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Whether or not this particular problem was rectified, how many more screw-ups like this? And, is NTS doing testing for the NASA nuclear reactor projects, especially since it is in Huntsville?

More pages here: https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1511/ML15113A338.pdf


National Testing Services Docket No. 99900905 7800 Highway 20 West Report No. 2015-201 Huntsville, AL 35806

Based on the results of a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) inspection conducted of National Testing Services (NTS), at their facility in Huntsville, Alabama from December 12-14, 2014 and February 11, 2015, it appears that certain activities were not conducted in accordance with NRC requirements that were contractually imposed upon NTS by its customers or by NRC licensees.

A. Criterion III, “Design Control,” of Appendix B to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 50, states, in part, that “applicable regulatory requirements and the design basis are correctly translated into specifications, drawings, procedures, and instructions.” It also states that “measures shall be established for the selection and review for suitability of application of materials, parts, equipment, and processes that are essential to the safety-related functions of the structures, systems, and components.”

Criterion V, “Instructions, Procedures, and Drawings,” of Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50, states in part, that “Activities affecting quality shall be prescribed by documented instructions, procedures, or drawings, of a type appropriate to the circumstances….”

Contrary to the above, as of December 12, 2014, NTS had not performed sufficient actions to ensure the suitability of processes that are essential to the safety-related functions of the components being tested.

Specifically, NTS did not take sufficient measures to validate the accuracy of the commercial vendor’s irradiation system as applied to the components sent for irradiation to a commercial facility by NTS. Also, NTS procedure NEQ 409, “The Wyle Third Party Dedication Process,” did not provide sufficient guidance on the “dedication” of commercial grade services.

Upon questioning by the inspection team, the previously stated accuracy of the irradiation system was found to be non-conservative as it did not include several factors that could impact the accuracy of the radiation measurements.

When all factors were accounted for, the measurement uncertainty went from 7 percent to 14.56 percent.

As a consequence, nuclear safety related components (squib valve actuators for the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor) currently undergoing environmental qualification at NTS did not receive the full radiation dose when subtracting out the actual uncertainty of the measurement system.

This issue has been identified as Nonconformance 99900905/2015-201-01.” More pages here: https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1511/ML15113A338.pdf