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Frequently Asked Questions About the Construction Assessment Program

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How does NRC assess the performance of a nuclear power plant that is under construction?

The NRC uses inspection findings to assess the performance of plants that are under construction. Inspection findings are evaluated and given a color designation based on their safety significance. Green findings indicate very low risk significance with nominal deviation from expected performance. White, Yellow, and Red findings each, respectively, represent a greater degree of safety significance.

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How does NRC act on its assessment of a plant - what are the results?

The Region II construction inspection staff maintains an awareness of licensee performance at each site that is under construction. On a quarterly basis, the NRC reviews inspection findings and determines the appropriate level of engagement as dictated by the Construction Action Matrix.

More formal reviews, referred to as mid-cycle reviews and end-of-cycle reviews are conducted for the 12-month timeframe ending on June 30 and December 31 each year, respectively. Each plant receives an assessment letter with an attached inspection plan as a result of these meetings.

Additionally, Region II maintains a continuous awareness of licensee performance. As discussed in the IMC 2505, "Periodic Assessment of Construction Inspection Program Results," additional agency actions may be taken between quarterly reviews as declining performance information becomes available.

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Are these assessments available to the public?

The construction inspection reports and the construction assessment letters describing plant performance are posted to the NRC Web site. The NRC also conducts an annual public meeting in the vicinity of the plant to discuss licensee performance.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, September 05, 2013