United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Revisions to Event Reporting Guidelines for Power Reactors

UNITED STATES
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555-0001

March 17, 1998

NRC ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER 98-02: REVISIONS TO EVENT REPORTING GUIDELINES FOR POWER REACTORS

Addressees

All holders of operating licenses for nuclear reactors.

Purpose

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this administrative letter to inform addressees of revisions to NRC staff guidelines for implementing the event reporting requirements of 10 CFR 50.72, "Immediate Notification Requirements for Operating Nuclear Power Reactors," and 10 CFR 50.73, "Licensee Event Report System."

Background

Experience has indicated that there is some difficulty in interpreting event reporting requirements and definitions and some inconsistency in reporting thresholds. A 1990 survey on the impacts of NRC regulation and subsequent event reporting workshops also indicated a need for improved reporting guidelines. NUREG-1022, Revision 1, "Event Reporting Guidelines, 10 CFR 50.72 and 50.73," was prepared to respond to that need. Primarily, the staff edited and combined the information contained in NUREG-1022 and its Supplements 1 and 2, the Statements of Considerations for 10 CFR 50.72 and 50.73, and other published reporting guidance, such as that contained in generic letters, bulletins, and information notices. Clarifications and additions were made as needed. A draft of Revision 1 of NUREG-1022 was published for comment in 1991, the issues raised were discussed at public meetings in 1992 and 1993, and a second draft was published for comment in 1994.

Discussion

NUREG-1022, Revision 1, was published in final form on January 28, 1998. The purpose of this revision is to help ensure that events are reported as required by improving the guidance, including clarification and consolidation of applicable existing guidance into a single reference document. This final version is being mailed to broad groups of interested parties, including utility executives, plant managers, and NRC resident inspectors and project managers. It is available on the Internet (http://www.nrc.gov/NRC/NUREGS/SR1022r1/index.html). The report may also be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 37082, Washington, DC 20402-9328. Copies are available for inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room, 2120 L Street NW., Washington, DC. On February 6, 1998, a Federal Register notice was published to announce the availability of the report and summarize the responses to public comments on the second draft (63 FR 6327).

In the process of completing this report, it was recognized that there is a need to revise the current rules to (1) correct weaknesses, including reducing the reporting burden associated with events of little or no safety significance, and (2) better align the rules with the NRC's current needs, including (a) obtaining information better related to risk and (b) reconsidering the required reporting times in relation to the need for prompt NRC action. A rulemaking plan to address these areas is now being prepared. The rulemaking would include substantial public input and focus on current NRC information needs.

There has been some controversy about the requirement to report when a plant is in a condition outside the design basis. NUREG-1022, Revision 1, provides guidance and several examples for this reporting criterion and two related criteria: a seriously degraded condition and unanalyzed condition that seriously compromised plant safety. Further guidance beyond that provided in Revision 1 is being deferred pending rulemaking.

In NUREG-1022, Revision 1, little of the guidance is new or different from the generic reporting guidance previously published in final form in NUREG-1022 (1983), its Supplement 1 (1984), and subsequent generic communications, such as generic letters and information notices. Even less of the guidance is different from the second draft of Revision 1, which was published for comment in 1994 and has been referred to extensively since then. On balance, the net impact of the revisions of the guidelines is expected to be a small reduction in the number of reported events.

This administrative letter requires no specific action or written response. If you have any questions about this letter, please contact one of the persons listed below or your appropriate Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) Project Manager.


for
/s/'d [by David B. Matthews]
Jack W. Roe, Acting Director
Division of Reactor Program Management
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
Technical contacts: David Skeen, NRR
301-415-1174
e-mail DLS@nrc.gov

Dennis Allison, AEOD
301-415-6835
e-mail DPA@nrc.gov

 


(NUDOCS Accession Number 9803110280)

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