United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

NRC Issues Performance Review for Peach Bottom Nuclear Plant


NRC Seal NRC NEWS

U. S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, REGION I

475 Allendale Road, King of Prussia, Pa. 19406

 

I-99-37
April 13, 1999

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

 

NRC ISSUES PERFORMANCE REVIEW FOR PEACH BOTTOM NUCLEAR PLANT

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff, in its latest assessment of performance at the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant, has found that safety performance at the facility remains acceptable. PECO Nuclear Corp. operates the twin-reactor plant, located in Delta, Pa.

In a letter to the company outlining the results of the review, Curtis J. Cowgill, chief of the NRC Region I Division of Reactor Projects branch responsible for inspecting Peach Bottom, wrote that plant management provided strong oversight of activities and took effective actions during the evaluation period of April 1998 through Jan. 15, 1999. Those actions reversed a slight decline in operator performance in early 1998, he said.

Cowgill said operator performance has improved since plant management instituted a "Back to Basics" initiative and enhanced peer reviews and self-checking. Maintenance activities were safely performed, resulting in reliable plant equipment. Engineering continued to safely support plant activities and has improved its investigative and diagnostic activities during the troubleshooting of plant equipment failures. Plant support was consistently strong, with radiation protection activities during the Unit 2 refueling outage particularly effective.

Based on this performance, the NRC staff will conduct normal inspections during the next evaluation period, with a supplemental inspection to review the plant's program for identifying and fixing problems.

The text of the plant performance review (PPR) letter is available from the NRC Region I Office of Public Affairs and on 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.

PPRs are being used by the NRC as an interim measure to monitor nuclear power plant safety. The agency began using it for this purpose after suspending the Systematic Assessment of Licensee 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 sites beginning in June and 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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