In February 2019, the NRC completed its 2018 End-of-Cycle performance assessment for Pilgrim. For
this assessment the NRC staff considered the results of NRC inspections, including the five team
inspections performed to follow up on the Confirmatory Action Letter commitments, plant performance
indicators, safety equipment reliability, Entergy's decision-making and response to plant
events, and enforcement actions since Pilgrim was placed in Column 4, as described in the Sept. 1,
2015, follow-up assessment letter (ML15243A259).
In accordance with the criteria established in Inspection Manual Chapter (IMC) 0305, "Operating
Reactor Assessment Program," and the Pilgrim Confirmatory Action Letter (ML17214A088) for transitioning from the
Multiple/Repetitive Degraded Cornerstone Column (Column 4) of the Reactor Oversight Process Action
Matrix, the NRC determined that Entergy addressed all of the Action Matrix inputs that led to
Pilgrim's placement in Column 4; satisfactorily completed all Recovery Plan items identified in
Enclosure 2 of the Pilgrim Confirmatory Action Letter; and that Pilgrim had demonstrated sustained
performance improvement throughout 2018 (ML19063A126).
Therefore, as of the date of the 2018 Annual Assessment Letter, the Pilgrim Confirmatory Action
Letter was closed, and the NRC transitioned Pilgrim out of Column 4 into the Licensee Response
Column (Column 1) of the Action Matrix. Because all inspection findings had very low safety
significance (i.e., Green), and all performance indicators in 2018 remained within the expected
range (i.e., Green), the NRC plans to conduct ROP baseline inspections at Pilgrim in 2019.
The NRC completed an Inspection Procedure (IP) 95003 inspection, as required for all Column 4 plants.
The inspection was conducted in three phases ('A' through 'C') (ML15352A128). The Phase 'A' and 'B'
inspections were completed in January and April of 2016, respectively (ML16060A018 and ML16144A027). These inspections reviewed aspects of the
Pilgrim corrective action program and determined that Pilgrim continued to operate safely, that
continued operation was acceptable, and that additional regulatory action was not required. The
Phase 'C' inspection team completed three weeks of on-site inspection on Jan. 13, 2017, a
public exit meeting was held on March 21, 2017, and the
inspection report issued on May 10, 2017 (ML17129A217).
On Aug. 2, 2017, the NRC issued a Confirmatory Action Letter (CAL) (ML17214A088) addressing the corrective actions that
needed to be completed before the NRC considered transitioning Pilgrim out of Column 4 of the ROP
Action Matrix. The five quarterly CAL follow-up team inspections assessed Entergy’s progress
in completing these corrective actions. The inspections were completed between December 2017 and
January 2019. The final CAL follow-up inspection report was issued on Jan. 23, 2019 (ML19023A057). The result of these inspections concluded
that all actions were satisfactorily completed by Pilgrim and were effective in accordance with the
measures established by the Pilgrim Recovery Plan (ML17212A571).
The Pilgrim 2018 Annual Assessment Letter (ML19063A126)
was issued on March 4, 2019. The letter returned Pilgrim to Column 1 as of the date of the letter,
based on the results of the NRC inspection and assessment activities.
Although Pilgrim has returned to Column 1 of the Action Matrix the NRC will continue to conduct
quarterly reviews of the performance with senior regional management and more frequent management
site visits to monitor Pilgrim's transition from an operating plant to a decommissioning plant.