United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Causes and Significance of Design-Based Issues at U.S. Nuclear Power Plants (NUREG-1275, Volume 14)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: October 2000
Date Published: November 2000

Prepared by:
R.L. Lloyd, J.R. Boardman, S.V. Pullani

Division of Systems Analysis and Regulatory Effectiveness
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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Abstract

This report documents the results of a systematic and comprehensive study of design-basis issue trends and patterns following a limited review that began in early 1997 by the former Office for Analysis and Evaluation of Operational Data*. The study provides insights from reported design-basis issues with respect to: (1) their causes, significant patterns within both the power reactor industry and power reactor systems, frequency trends, safety consequences, and risk significance; (2) the lessons that may be useful in assessing regulatory effectiveness of NRC's evolving inspection and plant performance assessment processes and the definition of plant design basis and; (3) regulatory burden implications related to NRC licensee event reporting requirements for design-basis issues. It is intended that the insights from this study assist NRC and industry ongoing efforts to make NRC's regulatory framework and oversight process more risk informed and performance based and to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden.

*Effective March 28, 1999, the Office for Analysis and Evaluation of Operational Data (AEOD) was disbanded. The work described in this report which was initiated by AEOD is being completed by the Regulatory Effectiveness Assessment and Human Factors Branch of the NRC's Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research.

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