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RIS 01-011: Voluntary Submission of Performance Indicator Data

May 11, 2001

Addresses

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.

Intent

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this regulatory issue summary (RIS) to inform power reactor licensees that the NRC has endorsed Revision 1 of NEI 99-02, "Regulatory Assessment Performance Indicator Guideline", for addressee use in the collection and reporting of performance indicator (PI) data to the NRC. PI data provides input to the NRC's new process for overseeing the performance of nuclear power reactor plants, the Reactor Oversight Process (ROP). This RIS requires no action or written response on the part of addressees.

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Background Information

The NRC began implementing the ROP on April 2, 2000. The ROP uses PI information, along with results from the reactor inspection program, as the basis for assessing plant performance and determining the appropriate regulatory response. PIs are objective, periodic measures of plant performance and the effectiveness of licensee programs. PI data are a basic element of the ROP and are expected to contribute to an overall reduction in NRC regulatory burden on licensees.

The PI data provide a broad sample of information on licensee safety performance. The PI data are not intended to cover every aspect of plant design and operation. The data provide an objective indication of the performance of plant systems and licensee programs in specific risk-significant areas. The NRC compares the PI data submitted by a licensee to risk-informed, objective thresholds to assess plant performance within cornerstone areas. Reporting of PI data to the NRC is a voluntary program in which all licensees participate.

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Summary of Issue

During initial implementation of the ROP, the NRC established a formal process to (1) address questions and feedback from internal and external stakeholders, (2) make changes to existing PIs and thresholds based on lessons learned, and (3) develop new PIs and associated thresholds. The formal process provides an opportunity for NRC and industry personnel to identify questions regarding interpretation of the reporting criteria. These "frequently asked questions" (FAQs) are reviewed at periodic public meetings of the NRC/ROP Industry Working Group to resolve issues raised and to develop approved responses.

The revision to NEI 99-02 incorporates changes to reflect the insights gained from the resolution of FAQs. The revised document is expected to limit unnecessary reporting burdens and provide clear guidance to power reactor licensees on the accurate and consistent reporting of PI information.

The efficacy of the PI portion of the ROP is contingent upon the submission of accurate data by addressees for their respective reactor facilities in accordance with the guidance contained in NEI 99-02, Revision 1. The NRC has endorsed this industry document for addressee use in the reporting of PI data.

PIs will continue to be refined as experience is gained with the ROP. Changes will be made in accordance with the formal change process to provide opportunity for stakeholder involvement and will be published in the next revision to NEI 99-02.

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 ROP.

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Voluntary Action

Addressees should conform to the guidance contained in this RIS for the voluntary reporting of PI data. As indicated in NEI 99-02, Revision 1, the PI data should be provided as an attachment to an e-mail addressed to Pidata.Resource@nrc.gov. The guidance contained in this revision is effective for data collection as of July 1, 2001, which is the beginning of the third reporting quarter. All subsequent PI data should be submitted on or before the 21st day of the month following the end of the reporting quarter.

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. Therefore, the staff did not perform a backfit analysis.

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 Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), industry representatives, members of the public, and other stakeholders since early 1998 on the development of NRC's ROP and 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 (44 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 you have 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 ML011240144)

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