IE Circular No. 78-02, Proper Lubricating Oil for Terry Turbines


                              April 19, 1978 

MEMORANDUM FOR:     B. H. Grier, Director, Region I 
                    J. P. O'Reilly, Director, Region II 
                    J. G. Keppler, Director, Region III 
                    G. L. Madsen, Acting Director, Region IV 
                    R. H. Engelken, Director, Region V 

FROM:               Harold D. Thornburg, Director, Division of Reactor 
                      Operations Inspection, Office of Inspection and 


The subject circular Is transmitted for issuance by close of business within
three days after date of this letter. The Circular should be issued to all 
holders of Reactor Operating Licenses or Construction Permits. Also enclosed
is a draft copy of the transmittal letter. 

                                        Harold D. Thornburg, Director 
                                        Division of Reactor Operations 
                                        Office of Inspection and Enforcement 

1.   Draft Transmittal Letter 
2.   IE Circular 78-02 

CONTACT:  C. J. DeBevec, IE 

                             April  , 1978 

(Transmittal letter for IE Circular 78-02, to each holder of an NRC 
Operating License or Construction Permit.) 


The enclosed IE Circular No. 78-02, is forwarded to you for information. No 
written response is required. Should you have any questions related to your 
understanding of this matter, please contact this office. 


                                        (Regional Director) 

1.   IE Circular No. 78-02 
2.   List of IE Circulars 
       Issued in 1978 

                             UNITED STATES 
                          WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555 
                               April  , 1978 

                                                      IE Circular No. 78-02 


On August 31, 1977, the high pressure coolant injection (HPCI) system 
turbine at Cooper Nuclear Station failed to reach rated speed upon receiving 
a start signal. The HPCI turbine was manufactured by the Terry Steam Turbine 
Company. The turbine speed would not increase above 1000 rpm. The licensee 
determined the cause to be a failed EG-R actuator in the Woodward governor, 
a sealed component within the governor of the Terry Turbine. The actuator 
was replaced and the failed part returned to the vendor for failure 
analysis. The vendor's analysis indicated the actuator failed due to water 
and rust buildup in the actuator housing from water introduced into the 
actuator through the lube oil system. 

An excerpt from the Terry Turbine Technical Manual (Section 9) indicates: 

     "Due to adverse operating conditions, environment and infrequent 
     operation, it is recommended that oils containing corrosion inhibitor 
     be used for operation and rust protection of the lube system during the
     time the turbine sits idle. Oil such as Shell VSI-27 code 65249 or 
     Mobil RL-851, or equal are recommended." 

At the time of the occurrence, the licensee was using Mobil DTE-797 oil.  A 
Mobil representative indicated that this oil is not equivalent to Mobil 
RL-851 as it does not contain the corrosion inhibitor found in RL-851. Since
publication of the Terry Turbine Technical Manual, RL-851 has been renamed 
Mobil "Vaportec Light." 

During plant construction, the licensee received recommendations from a 
Mobil representative on the type of lubricating oil suitable for all plant 
equipment. At that time Mobil DTE-797 oil was recommended for the HPCI and 
reactor core isolation cooling (RCIC) turbines. During preoperational 
testing, the Mobil representative telephoned the site to inform them that 
Mobil Vaportec Light was the appropriate oil for use in the HPCI and RCIC 
turbines. This communication did not reach the appropriate site personnel 
and Mobil DTE-797 oil remained in the HPCI and RCIC turbines until the above

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IE Circular No. 78-02                                           April , 1978

It is apparent from the above that once the lubrication needs are 
established for each component and such information is recorded in facility 
procedures or equipment maintenance instructions, these records become the 
source document for lubrication specifications in place of the technical 
manual or other design specifications. Any error made at the time 
lubrication needs are selected can have long-range deleterious effects on 
safety related equipment. 

All holders of operating licenses should be aware of the potential for 
occurrences of the type indicated above. It is recommended that the 
following items be considered in your review of this matter: 

1.   Design records and/or manufacturers recommendations for similar 
     components should be reviewed to assure that lubrication requirements 
     in facility procedure or maintenance instructions have been properly 
     established. It should be noted that equipment such as the HPCI turbine
     at BWR's and the auxiliary feedwater pump turbine at PWR's have 
     especially adverse operating climates and the selection of the proper 
     lubricating oils is critical to their continued operability. 

2.   With changes in technology and manufacturing techniques, it is possible
     that manufacturers and distributors of lubricating oils and greases may
     make slight alterations to their lubricating agents from time to time. 
     Such changes may or may not be reflected in the specification for the 
     oil or grease but may indeed affect the component in which it is used. 
     Licensees should be aware of this potential and establish some means of
     assurance that such changes will receive proper review. Such means 
     might include a review of the oil or grease specification for changes 
     on a batch or periodic basis, or notification by the manufacturer or 
     distributor when such changes are made. 
This circular is being forwarded to all holders of construction permits for 
their information with regard to pending preparation of components for 
subsequent operations. 

No written response to this circular is required. If you require additional 
information regarding this matter, contact the Director of the appropriate 
NRC Regional Office. 

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