United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

NRC Rates Peach Bottom as "Superior" in Three Areas, "Good" in Fourth, in Agency's Latest Assessment of Plant's Performance


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U. S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, REGION I

475 Allendale Road, King of Prussia, Pa. 19406

CONTACT: Diane Screnci (610)337-5330/ e-mail: dps@nrc.gov
Neil A. Sheehan (610)337-5331/e-mail: nas@nrc.gov

I-97-87

July 18, 1997

NRC RATES PEACH BOTTOM AS "SUPERIOR" IN THREE AREAS, "GOOD"
IN FOURTH, IN AGENCY'S LATEST ASSESSMENT OF PLANT'S PERFORMANCE

The Peach Bottom nuclear power plant has garnered performance ratings of "superior" for operations, maintenance and plant support and "good" for engineering in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff's latest Systematic Assessment of Licensee Performance (SALP) report for the facility. The two-reactor plant is located in Delta (York County), Pa., and is operated by PECO Energy Company.

The assessment covers the period from October 15, 1996 through June of this year.

NRC staff and PECO Energy officials will discuss the evaluation during a meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 29, at the Peach Bottom site. The meeting will be open to the public for observation. Afterwards, NRC staff will be available to speak with reporters, state and local officials, and members of the public.

Four functional areas of nuclear power plant performance are rated in NRC SALP reports: plant operations, maintenance, engineering and plant support. Ratings of Category 1 ("superior"), 2 ("good") or 3 ("acceptable") are assigned. The reports are issued roughly once every 18 months for each plant, though they are typically released more frequently for plants on the NRC's "watch" list of troubled plants.

Peach Bottom's latest ratings are the same as those it received during the previous assessment period, with overall performance found to remain excellent.

"The areas of operations and maintenance were rated Category 1 as a result of strong management oversight, excellent personnel performance, good planning and effective work control," NRC Region 1 Administrator Hubert J. Miller wrote in a letter to the utility regarding the report. "The plant material condition was, in general, very good."

NRC staff found that in the area of operations, plant operators responded to problems in an outstanding manner and that actions to reduce operator attention-to-detail errors were effective. Regarding maintenance, the agency noted that personnel generally performed well, demonstrating good knowledge and good use of procedures.

"The area of plant support was also rated Category 1 with continued overall effectiveness of radiation protection, emergency preparedness, fire protection and security activities," Mr. Miller continued.

More specifically, the NRC staff determined the PECO implemented effective problem identification, root cause assessment and corrective action programs in the plant support area.

Engineering received a Category 2 rating because while overall performance in that area was good, there were several instances in which operating procedures, surveillances and tests were not consistent with the plant's design and licensing bases, or operational blueprints. Addressing that area, Mr. Miller stated that even though the material condition of equipment generally remained excellent, "some balance of plant equipment problems challenged operators, indicating continuing attention to equipment performance is needed. Also we found problems with the development and management oversight of efforts to implement the maintenance rule program."

SALP reports may be viewed on the NRC's Internet web site at <http://www.nrc.gov/OPA>.

The reports for all plants also may be obtained by e-mail, as they are as issued. Send an e-mail to listproc@nrc.gov with no subject and the following message: subscribe SALP yourfirstname yourlastname.

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