United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 97-47: Inadequate Puncture Tests for Type B Packages Under 10 CFR 71.73(c)(3)

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

                                            June 27, 1997

                               PACKAGES UNDER 10 CFR 71.73(c)(3)


All "users and fabricators" of type B transportation packages (as defined in
10 CFR 171.16(10)(B).


The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this information
notice to alert addressees to issues related to the performance of puncture
tests as required in 10 CFR 71.73(c)(3).  It is expected that recipients will
review the information for applicability to their packages and consider
actions, as appropriate, to avoid similar problems.  However, suggestions
contained in this information notice are not NRC requirements; therefore, no
specific action or written response is required by this notice.

Description of Circumstances

Recently, the NRC became aware of two "users and fabricators" holding
Certificates of Compliance for packages under 10 CFR Part 71 that performed
the hypothetical accident condition puncture tests utilizing a bar that was
not "mounted" as required in 10 CFR 71.73(c)(3).  The improper conduct of
these tests resulted in issuance of NRC Confirmatory Action Letters which
suspend fabrication of packagings until retesting is performed and that
compliance with the requirements of 10 CFR Part 71 is verified.


The testing requirements for type B packagings under 10 CFR 71.73 require that
hypothetical accident condition tests be performed in the order specified in
10 CFR 71.73(c).  The puncture test is to be performed following the free drop
[10 CFR 71.73(c)(1)] and when required, following the crush test [10 CFR
71.73(c)(2)].  The puncture test consists of a free drop of the specimen
through a distance of 1 meter (40 inches) in a position for which maximum
damage is expected, onto the upper end of a solid, vertical, cylindrical, mild
steel bar mounted on an essentially unyielding horizontal surface.  The bar
must be fastened or attached such that it will not move during the test to
ensure that maximum damage to the packaging would occur during the test. 
Failure to secure the pin during testing invalidates the tests and results.  

9706270194.                                                                             IN 97-47
                                                                             June 27, 1997
                                                                             Page 2 of 2

Packaging "users and fabricators" should review their test program and
procedures to assure that the puncture tests utilize a "mounted" bar and are
consistent with the requirements of 10 CFR Part 71.

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.

                                              signed by

                                      William F. Kane, Director
                                      Spent Fuel Project Office                                     
                                      Office of Nuclear Material Safety
                                        and Safeguards

Technical contacts:  David Tiktinsky, NMSS
                     E-mail:  dht@nrc.gov

                     Ross Chappell, NMSS
                     E-mail:  crc1@nrc.gov
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, May 22, 2015