Frequently Asked Questions About the Construction Assessment Program
On this page:
- How does NRC assess the performance of a nuclear power plant that is under construction?
- How does NRC act on its assessment of a plant - what are the results?
- Are these assessments available to the public?
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 severity level designation based on their safety significance. Severity level IV violations indicate a very low risk significance and therefore have little or no impact on safety. Severity level III, II, and I violations each, respectively, represent a greater degree of safety significance.
How does NRC act on its assessment of a plant - what are the results?
The Region II Center for Construction Inspection (CCI) 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 Semiannual Performance Reviews (SPR) are conducted every six months. Each plant receives an assessment letter with an attached inspection plan as a result of these meetings.
Additionally, CCI 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.
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. Although the NRC is actively overseeing security performance, the Commission has decided that the related inspection and assessment information will not be publically available to ensure that potentially useful information is not provided to a possible adversary. The NRC also conducts an annual public meeting in the vicinity of the plant to discuss licensee performance.