Westinghouse subsidiary receives notice of non-conformance

21 June 2017

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a notice of non-conformance to Westinghouse over concerns about quality assurance (QA) at its Mangiarotti subsidiary.

In a letter dated 8 June, the regulator said that inspections carried out in April by its staff found that the implementation of Westinghouse's QA program did not meet certain regulatory requirements. The letter was made public on 16 June. Specifically, the NRC inspection team determined that Westinghouse was not fully implementing its QA program in the area of corrective action associated with incorrect use of material for AP1000 passive residual heat removal heat exchanger (PRHR HX) lower support stiffener plates, identified in an earlier inspection.

Westinghouse acquired Mangiarotti, which manufactures and tests nuclear island equipment, pressurisers, steam generators and heat exchangers, in September 2014. The Italian company was already supplying components for AP1000 reactors under construction at VC Summer and Vogtle in the USA.

NRC inspections were carried out at Mangiarotti's facility in Monfalcone, Italy in July 2016, after which the company was allowed time to complete corrective actions associated with issues related to Mangiarotti's control of purchased material and services identified during an audit by Westinghouse prior to its acquisition of Mangiarotti. The inspection of Mangiarotti was continued at Westinghouse's facility in Rockville, Maryland in April 2017.

The NRC team concluded that Westinghouse "had not taken prompt corrective action or identified the cause of a significant condition adverse to quality" related to the PRHR HX issue, which involved the use of a different type of stainless steel in the manufacture of the component from that required. It found that Mangiarotti's QA policies and procedures complied with applicable regulatory requirements and were being implemented effectively in other areas.

The NRC gave Westinghouse 30 days to provide a written explanation of the reason for the noncompliance; corrective steps that have been taken and the results achieved; corrective steps that will be taken to avoid further noncompliance; and the date when the corrective action will be completed.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News