Nuclear Regulation

Action Needed To Ensure That Utilities Monitor and Repair Pipe Damage Gao ID: RCED-88-73 March 18, 1988

In response to a congressional request, GAO: (1) assessed the pipe degradation problems at the Surry and Trojan nuclear power plants; and (2) addressed actions that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the utilities took to identify and correct pipe system problems.

GAO found that: (1) prior to the Surry accident, neither NRC nor the industry believed that nuclear plants were susceptible to pipe deterioration; (2) neither NRC regulations nor industry standards required monitoring of erosion and corrosion in single-phase pipes; (3) utility companies found widespread damage at Surry and widespread erosion and corrosion in both the regulated and unregulated portions of Trojan; (4) although the utilities took corrective action to replace unacceptable pipes, no industry-wide commitment exists to ensure that all utilities monitor pipe system integrity; and (5) after NRC required all utilities to report the extent of known damage due to erosion or corrosion, it identified 34 nuclear plants with some damage.


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