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RIS 00-008: Voluntary Submission of Performance Indicator Data

March 28, 2000

Addressees

All holders of operating licenses for nuclear power reactors, except those who have permanently ceased operations and have certified that fuel has been permanently removed from the reactor vessel.

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Intent

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this regulatory issue summary (RIS) to inform power reactor licensees that the NRC will begin implementation of its revised reactor oversight process (RROP) on April 2, 2000. This RIS also provides information on the process to be used by licensees to voluntarily submit a report of selected reactor facility performance attributes (i.e., performance indicator (PI) data) to the NRC beginning April 21, 2000. The PI data submitted will provide input to the NRC process for overseeing the performance of nuclear reactor plants. This RIS requires no action or written response on the part of the addressee.

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Background Information

The NRC is currently revising its reactor oversight process to respond to issues identified during internal staff reviews, as well as to concerns expressed by congressional committees, the nuclear industry, and public interest groups.

The RROP uses PI information, along with the results from the reactor inspection program, to provide the basis for the NRC staff to assess plant performance and establish the appropriate regulatory response. PIs provide objective indications of the performance of plant systems and licensee programs on a periodic basis. The use of PI information is a basic element of the RROP and is expected to contribute to an overall reduction in NRC regulatory burden on licensees.

The RROP, including the reporting of PI information, was tested in a pilot program from June through November 1999 at nine reactor sites. The RROP is scheduled to commence implementation at all operating power reactor facilities (except D.C. Cook and Browns Ferry 1, as discussed below) beginning April 2, 2000.

PIs are defined in Nuclear Energy Institute exit icon (NEI) 99-02 [Revision 0], "Regulatory Assessment Performance Indicator Guideline." To support implementation of the RROP, licensees should report PI data beginning on April 21, 2000, and submit data on a quarterly basis thereafter.

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Summary of Issue

The NRC solicited public participation while considering improvements to its reactor oversight process, including the enhanced use of PIs. The NRC met with industry representatives more than 10 times in 1998 and biweekly in 1999 and held a number of public meetings (including a public workshop on September 28-October 1, 1998, and public Commission briefings on April 2 and November 2, 1998, January 20 and March 6, 1999, and March 7, 2000). Additional public workshops on the RROP, including PIs, were conducted on April 12-15 and May 17-20, 1999. The NRC conducted a public lessons-learned workshop on January 10-13, 2000. Public workshops on the RROP were also conducted in each region between February 22 and March 23, 2000.

Industry's early initiatives to improve NRC's oversight process included a proposal that licensees submit PI data to enhance the objectivity of the process. On the basis of this proposal, the PI portion of the RROP was designed to use PI data submitted by licensees. The efficacy of the PI portion of the RROP is contingent upon the provision of data by addressees for their respective reactor facilities in accordance with the guidance contained in NEI 99-02. The NRC has accepted this industry document for addressee use in the reporting of PI data. The NRC is asking that this information be transmitted in electronic format to the e-mail address noted below.

Licensees should submit the PI data as a delimited text file (data stream) attached to an e-mail addressed to <pidata.resource@nrc.gov>. The e-mail message can include report files for all units at a site and can also include any change report file(s). The title or subject of the e-mail should indicate the unit(s) for which data are included, the applicable quarter, and whether the attachment includes quarterly reports (QRs), change reports (CRs), or both. The NRC will send return e-mails with the licensee's submittal attached to confirm and authenticate receipt of the proper data. Licensees should not submit hard copies of the PI data submittal (with the possible exception of a backup if the e-mail system is unavailable).

To minimize the regulatory burden on licensees, given that NEI 99-02 [Revision 0] was just issued on March 28, 2000, the reporting elements for each PI found in Appendix B of NEI 99-02 [Draft Revision D] should be used. However, the thresholds listed in NEI 99-02 [Revision 0] will apply to the first quarter data submittal. All subsequent PI data submissions should follow the reporting guidance found in NEI 99-02 [Revision 0]. The licensee has the option to report the April submittal in accordance with NEI 99-02 [Revision 0]. The April 2000 submittal will include data for each indicator covering a 3-month period (January - March 2000), with the exception of the containment leakage and isolation condenser safety system unavailability PIs, which are being deleted from the PI program. In addition, the NEI 99-02 [Revision 0] change in the occupational radiation occurrence PI from a 12-quarter sum to a 4-quarter sum will be effective starting with the first quarter data submittal.

NEI has informed the NRC that reactor licensees have expressed their support for the RROP and intend to participate. Nevertheless, addressee reporting of the PI data is voluntary. The NRC does not expect D.C. Cook or Browns Ferry 1 to report PI data at this time because of the extended period that they have been shut down. The NRC is developing guidance to describe the process to be used by plants that were in an extended shutdown and are returning to full operation. This guidance will be issued in the near future.

PIs will be refined as experience is gained with implementation of the RROP. Changes will be made in accordance with a formal change process that provides opportunity for stakeholder involvement. Once a final decision is reached to implement the change, it will be published in a revision to NEI 99-02 to include the effective date of implementation.

The NRC anticipates that the voluntary reporting of PI data will contribute to a more objective assessment of plant performance and to an overall reduction of burden on licensees as a consequence of the offsetting reduction in NRC inspection under the RROP.

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Voluntary Action

Addressees should conform to the guidance contained in this RIS for the voluntary reporting of PI data. The PI data should be provided as an attachment to an e-mail addressed to <pidata.resource@nrc.gov> on or before April 21, 2000, for the first quarter of calendar year 2000 and by the 21st of the month following the end of each calendar quarter thereafter. Addressees should follow the reporting guidance stated in NEI 99-02 [Draft Revision D] for the data submittal of April 21, 2000, except that the containment leakage PI and the isolation condenser safety system unavailability have been deleted, and licensees should not submit any data for those indicators. Also, the occupational radiation occurrence PI is to be reported as a 4-quarter sum vice a 12-quarter sum. All subsequent PI data submissions should follow the reporting guidance found in NEI 99-02 [Revision 0], though a licensee may opt to apply this guidance for its April 21, 2000, submittal. The thresholds described in NEI 99-02 [Revision 0] will become effective beginning with the submittal of PI information on April 21, 2000.

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Backfit Discussion

This RIS requires no action or written response. Any action on the part of addressees to collect and transmit PI data in accordance with the guidance contained in this RIS is strictly voluntary and, therefore, is not a backfit under 10 CFR 50.109. Consequently, the staff did not perform a backfit analysis.

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Federal Register Notification

A notice of opportunity for public comment on this RIS was not published in the Federal Register because the NRC has worked closely with NEI, industry representatives, members of the public, and other stakeholders since early 1998 on the development of NRC's RROP, including the collection of PI data. The NRC has solicited public comments on its intent to collect PI data in five Federal Register notices (dated January 22, April 19, May 26, July 19, and August 11, 1999) and at numerous public meetings.

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Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

This RIS contains a voluntary information collection that is subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (22 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The collection of this information is covered by OMB clearance number 3150-0195 which expires on October 31, 2002.

If there are any questions about this matter, please contact the person listed below.

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  /RA/

David B. Matthews, Director
Division of Regulatory Improvement Programs
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

Technical Contact: Serita Sanders, NRR
301-415-2956
e-mail: Serita.Sanders@nrc.gov
Attachment: List of Recently Issued NRC Regulatory Issue Summaries

(ADAMS Accession Number ML003685821)

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, April 15, 2014