United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 88-20: Unauthorized Individuals Manipulating Controls and Performing Control Room Activities

                                  UNITED STATES
                          NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                             WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555

                                   May 5, 1988

                                   CONTROLS AND PERFORMING CONTROL ROOM


All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power, 
test and research reactors, and all licensed operators. 


This information notice is being provided to alert addressees to potential 
problems resulting from unauthorized persons manipulating controls and per-
forming control room activities.  It is expected that recipients will review 
the information for applicability to their facilities and consider actions, as 
appropriate, to avoid similar problems.  However, no specific action or 
written response is required. 

Description of Circumstances: 

On September 13, 1987, with Turkey Point Unit 3 at 30% power, a non-licensed 
individual (who was not enrolled in an operator training program) under the 
direct supervision of a licensed operator turned the reactor control make-up 
switch to "start" on two occasions in close succession.  At the time of the 
event, a 30% power flux map was in progress.  Negative reactivity was being 
added to the reactor because of xenon buildup.  To minimize flux distortion, 
control rod motion was being minimized, and the negative reactivity insertion 
from the xenon buildup was being countered by lowering the boron concentration 
in the RCS (dilution).  The dilution was being performed by periodically 
adding preset quantities of non-borated water to the RCS.  The licensed 
operator preset the non-borated water quantity to 30 gallons, then permitted 
the non-licensed individual to turn the reactor control make-up switch to the 
"start" position.  The system response to the 30-gallon dilution was not 
sufficient, and the above evolution was repeated, with the non-borated water 
quantity preset by the licensed operator at 20 gallons.  The licensed operator 
directly supervised both dilutions.  This event is discussed further in 
Licensee Event Report (LER) 250/87-024 (Voluntary Report). 

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                                                            May 5, 1988 
                                                            Page 2 of 3 

The NRC resident inspectors at Braidwood were informed of a similar event by 
that facility's licensee.  An individual licensed at another facility (but not 
enrolled in an operator training program) was temporarily contracted to 
Braidwood as an equipment attendant.  On September 20, 1987, this individual 
was allowed to manipulate the controls on the Unit 1 reactor for a dilution of 
the RCS and for a control rod movement. 

No serious consequences occurred from either of these events.  However, these 
incidents are contrary to the requirements of 10 CFR 50.54(i) and 10 CFR 55.3 
because these actions directly affected the reactivity and power of the re-
actor, and the individuals performing the actions did not meet the exemption 
requirements of 10 CFR 55.13.  (10 CFR 55.13 allows an individual, under the 
direction and in the presence of a licensed operator, to manipulate the 
controls of a facility as a part of the individual's training in a facility 
licensee's training program.)  Because neither individual was enrolled in an 
approved operator training program, the exemption requirements of 10 CFR 55.13 
were not satisfied. 


The events discussed above are contrary to 10 CFR Parts 50 and 55.  Addressees 
may wish to ensure that they are familiar with these requirements.  In addi-
tion, the requirements of 10 CFR Part 55 were revised in 1987 and made effec-
tive on May 26, 1987.  These revisions, as well as other relevant information, 
are discussed in NUREG-1262, "Answers to Questions at Public Meetings 
Regarding Implementation of Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 55 on 
Operators' Licenses," published in November 1987.*  A copy of this document 
was provided to all power and non-power reactor licensees and applicants for 
licenses by Generic Letter 87-16.  Addressees who have not already done so may 
wish to obtain and review a copy of NUREG-1262 to ensure that they are 
familiar with the revisions made to 10 CFR Part 55.  

The NRC has required individuals licensed at near-term operating license 
(NTOL) facilities to obtain operational experience at like facilities through 
cooperative arrangements.  Nothing in this information notice is intended to 
preclude such arrangements. 

*A copy of NUREG-1262 can be ordered by writing to the Superintendent of 
 Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Post Office Box 37082, 
 Washington, D.C. 20013-7082, or by calling (202) 275-2060.
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No specific action or written response is required by this information notice.
If you have any questions about this matter, please contact the technical 
contact listed below or the Regional Administrator of the appropriate regional 

                              Charles E. Rossi, Director 
                              Division of Operational Events Assessment 
                              Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation 

Technical Contact:  John N. Hannon, NRR 
                    (301) 492-1031 

Attachment:  List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices 
.                                                            Attachment
                                                            IN 88-20 
                                                            May 5, 1988 
                                                            Page 1 of 1

                             LIST OF RECENTLY ISSUED
                            NRC INFORMATION NOTICES 
Information                                  Date of 
Notice No._____Subject_______________________Issuance_______Issued to________

88-19          Questionable Certification    4/26/88        All holders of OLs
               of Class 1E Components                       or CPs for nuclear
                                                            power reactors. 

88-18          Malfunction of Lockbox on     4/25/88        All NRC licensees 
               Radiography Device                           authorized to 
                                                            distribute, and/or 
                                                            operate radio-
                                                            graphic exposure 

88-17          Summary of Responses to NRC   4/22/88        All holders of OLs
               Bulletin 87-01, "Thinning of                 or CPs for nuclear
               Pipe Walls in Nuclear Power                  power reactors. 

88-16          Identifying Waste Generators  4/22/88        Radioactive waste 
               in Shipments of Low-Level                    collection and 
               Waste to Land Disposal                       service company 
               Facilities                                   licensees handling
                                                            prepackaged waste, 
                                                            and licensees 
                                                            low-level waste 

88-15          Availability of U.S. Food     4/18/88        Medical, Academic,
               and Drug Administration                      and Commercial 
               (FDA)-Approved Potassium                     licensees who 
               Iodide for Use in Emergencies                possess 
               Involving Radioactive Iodine                 radioactive 

88-14          Potential Problems with       4/18/88        All holders of OLs
               Electrical Relays                            or CPs for nuclear
                                                            power reactors. 

88-13          Water Hammer and Possible     4/18/88        All holders of OLs
               Piping Damage Caused by                      or CPs for nuclear
               Misapplication of Kerotest                   power reactors. 
               Packless Metal Diaphragm 
               Globe Valves 
OL = Operating License
CP = Construction Permit 
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, May 22, 2015