United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

NRC Finds Performance 'Acceptable' at River Bend in Latest Review


NRC Seal NRC NEWS

U. S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, REGION IV

611 Ryan Plaza Drive, Suite 400, Arlington TX 76011

 

RIV: 99-19
April 8, 1999

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

 

NRC FINDS PERFORMANCE 'ACCEPTABLE' AT RIVER BEND IN LATEST REVIEW

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has found that safety performance remains acceptable in the NRC's latest plant performance review at River Bend Station, a nuclear power plant near St. Francisville, Louisiana.

Officials of NRC and Entergy Operations Inc. will discuss the review during a meeting set for Tuesday, April 20, at 1 p.m. in the plant training center auditorium. 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.

In a letter to Entergy Vice President Randall K. Edington NRC Branch Chief Charles S. Marschall said, "Overall, performance of the River Bend staff during the assessment period was acceptable." Operators displayed skill during routine plant maneuvers, and good maintenance practices were responsible for the generally good material condition of the plant. While Engineering and Plant Support areas were generally effective, deficiencies were noted in the radiation work permit program. There were some inconsistencies in individual performance in all areas, and these are the focus of the plant's corrective action program. Performance during this period does not warrant any additional inspection effort above the core inspection program except for a regional initiative inspection to look at the radiation work permit program.

The text of the plant performance review letter is available from the NRC Region IV Office of Public Affairs and the NRC web site at: http://www.nrc.gov/OPA/ppr.

NRC reviews safety performance twice a year at every licensed nuclear power plant in the nation. These reviews give the agency staff an integrated assessment of plant performance and provide a basis for planning inspection activities.

Plant performance reviews are an interim measure NRC is utilizing to monitor nuclear power plant safety. The agency began using it for this purpose after suspending the Systematic Assessment of License Performance (SALP) process until a new assessment program is developed. Previously, SALP reports were issued every 12 to 24 months.

The new reactor oversight and assessment program being developed will provide quarterly performance reports, based on a number of performance indicators and on inspection findings. This program will be tested at eight plants beginning in June and, if found acceptable, will be extended to all plants next January. A full description of the new program is available on the NRC web site at: http://www.nrc.gov/OPA/primer.htm.

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