United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 83-79: Apparently Improper Use of Commercial Grade Components in Safety-Related Systems

                                                            SSINS No.: 6835 
                                                            IN 83-79       

                                UNITED STATES
                          WASHINGTON, D. C., 20555
                              November 23, 1983

                                   GRADE COMPONENTS IN SAFETY-RELATED 


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


This information notice is provided as a notification of the apparently 
improper use of commercial grade components in safety-related systems. The 
events described below involve commercial grade valves. However, the area of
concern is not limited to valves, but rather, relates to the use of any 
commercial grade component in any safety-related system. No specific action 
is required in response to this information notice, but it is expected that 
recipients will review the information presented for applicability to their 

Description of Circumstances: 

On October 8, 1982, the Indiana and Michigan Electric Company reported (LER 
82-080) that a heat exchanger outlet valve at D.C. Cook Unit 2 had been 
removed from service because it was "leaking by." Inspection revealed that 
the valve was leaking because the elastomer seat had pulled loose from the 
valve body. A representative of the valve manufacturer (Henry Pratt Company)
determined that the elastomer seat had not been properly bonded to the valve
body at the time of manufacture. A parallel licensee event report for D.C. 
Cook Unit 1 (LER 82-094) was submitted on November 5, 1982. 

The NRC Vendor Programs Branch (Report No. 99900056/83-01) inspected Pratt 
facilities and it determined that: (1) the probable cause of the lack of 
bonding was a failure to sand blast the valves before adding the primer, 
bonding material, and rubber; and (2) neither the purchase order nor the 
specification for the valves required the valves to be fabricated under an 
approved nuclear quality assurance program--i.e., they were manufactured as 
commercial grade valves. As a result, the omitted manufacturing process was 
not detected and the valves were not given the proper inspection for bond 
quality required for valves manufactured to nuclear requirements. 


                                                          IN 83-79         
                                                          November 23, 1983 
                                                          Page 2 of 2      

commercial grade components should not be used in safety-related systems 
unless they are evaluated by engineering and quality assurance personnel to 
determine if additional quality assurance requirements are necessary, and 
that they are properly qualified for their intended use. 

No written response to this notice is required. If you have any questions 
regarding this matter, please contact the Regional Administrator of the 
appropriate NRC Regional Office, or this office. 

                                   Edward L. Jordan Director 
                                   Division of Emergency Preparedness 
                                     and Engineering Response 
                                   Office of Inspection and Enforcement 

Technical Contact:  R. J. Kiessel, IE
                    (301) 492-8119

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