Information Notice No. 79-05 - Use of Improper Materials in Safety-related Components


                              March 16, 1979 

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

FROM:               Norman C. Moseley, Director, ROI, IE 

SUBJECT:            Information Notice No. 79-05 - USE OF IMPROPER 

     The subject document is transmitted for issuance on March 21, 1979.  
The Information Notice should be issued to all power reactor facilities with 
an operating license or a construction permit.  Also enclosed is a draft 
copy of the transmittal letter.  No inspection followup is necessary since 
no action by the licensee is requested. 

                                        Norman C. Moseley, Director 
                                        Division of Reactor Operations 
                                        Office of Inspection and Enforcement

1.   IE Information Notice
       No. 79-05
2.   Draft Transmittal letter

CONTACT:  D. C. Kirkpatrick, IE 

(Draft letter to all power reactor facilities with an operating license or a 
construction permit) 

                                            Information Notice No. 79-05 


The enclosed Information Notice No. 79-05 is forwarded to you for 
information.  No specific action is requested and no written response is 
required.  If you desire additional information regarding this matter, 
please contact this office. 

                                        (Regional Director) 

IE Information Notice
  No. 79-05

                             UNITED STATES 
                          WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555 
                              March 21, 1979 

                                            Information Notice No. 79-05 


Two instances of the addition of improper materials to safety-related 
components during maintenance have recently been identified by NRC 

Materials on Valve Seating Surfaces 

An NRC inspector found that maintenance personnel at the Surry nuclear power
plant had added wax or grease to certain valve seating surfaces.  These 
valves included the containment spray and recirculation spray isolation 
valves.  This material could have affected the measured leak rate through 
these containment penetrations.  VEPCO personnel said that the material was 
believed to have been added to prevent damage to the valve seating surfaces 
during dry valve testing.  It had not been removed following completion of 
the maintenance procedure.  VEPCO personnel also reported that a lack of any
definitive administrative guidance as to what lubricants, if any, could be 
used during valve maintenance, contributed to this problem.  The corrective 
action included modification of the procedures to include more precise 
inspection by quality control personnel following valve maintenance. 

Grease in Snubbers 

An NRC inspector found that maintenance personnel at the Browns Ferry 
nuclear power plant had added grease to the hydraulic fluid reservoirs of 
eight Bergen-Paterson snubbers.  The grease had mistakenly been added, 
during a scheduled lubrication procedure, through the alemite type fittings 
used for normal fluid addition.   A similar error involving thirteen 
snubbers had previously been made at this facility.  At that time the 
decision had been made to install a different type of fitting on the 
snubbers.  However, the replacement parts had not arrived in time for 
installation prior to the more recent lubrication.  At the time of the 
earlier occurrence, TVA personnel had removed the affected snubbers and 
tested them for lock-up and bleed rate. The results had been within 
specification.  Nevertheless, the units had been disassembled and cleaned 
prior to reinstallation.  NRC inspectors witnessed the disassembly of one of 
the later set of greased snubbers (a four-inch unit).  Approximately one 
cubic inch of grease was found in the reservoir. Although the grease 

                                Page 1 of 2 

Information Notice No. 79-05                             March 21, 1979 

Grease in Snubbers (continued) 

had been in the reservoir for only four days, and stroking of the snubbers 
was limited to that which occurred during its removal, grease was found in 
the control valve assembly and the snubber cylinder.  All of the recently 
greased snubbers were replaced by spare units. 

These two occurrences illustrate the necessity of controlling construction 
and maintenance practices through the use of carefully developed procedures 
designed to prevent errors, such as the introduction of foreign materials 
into safety-related components. 

This information is provided as a notification of a possibly significant 
matter.  It is expected that recipients will review the information for 
possible applicability to their facilities.  No specific action or response 
is requested at this time.  If further NRC evaluations so indicate, an IE 
Circular or Bulletin will be issued to recommend or request specific 
licensee actions.  If you have questions regarding this matter, please 
contact the Director of the appropriate NRC Regional Office. 

Listing of IE Information
  Notices Issued in 1979
                                Page 2 of 2 


Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 25, 2021