United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment


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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-98-23

March 2, 1998

NRC STAFF RATES TMI "SUPERIOR" IN OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE,

"GOOD" IN PLANT SUPPORT AND "ADEQUATE" IN ENGINEERING

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has rated performance at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant as "superior" in operations and maintenance, "good" in plant support and "adequate" in engineering, the four areas of review in the NRC's latest Systematic Assessment of Licensee Performance (SALP). The plant is operated by GPU Nuclear, Inc.

The NRC issues SALP reports for the nation's commercial nuclear power plants about once every 18 months. Three levels of ratings are used in the reports: Category 1 ("superior"), Category 2 ("good"), and Category 3 ("acceptable").

The latest TMI SALP covers the period from August 5, 1996, through January 24 of this year.

In a letter to the utility, NRC Region I Administrator Hubert J. Miller wrote that performance during the assessment period was "mixed." He recognized the superior performance ratings in operations and maintenance, and also noted that senior management of in-plant activities was "usually a strength with a generally good focus on problem identification and resolution."

However, he said the performance decline in the engineering area was the second consecutive assessment in which a decline was noted, "indicating that previous efforts to improve performance in that area were not effective." Significant problems were noted in many engineering program areas, including in-service testing, motor-operated valve programs, the technical classification list process and technical support. By contrast, Mr. Miller said, "system engineering provided generally good support to address emergent issues. The procurement engineering program was excellent and had good management oversight."

The NRC staff will meet with utility officials at 2:00 p.m., on March 18 at the TMI Nuclear Training Center (Route 441 South) in Middletown, Pa. The meeting is open to the public for observation.

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NOTE: SALP reports are available on the NRC's internet web site at www.nrc.gov/OPA.


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