Mr. Jim Heller, NRC Region III:

This is my rebutting of your Response to my Allegation No. 7 submitted to you via my December 3, 2001, Report, Pages 23-25. Your Response was provided in your Letter to me dated Dec. 4, 2002. I only included your response to this issue and not other issues as yet.
Are you formally reopening your investigation for my case or am I just wasting my time and breath?

Oscar Shirani.

Nuclear Safety Alert

As a concerned citizen of this country and a nuclear power plant worker, I have the following ALLEGATIONS against Exelon/ComEd, the operators of the largest nuclear plants in the United States, partly located in State of Illinois regarding the safety of our public:


Oscar Shirani’s Potential Part 21 issue to Zion Station (Ref: ATTACHMENT 15) was not considered and investigated by ComEd. The issue may also be applicable to other ComEd’s older vintage plants such as Dresden and Quad Cities. (This is definitely a significant public safety concern). The details were maintained in my personal files which, were taken out by ComEd after exiting me with humiliation and disgrace. This issue was an area of my expertise in valve seismic analysis and I was the manager of Motor Operated Valves (MOV) Seismic and Weak Link Analysis per USNRC GL 89-10 Program for over three years at ComEd.


I issued a potential 10CFR Part 21 Finding to Zion Station in August 1995 when I was serving as a technical expert in that audit that Al Newcomer was leading. I identified that this significant finding should be investigated for its potential applicability to other older vintage plants, such as Dresden and Quad Cities and reported to NRC for potential applicability to other plants nationwide. ComEd did not and lied to NRC in December 2002 and NRC believed them.

My finding was stating: "No design analysis were performed for the shaving off/removing the wall thickness of the bonnet (pressure boundary portion) of the sampled valves selected during the audit."

ComEd had purchased many of these valves twenty years back from Mom and Pop shops with no calculations. ComEd had upgraded the piping systems/valves to safety related applications (vendor did not sell these valves for that purpose and hence it did not provide the calcs). ComEd should have generated seismic and weak link analysis, but it did not. When these valves were subjected to various modifications due to errosion/corrosion that the valve wall thickness were getting thinner, the calculations should reflect the design changes and document them. ComEd should not bless the removal of the wall thickness without revising the calculations. There were no calculations existing and ComEd engineering were blessing these valves by engineering judgment and without performing the calculation and revisions. There was no calculations available to revise to reflect the actual modifications. This should have been reported by ComEd to NRC and investigate for other outages performing the same modifications for the same valves or systems impacted. 

Zion Station Engineering and QA at the exit meeting told me that this issue will remain as an OPEN item for investigation.  I notified my boss, Mr. Netzel and he told me to call Zion Station for follow-up. I called more than three to four times a month for approx. 8 months. Al New comer never returned my calls and I went and told his boss, Mr. Madigan. He was even worse. Madigan told me that he would investigate this issue. I NEVER RECEIVED THE COPY OF THAT AUDIT REPORT. My manager Mr. Netzel could not do anything about it either.  I had my own notes in my personal files. Exelon removed any of my files from my files that were not considered personal when they terminated me in October 2001.

I have the letter from ComEd management that it has agreed the need to investigate the finding, but it did not (I provided the copy of the letter to NRC as Attachment 15 to my December 3, 2001, Report to NRC). I explained this issue in length to NRC. I made an allegation in this regard to NRC along with other 8 allegations (total of 9) on November 1, 2001.

Zion Site VP, all engineering VP and managers and even site QA were so nervous about this issue. Site QA Manager, Mike Madigan warned me not to raise any issue in this regards, because I am from QA and this issue makes QA look worse that engineering. Mr. Madigan confessed to me that SQV (QA) had observed the engineering activities during other outages regarding those valve modifications, but they did not raise any issues. Can you believe this from the QA Manager at ComEd? He is only trying to look good.

NRC received all these details from me in 11/1/01.

NRC’s Response to this Allegation





LISLE, ILLINOIS 60532-4351

December 4, 2002

Oscar Shirani

21 W. 704 Buckingham

Glen Ellyn, IL 60137


Dear Mr. Shirani:

This letter is in reference to our letter dated October 16, 2002, that stated we were reviewing your concerns associated with activities at the Exelon Generation Company. You were concerned:

Concern 11:

You were concerned that Exelon did not investigate an issue from a Zion audit in August 1995 (SQV Audit File 22-95-05) to ensure that a similar issue did not apply to older vintage plants such as Quad Cities and Dresden. You stated that the audit issue related to valves that were originally purchased as non-safety-related (or commercial-grade), were updated to safety-related without performing any calculations, and were subsequently modified based on engineering judgment without documentation. You believed that the modifications involved reduction in the thickness of the body or the bonnet of the valves.

Licensee’s investigation for concern 11:

The licensee determined that there were no audit findings relating to valves that were purchased as non-safety being inappropriately upgraded to safety-related. One issue identified in the report was substitution of valve bonnet bolting material F837-XM7 for material A-193-B6. The licensee stated that sample testing was performed on potentially affected valves and found acceptable and that no further corrective actions were necessary.

NRC’s evaluation and conclusion for concern 11:

Several members of the Region III technical staff reviewed the licensee's investigation, the Zion audit, and associated corrective actions. Based the staff’s review of the audit report, we confirmed that it did not contain any issues related to valves being improperly upgraded or modified without documentation. We also confirmed that the audit contained a Level II finding related to a potential Part 21 issued by Westinghouse which Zion had not responded to in a timely fashion. As stated by the licensee, the issue was the substitution of bolting material. The inspectors ascertained that the issue was initially evaluated by the Exelon corporate Part 21 group and determined to apply only to the three pressurized water reactors (Braidwood, Byron, and Zion). The documentation provided showed that all three plants reviewed the concern, although it took issuance of the audit finding to get Zion to do so.

Based on the results of our evaluation, we did not substantiate that the licensee failed to investigate an issue from a Zion audit. We consider this issue closed and plan no further follow-up inspection effort.


My Comment to the incompetent NRC Staff:

From the NRC's response, It is apparent that Exelon/ComEd had falsified the audit documents and excluded my findings from the official audit report. When NRC is sitting in their offices and only reviewing the documents produced by Exelon, what else you expect from their investigation?

ComEd willfully switched this Part 21 issue with another Part 21 issue that I myself (Oscar Shirani) from Corporate resolved with less than $3000. That Part 21 that ComEd is talking about was regarding the Copes Vulcan and Westinghouse Valve bolting issue and not bonnet wall thickness. Apple is a fruit so as Orange, but they are not the same.

What is the Westinghouse and Copes Vulcan Valves bonnet bolting material has anything to do with the Bonnet wall thickness removal/modification issue? Besides, Copes Vulcan and Westinghouse valves were purchased as safety related and not from Mom and Pop shop. Mom was Copes Vulcan and dad was Westinghouse. Besides, the 10CFR Part 21 issue was raised by Copes Vulcan and Westinghouse themselves.

Your staff only reviewed the falsified documents produced by Exelon. Your staff should have asked for the Shirani's objective evidence from the audit report. If my objective evidence was not included in the audit report, then you should have caught these criminals. I was part of that audit. Does Exelon deny my existence in that audit? If your staff were smart enough to perform a good investigation rather than reviewing the Exelon's falsified records, then you would have found the wrong doings of these criminals.

I will open up my documents to public to show how you investigated all my ten allegations. This is why I am urging every citizen of this nation to wake up our congressmen and senators to take my documents to the congressional hearing.


Posted online November 11th, 2003 by Russell D. Hoffman