United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 88-46, Supplement 3: Licensee Report of Defective Refurbished Circuit Breakers

                                  UNITED STATES
                          NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                             WASHINGTON D.C.  20555

                                  June 8, 1989

                                                 REFURBISHED CIRCUIT BREAKERS 


All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power 


This information notice supplement is being provided to present additional 
information regarding the supply of surplus or refurbished electrical equip-
ment such as circuit breakers (CBs) to nuclear power plants as discussed in 
NRC Information Notice (IN) 88-46 including Supplements 1 and 2.  It is ex-
pected that recipients will review this information for applicability to their
facilities.  However, suggestions contained in this information notice do not 
constitute NRC requirements; therefore, no specific action or written response
is required. 

Description of Circumstances: 

Information Notice No. 88-46 discussed a report by Pacific Gas and Electric 
(PG&E) that defective refurbished CBs were supplied to PG&E's Diablo Canyon 
Nuclear Power Plant by a California electrical supplier.  Supplement 1 to IN 
88-46 provided a list of shipments of CBs to nuclear power plants or nuclear 
utilities by five California companies that may have supplied defective re-
furbished electrical equipment. 

The NRC conducted followup inspections and investigations at selected CB 
distributors and at companies suspected of selling used or refurbished circuit
breakers.  Plant-related information obtained from these sources was 
summarized in Supplement 2 to IN 88-46. 

During an inspection at the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant (PINGP) 
conducted October 25-November 4, 1988, NRC identified that 16 General Electric
Company (GE) THEF 136050 CBs had been purchased by PINGP from Lakeland Engi-
neering Equipment Company of Minneapolis, who in turn, obtained these CBs from

Bud Ferguson's Industrial Control and Supply, Inc. (BF) of Whittier and Lake 
Forest, California and had them shipped directly to PINGP.  The packing slip/ 
invoice from BF indicated that one of the breakers was new and that 15 were 


                                                       IN 88-46, Supplement 3 
                                                       June 8, 1989 
                                                       Page 2 of 2 

used.  Visual inspection of seven of the CBs located in PINGP warehouse showed
that six of the breakers were in boxes with labels that appeared to be repro-
ductions of original GE labels.  Most of the breakers showed scratches and 
tool marks on the casings and screw heads consistent with used or refurbished 

Subsequent detailed examination of seven of these CBs by GE confirmed that 
five CBs had counterfeit rating labels and all seven had counterfeit U/L 
labels.  The breakers were tested for thermal performance, calibration and 
dielectric strength.  Two of the breakers failed to meet the acceptance 
criteria.  Two CBs were then opened and inspected internally and showed no 
evidence of tampering or counterfeit parts.

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 NRC 
regional office.

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

Technical Contact:  K. R. Naidu, NRR 
                    (301) 492-0980 

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