Information Notice No. 88-69: Movable Contact Finger Binding in HFA Relays Manufactured by General Electric (GE)

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

                                 August 19, 1988

                                   RELAYS MANUFACTURED BY GENERAL ELECTRIC 


All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power 


This information notice is being provided to alert addressees to potential 
problems resulting from binding of the movable contact fingers in HFA relays 
manufactured by GE.  It is expected that recipients will review the 
information for applicability to their facilities and consider actions, as 
appropriate, to avoid similar problems.  However, suggestions contained in 
this information notice do not constitute NRC requirements; therefore, no 
specific action or written response is required.

Description of Circumstances:

On August 12, 1988, GE submitted a written 10 CFR Part 21 notification to the 
NRC concerning binding of the movable contact fingers in HFA relays.  GE 
stated that one user of HFA relays had reported difficulty making wipe and gap 
settings on some of their HFA relays due to binding of a movable contact 
finger in the phenolic support assembly. The root cause of the binding was 
determined to be movable contacts that were manufactured wider than the 
allowable tolerance.  These wider contact arms may not float freely in the 
slot provided in the phenolic support.  GE also stated that the binding of a 
movable contact arm could inter-fere with the relay contact wipe, and that 
proper contact wipe is necessary to maintain correct operation and seismic 
rating of the relay.  In addition, GE recommended that all HFA relays having a 
date code prior to WC (September, 1988) be checked to determine if a movable 
contact finger binding condition exists.

A copy of the GE 10 CFR Part 21 notification is provided as Attachment 1.

The primary purpose of this information notice is to promptly alert addressees 
of this situation.  Addressees may wish to promptly contact GE concerning ad-
ditional details related to the potential for HFA relays not performing their 
intended function.  The NRC staff is continuing to review this situation.  Ad-
ditional regulatory action will be taken, if appropriate, upon completion of 
the staff's review.

.                                                            IN 88-69 
                                                            August 19, 1988 
                                                            Page 2 of 2 

No specific action or written response is required by this information notice.
If you have any questions about this matter, please contact one of the 
technical contacts listed below or the Regional Administrator of the 
appropriate regional office.

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

Technical Contacts:  Ray Scholl, NRR 
                     (301) 492-1171 

                     Jack Ramsey, NRR 
                     (301) 492-1167

1.  GE 10 CFR Part 21 Notification dated August 12, 1988
2.  List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices
.                                                            Attachment 2 
                                                            IN 88-69 
                                                            August 19, 1988 
                                                            Page 1 of 1

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

88-48,         Licensee Report of Defective  8/24/88        All holders of OLs
Supplement 1   Refurbished Valves                           or CPs for nuclear
                                                            power reactors. 

88-68          Setpoint Testing of Pres-     8/22/88        All holders of OLs
               surizer Safety Valves with                   or CPs for nuclear
               Filled Loop Seals Using                      power reactors. 
               Hydraulic Assist Devices 

88-67          PWR Auxiliary Feedwater Pump  8/22/88        All holders of OLs
               Turbine Overspeed Trip                       or CPs for nuclear
               Failure                                      power reactors. 

88-66          Industrial Radiography        8/22/88        All NRC industrial
               Inspection and Enforcement                   radiography 

88-65          Inadvertent Drainages of      8/18/88        All holders of OLs
               Spent Fuel Pools                             or CPs for nuclear
                                                            power reactors and
                                                            fuel storage 

88-64          Reporting Fires in Nuclear    8/18/88        All holders of OLs
               Process Systems at Nuclear                   or CPs for nuclear
               Power Plants                                 power reactors. 

88-63          High Radiation Hazards        8/15/88        All holders of OLs
               from Irradiated Incore                       or CPs for nuclear
               Detectors and Cables                         power reactors, 
                                                            research reactors 
                                                            and test reactors.

88-62          Recent Findings Concerning    8/12/88        All holders of NRC
               Implementation of Quality                    quality assurance 
               Assurance Programs by                        program approval 
               Suppliers of Transport                       for radioactive 
               Packages                                     material packages.

88-61          Control Room Habitability -   8/11/88        All holders of OLs
               Recent Reviews of Operating                  or CPs for nuclear
               Experience                                   power reactors. 
OL = Operating License
CP = Construction Permit 

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