Enhanced Oversight

Because of the extended shutdown of SONGS while the licensee evaluates the cause of the steam generator tube degradation and develops corrective actions, the NRC transitioned regulatory oversight for SONGS Units 2 and 3 on September 4, 2012, to Inspection Manual Chapter 0351, "Implementation of the Reactor Oversight Process at Reactor Facilities in an Extended Shutdown Condition for Reasons Other Than Significant Performance Problems."  This action was taken to modify the inspection program for SONGS, since some inspection procedures cannot be accomplished and some performance indicators are invalid, for plants that have been shutdown for greater than six months.

Additionally, to focus NRC oversight resources on this complicated technical issue, both NRC Region IV, and NRR, created Special Project Branches with senior NRC management and dedicated inspector resources.