United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Arkansas Plants Rated "Superior" in Three Areas "Good" in One in Latest NRC Assessment



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U. S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, REGION IV

611 Ryan Plaza Drive, Suite 400, Arlington TX 76011

CONTACT:    Breck Henderson (817) 860-8128/e-mail: bwh@nrc.gov

RIV: 98-09

February 20, 1998

ARKANSAS PLANTS RATED "SUPERIOR" IN THREE AREAS "GOOD" IN ONE IN LATEST NRC ASSESSMENT

The Arkansas Nuclear One nuclear power plant has received performance ratings of "superior" in plant operations, maintenance and plant support, and "good" in engineering in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's latest systematic assessment of licensee performance (SALP).

The SALP report was recently issued to Entergy Operations, Inc., operator of the twin reactor facility situated near Russellville, Arkansas. It evaluates plant safety performance from July 7, 1996, through January 3 of this year.

NRC and Entergy officials will discuss the report during a meeting set for 11 a.m. March 4 in the Reeves E. Ritchie Training Facility in Russellville. The meeting will be open for public observation. NRC officials will be available afterwards to speak with reporters, state and local officials, and members of the public.

NRC systematic assessment reports rate licensees in four functional areas--plant operations, maintenance, engineering, and plant support--and assigns ratings of Category 1, 2, or 3 corresponding to superior, good or adequate safety performance. The ANO report rates the plant "Category 1" in plant operations, maintenance and plant support, indicating superior performance. It rates engineering as "Category 2" indicating good safety performance. ANO was given the following scores on the current SALP and previous SALP in 1996:

Functional areas Current Rating Previous Rating
Plant Operations 1 1
Maintenance 1 2
Engineering 2 1
Plant Support 1 1

In his cover letter to the report, NRC Regional Administrator Ellis W. Merschoff said, "Performance in the plant operations area continued to be superior. Management involvement and support, coupled with superior operating practices and highly skilled operators, contributed to the safe operation of the facility."

Safety performance in maintenance improved to a superior level because of the high quality of maintenance and surveillance implementation, as well as continuing improvements in plant material condition.

Mr. Merschoff said, "Engineering effectively responded to a number of complex issues during this period with comprehensive, well-founded plans and actions, and consistently provided strong support to operations and maintenance. However, an increase in the number and significance of engineering performance deficiencies warrants increased attention."

The reduction in accumulated radiation dose owing to overall reduction in plant radiation levels was a noted strength in the plant support area, which retained a superior rating.

Editors: A copy of the full SALP report is available from this office on request. It also will be available in electronic format on the NRC Office of Public Affairs Internet home page at http://www.nrc.gov/OPA.

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