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On February 24, 2000, the staff issued SECY-00-0049, "Results of the Revised Reactor Oversight Process Pilot Program". The resulting staff requirements memorandum (SRM), issued on March 28, 2000, approved initial implementation of the ROP as recommended by the staff. The initial implementation of the ROP began on April 2, 2000. In a follow-up SRM issued on May 17, 2000, the Commission directed the staff to report on the ROP results after the first year of implementation. The staff did so and documented the results in SECY-01-0114, "Results of the Initial Implementation of the New Reactor Oversight Process", issued June 25, 2001. SECY-01-0114 also noted the staff's intention to continue to perform an annual self-assessment of the ROP.
The objectives and details of the ROP self-assessment program are contained in IMC 0307, "Reactor Oversight Process Self-Assessment Program" and its appendices. ROP self-assessment activities leverage data analysis and trending tools to (1) assess program-wide uniformity and effectiveness of ROP implementation, (2) evaluate the effectiveness of recent significant changes to the ROP, (3) evaluate the NRC's response to significant licensee events and declining licensee performance, and (4) perform periodic in-depth reviews of specific areas of interest, including the baseline inspection program. These ROP self-assessment activities help the staff determine whether the ROP was implemented in accordance with current governance documents, whether it was implemented uniformly and effectively across the regions and headquarters, whether it met its pre-established ROP goals and intended outcomes, and whether it was implemented consistent with the NRC Principles of Good Regulation. Taken in aggregate, these determinations form the basis for the staff's annual evaluation of whether the ROP remains effective. Finally, the ROP self-assessment approach ensures that the staff appropriately invests resources in addressing lessons learned that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the ROP.
Each year, the staff issues an ROP performance metrics report and an ROP self-assessment Commission paper in support of the Agency Action Review Meeting (AARM). The staff also briefs the Commission on the ROP self-assessment results following the AARM. The results of these activities are summarized in the table below.
||June 10, 2021
||Meeting SRM M210610
||September 30, 2020
||Meeting SRM M200930
||June 20, 2019
||Meeting SRM M190620
||June 19, 2018
||Meeting SRM M180619
||June 15, 2017
||Meeting SRM M170615
||June 2, 2016
||Meeting SRM M160602B
||May 21, 2015
Meeting SRM M150521B
||June 3, 2014
||Meeting SRM M140603
||May 29, 2013
||Meeting SRM M130529
||June 1, 2012
||Meeting SRM M120601
||May 27, 2011
||Meeting SRM M110527
||May 27, 2010
||Meeting SRM M100527
||May 14, 2009
||Meeting SRM M090514
||June 4, 2008
||Meeting SRM M080604
||May 31, 2007
||Meeting SRM M070531
||May 16, 2006
||Meeting SRM M060516B
||May 25, 2005
||Meeting SRM M050525B
||May 4, 2004
||Meeting SRM M040504B
||SECY-04-0053, Attachment 3
||May 15, 2003
||Meeting SRM M030515
||SECY-03-0062, Attachment 3
||May 1, 2002
||Meeting SRM M020501
||SECY-02-0062, Attachment 2
||July 19, 2001
||Meeting SRM M010719B
||March 7, 2000
||SRM 1 / SRM 2
In addition to the ROP self-assessment program, several independent evaluations have been performed since the inception of the ROP to analyze its effectiveness and recommend improvements. Over the past several years, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the Advisory Committee for Reactor Safeguards (ACRS), the Davis-Besse Lessons Learned Task Force (DBLLTF), and the SDP Task Group have all performed evaluations of the ROP. Early on, two evaluation panels performed detailed reviews of the pilot program and initial implementation of the ROP. These evaluations have generally provided favorable results, but have also suggested potential areas of improvement. Several recommendations from these independent evaluations have been or are being incorporated into the ROP as detailed in the annual self-assessments above and staff responses below.
