82-01 is to change Table 1 
to reflect further information provided by Associated Piping and Engineering
Corporation regarding facilities for which they supplied piping assemblies. 
A minor revision has been made to clarify the extent of the actions 
required. (See revision to action item 1 on page 2). 

Description of Circumstances: 

On October 19, 1981, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was 
notified by Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS) that alterations 
were found in certain radiographs of 21 shop welds in piping subassemblies 
supplied to their WPPSS-3 by Associated Piping and Engineering Corporation 
(AP&E) of Compton, California. Further examination of essentially all AP&E 
radiographs previously sent to the site revealed alterations on 14 
additional radiographs associated with eight welds in quality Class 1 
stainless steel piping of less than 1/2-inch wall thickness. All affected 29 
welds in the thin-wall piping were reexamined radiographically in accordance 
with the ASME Code. No evidence of unacceptable weld quality was identified.

The alterations consisted of artificial enhancement of the ASME Code 
specified penetrameter 4T-Hole image. This was apparently accomplished in 
one of three ways: (1) touchup with a soft lead pencil, (2) scribed or 
scratched with a sharp object, or (3) indention with a sharp object. These 
forms of enhancement are very difficult to detect by normal film 
interpretation techniques (i.e., 


                                                          IEB 82-01, Rev. 1 
                                                          May, 7, 1982     
                                                          Page 2 of 4      

subdued background lighting). However, utilizing direct overhead lighting, 
the alterations may be detected by close inspection of the film surface 
reflections as the film is being manipulated by the observer at various 
oblique angles. 

After this finding, an investigation was made at AP&E by the NRC Region IV 
staff on December 7-11, 1981. 

The results of the investigation were reviewed at the Region IV headquarters
and determined to be potentially generic. On January 29, 1982, the specific 
plants potentially affected were identified by the regional office. The 
investigation and review established the following: 

1.   Radiographs were altered on occasion by one Level II interpreter over 
     a period of approximately eight years prior to the date of this 

2.   The alterations were limited to the set of radiographs of welds 
     submitted for customer review and approval. 

3.   The alterations involved welds associated with pipe wall thickness of 
     less than 1/2-inch that used isotope radiography techniques and a 
     number 10 or 12 penetrameter. 

4.   Radiograph sets retained in AP&E file for WPPSS Unit 2 contained 
     unaltered radiographs that did not exhibit the Code-required 2-4T 
     penetrameter sensitivity. 

5.   A number of nuclear plant sites receiving fabricated piping assemblies 
     from AP&E may have similar discrepancies. The affected sites as amended
     (R-1) are listed in Table 1. 

ASME Section III Code Rules, Articles NB-5000 and NC-5000, requires that 
weld quality acceptance of Class 1 and 2 piping be evaluated on the basis of
radiography. In radiography examination, meaningful interpretation of weld 
quality is dependent on the use of a radiographic technique of sufficient 
sensitivity as shown by the penetrameter image indicators on the film. The 
adequacy of technique sensitivity is confirmed by the ability to visibly 
discern the appropriate T-hole images of the penetrameter when evaluating 
the radiographs for weld quality in accordance with the governing Code 
rules. Radiographs that have had penetrameter image quality indicators 
artificially enhanced by the discussed methods violate the intent of ASME 
Code requirements. Accordingly, the following actions are necessary to 
independently reverify that the examined welds of the subassemblies 
fabricated by AP&E are acceptable for plant service. 

Action To Be Taken by Applicants for an Operatinq License and Holders of 
Active Construction Permits (Group 1, Table 1): 

1.   Determine on the basis of a 100 percent review of radiograph sets 
     representing the welds associated with pipe wall thickness less than 
     1/2-inch in shop fabricated quality Class 1 & 2 subassemblies 

                                                         IEB 82-01, Rev. 1 
                                                         May 7, 1982       
                                                         Page 3 of 4       

     provided by AP&E, whether the applicable ASME Code penetrameter 
     sensitivity (2-2T or 2-4T as required) is unaltered, and clearly 
     discernible, and that acceptable weld quality is demonstrated. 

2.   In those cases where the specified penetrameter sensitivity is not 
     discernible or is apparently enhanced in any manner, as by the methods 
     discussed, weld quality interpretation may be based on the equivalent 
     or higher penetrameter sensitivity discernible on the film sets. For 
     example, for those radiograph sets for which the required 2-4T 
     penetrameter sensitivity is not discernible, or found artificially 
     enhanced on visual inspection, film interpretation of weld quality may 
     be based on the presence of discernible 2-2T or 2-lT sensitivity 
     exhibited by the radiographs. 

3.   Where conformance with Items 1 and 2 cannot be satisfied, appropriate 
     steps shall be taken to ensure the acceptability of the affected welds 
     in accordance with the applicable ASME Section III Code requirements in
     effect for plant construction. 

4.   The above actions are to be completed prior to issuance of an OL or 
     within 90 days of receipt of this bulletin, whichever occurs first.  
     All quality assurance records reflecting the review findings and 
     disposition of discrepancies identified shall be maintained and 
     available for NRC review.  

5.   A written report describing the findings and corrective actions taken, 
     signed under oath or affirmation under provisions of Section 182a, 
     Atomic Energy Act of 1954, shall be submitted within 30 days after 
     completion of Items 1 through 4 to the Regional Administrator of the 
     appropriate NRC Regional Office. A copy of the report is to be 
     forwarded to the Director, Office of Inspection and Enforcement, NRC, 
     Washington, D.C. 20555.  

Actions To Be Taken by Applicants for Construction Permits or Utilities 
Whose Construction Permits Are Suspended or Delayed (Group 2; Table 1): 

No action required except as noted in Item 2, below. 

1.   For information only. 

2.   In the event reactivation of construction or transfer, sale, or other 
     consignment of the subject piping subassemblies to another nuclear 
     plant site is contemplated, both the NRC and recipient permit holder, 
     or licensee, are to be notified of the disposition of said 
     subassemblies under provisions of 10 CFR Part 21 regulations. 

This request for information was approved by OMB under clearance number: 
3150-0084. Comments on burden and duplication should be directed to the 
Office of Management and Budget, Reports Management, Room 3208, New 
Executive Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20503. 

                                                          IEB 82-01, Rev. 1 
                                                          May 7, 1982      
                                                          Page 4 of 4      

The format of Bulletins, Circulars and Information Notices has been changed,
effective April 5, 1982, to facilitate a centralized distribution. A change 
has also been made to eliminate a separate transmittal letter.  

If you need additional information, please contact the Regional 
Administrator of the appropriate NRC Regional Office or this office. 

                                   Richard C. DeYoung, Director 
                                   Office of Inspection and Enforcement 

1.   Table 1
2.   Previously Issued IE Bulletins 

CONTACT:  W. J. Collins 

                                                         Attachment 1      
                                                         IEB 82-01, Rev. 1 
                                                         May 7, 1982       

                                 TABLE 1 

          Group 1                                      Group 2 

     Grand Gulf Units 1&2                         Bailly Unit 1 
     LaSalle Units 1&2                            Black Fox Units 1&2 
     River Bend Units 1&2                         Hartsville A1, B1, A2 & B2
     Clinton Units 1&2                            Phipps Bend 1&2 
     Shoreham                                     Allens Creek Unit 1 
     Limerick Units 1&2 
     Nine Mile Point 2 
     Hope Creek Units 1&2 
     Enrico Fermi 2                               WPPS-5 
     Susquehanna 1 & 2  


Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, May 22, 2015