Information Notice No. 92-66: Access Denied to NRC Inspectors at Five Star Products, Inc. and Construction Products Research, Fairfield, Connecticut

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

                                   September 1, 1992

                               PRODUCTS, INC. AND CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS
                               RESEARCH, FAIRFIELD, CONNECTICUT


All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power
reactors and all recipients of NUREG-0040, "Licensee, Contractor and Vendor
Inspection Status Report" (White Book).


The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this information
notice to alert addressees to the NRC's concern that Five Star Products,
Incorporated (Five Star), and its laboratory contractor, Construction Products
Research (CPR), denied NRC inspectors necessary access to the contracted test
laboratory and test data for grout and concrete mix products.  It is expected
that recipients will review this information and consider actions, as
appropriate.  However, suggestions contained in this information notice are
not NRC requirements; therefore, no specific action or written response is

Description of Circumstances

On Tuesday, August 18, 1992, NRC inspectors arrived at the Five Star facility,
located at Fairfield, Connecticut, to conduct an inspection pursuant to the
provisions of Section 21.41, "Inspection," of Title 10 of the Code of Federal
Regulations, Part 21 (10 CFR Part 21).  The NRC promulgated 10 CFR Part 21
under the authority of Section 206 of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974,
42 U.S.C. 5846, and Sections 161b and 161o of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954,
as amended, (42 U.S.C. 2201(b) and 2201(o)). Section 21.41 authorizes NRC
inspections of facilities supplying "basic components," or parts thereof, for
commercial nuclear power plants as that term is defined in 10 CFR Part 21.   
Five Star supplies grout and concrete mix materials, tested at its facility by
CPR, to the commercial nuclear industry.  Five Star certifies these materials
as being manufactured and controlled in accordance with the requirements of
Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50. 


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On Tuesday, August 18, 1992, and Wednesday, August 19, 1992, the NRC
inspectors were denied access necessary for an inspection of the CPR test
laboratory and test records on the Five Star premises.  On Wednesday, August
19, 1992, Five Star managers told the NRC inspectors that they would not be
allowed to continue the inspection as of the end of the day even though the
NRC inspectors indicated that they had not completed the inspection.


The NRC conducted this inspection to determine the extent to which Five Star
has supplied material or services to licensed nuclear plants, the adequacy of
its quality assurance and testing programs, and the adequacy of its products. 
Purchase orders reviewed during the limited inspection indicated that
licensees have purchased concrete products from Five Star and are invoking the
requirements of Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50 and 10 CFR Part 21 on the orders
to Five Star.  The NRC learned that licensees and licensee contractors
auditing Five Star who requested access to CPR's test laboratory and test
records were denied necessary access to the test laboratory and records.
During the limited inspection at Five Star, the NRC inspectors found that not
all licensees purchasing from Five Star had performed implementation audits of
Five Star. In October, 1991, a member of the Nuclear Utility Procurement
Issues Council (NUPIC) performed a NUPIC audit and concluded that the Five
Star quality assurance program and its implementation were unacceptable and
did not meet certain requirements of Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50.  However,
the NRC inspectors determined that some licensees have accepted the Five Star
quality assurance program as meeting all applicable Appendix B requirements. 
The NRC inspectors reviewed Five Star customer purchase orders for the period
from 1988 to 1992 and determined that at least seven licensees and one
licensee contractor issued purchase orders to Five Star for grout and concrete
mix products and specified compliance to Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50 and 10
CFR Part 21.  Purchasers may have accepted the use of Five Star products upon
performing audits that did not include reviewing the test laboratory and test
records.  Therefore, the affected audits were not adequate to determine the
quality of the Five Star products. 

The denial of access to NRC inspectors appears to be a willful violation of
Section 21.41, which permits the NRC access to Five Star's records, premises,
activities, and basic components as necessary to effect the purposes of this
part.  Upon being denied access, the NRC could not examine the extent and
adequacy of the products produced by Five Star and therefore does not have
reasonable assurance that the products produced are adequate for use in
safety-related applications in nuclear power plants.  Consequently, the NRC is
interested in receiving any information on tests or instances of failure of
Five Star products.   

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This information notice requires no specific action or written response.  If
you have any questions about the information in this notice, please contact
one of the technical contacts listed below or the appropriate NRC Office of
Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) project manager.

                              ORIGINAL SIGNED BY 

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

Technical contacts:  Robert Pettis, NRR     
                     (301) 504-3214

                     Stewart Magruder, NRR
                     (301) 504-3220 

Attachment:  List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices


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