||Staff Response/Program Improvements
|Audit of the NRC's Nuclear Power Reactor Inspection Issue Screening OIG-21-A-07
|Audit of NRC's Nuclear Power Plant Surveillance Test Inspection Program OIG-20-A-11
|Audit of the NRC Oversight of Supplemental Inspection Corrective Actions OIG-19-A-19
||04/13/2021, 11/09/2020, 11/21/2019
|Audit of NRC's Cyber Security Inspections at Nuclear Power Plants OIG-19-A-13
||01/13/2021, 12/03/2019, 08/20/2019
|Audit of NRC's Special and Infrequently Performed Inspections OIG-18-A-13
||02/03/2021, 07/30/2020, 03/12/2020, 12/11/2019, 08/20/2019, 07/25/2018
|Audit of NRC's Fire Protection Oversight for Operating Reactors OIG-17-A-10
|Audit of NRC's SDP for Reactor Safety OIG-16-A-21
||03/16/2020, 08/20/2019, 02/27/2019, 10/15/2018, 03/01/2018, 08/08/2017, 12/01/2016
|Audit of NRC's Oversight of 10 CFR 50.59 OIG-16-A-19
|Audit of NRC's ROP: Reactor Safety Baseline Inspection Procedures OIG-16-A-12
||02/10/2017, 10/27/2016, 06/06/2016
|Audit of NRC's Oversight of Spent Fuel Pools OIG-15-A-06
||02/10/2021, 02/11/2020, 03/11/2019, 12/04/2018, 03/15/2018, 08/10/2017, 12/08/2016, 06/10/2016, 05/18/2016, 12/02/2015, 04/29/2015
|Audit of NRC's Cyber Security Inspection Program for Nuclear Power Plants OIG-14-A-15
|Audit of NRC's Management of the Baseline Security Inspection Program OIG-12-A-10
||01/04/2018, 10/10/2017,03/16/2017, 11/12/2015, 01/22/2015, 07/09/2013, 11/20/2012, 05/02/2012
|OIG audit of Support to Resident Inspectors
||OIG-14-A-12, Appendix C
|Commission-Directed Independent Review of ROP per SRM to SECY-12-0081
||Working Group Report 02/2014
||SECY-14-0047, Enclosure 2
|OIG audit of Active Component Aging
||OIG-14-A-02, Appendix B
|GAO report on Regional Differences and Access to Information
|Independent Evaluation of the Reactor Oversight and Incident Response Program
||Action Plan 6/09
|NRC Cross-cutting review and Palo Verde Lessons Learned
||Draft dispositions current as of April 17, 2008
|GAO report on Nuclear Reactor Oversight
|OIG audit of the Reactor Program System
||Status 11/05 (closes items 5 and 10)
Status 02/06 (closes remaining items)
|OIG audit of the Baseline Inspection Program
||Status 09/05 (closes items 1, 5, 6, 9, and 10)
Status 12/05 (closes items 7 and 8)
Status 06/06 (closes items 3 and 4)
|OIG audit of the Significance Determination Process
||Status updates in annual SECYs
|SDP Task Group
||Task Group Report 12/2002
||Status updates in annual SECYs
|Advisory Committee for Reactor Safeguards
||Latest Letter 03/2003
||Latest response 04/2003
|Davis-Besse Lessons Learned Task Force
||DBLLTF final report 09/2002
|OMB Program Assessment Rating Tool Evaluation
||Final Report & Status of Performance Measures and Follow-up Actions 09/2003
||Final Report & Status of Performance Measures and Follow-up Actions
|Initial Implementation Evaluation Panel
||IIEP final report 05/2001
||SECY-01-0014, Attachment 5
|Pilot Program Evaluation Panel
||PPEP final report 12/1999
||SECY-00-0049, Attachment 3
External stakeholder engagement opportunities are not limited to the following; however, these are the primary Communication events:
Monthly Public Meetings: The staff conducts monthly public working-level meetings with the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the industry, and interested stakeholders to discuss the status of ongoing refinements to the ROP. This is an opportunity to solicit for feedback from NEI, industry, and interested stakeholders on initiatives or status of projects. Summaries from these meetings are located on the NRC website.
Local public meetings and engagements in vicinity of each operating reactor: The staff conducts public meetings or other engagement activities in the vicinity of each operating reactor to discuss the results of the NRC’s assessment of the licensee’s performance. These annual engagements provide an opportunity to engage interested stakeholders on the NRC’s role in ensuring safe and secure plant operations.
Annual Regulatory Information Conference (RIC): The staff typically sponsors a technical session at the annual RIC focused on ROP-related issues and topics of interest, or sponsors an interactive ROP exhibit so that interested stakeholders can gather information and ask questions about the ROP. Additional ROP topics are typically discussed during the regional technical session. Please see RIC website.
External Feedback Forms: In addition to sharing staff perspectives and gathering feedback during public meeting discussions, the staff compiles feedback forms from ROP public meetings (i.e., the working group meetings, focused meetings/workshops, and annual assessment meetings) to evaluate the effectiveness of public communications and use of plain language. These feedback forms are used to inform external communication initiatives to ensure that external content and publications relative to the ROP are clear, comprehensible, and understandable.
ROP “Contact Us” Form: External stakeholders can provide feedback or ask questions regarding ROP implementation across a wide array of topic areas using the ROP “Contact Us” link.
Historical External Surveys: From the inception of the ROP through CY 2011, the staff published regular surveys in the Federal Register for external stakeholders to specifically provide feedback on the ROP. The staff has since discontinued this practice as discussed in SECY-14-0047. The general results of those surveys were discussed in the respective annual ROP self-assessment Commission papers. From CY 2004 through CY 2011, the staff provided comprehensive detailed responses to the feedback received in those surveys and those staff responses are listed below.
Internal stakeholder engagement opportunities are not limited to the following; however, these are the primary Communication events:
NRC staff and management conduct biweekly conference calls with regional management and staff to discuss current issues associated with the ROP. The staff also meets periodically with regional managers to discuss more complex ROP topics and issues.
Headquarters staff participate in each region’s inspector counterpart meeting and/or end-of-cycle meetings so that regional staff and management can provide feedback on ROP implementation.
The ROP feedback process described in IMC 0801 allows the NRC staff to identify concerns or issues and recommend improvements related to ROP governance or guidance documents. Responsible staff will respond to and address the feedback in accordance with the requirements and expectations of IMC 0801.
NRC staff maintains an internal Contact Us Form where internal stakeholders can provide feedback or ask questions regarding ROP implementation across a wide array of topic areas, including but not limited to resident support concerns.
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, September 17, 2021