469th Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) - February 3, 2000

                  UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
                       REACTOR SAFEGUARDS (ACRS)

                        U.S. NRC
                        Two Flint Flint North, Room T2-B3
                        11545 Rockville Pike
                        Rockville, MD
                        Thursday, Februay 3, 2000
         The committee met, pursuant to notice, 8:31 a.m.
         DANA POWERS, Chairman, ACRS
         THOMAS KRESS, Member, ACRS
         MARIO BONACA, ACRS Member
         JOHN BARTON, ACRS Member
         JOHN D. SIEBER, ACRS Member
         ROBERT SEALE, ACRS Member
         WILLIAM SHACK, ACRS Member
         ROBERT UHRIG, ACRS Member
         GRAHAM WALLIS, ACRS Member
     .                         P R O C E E D I N G S
                                                      [8:31 a.m.]
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  The meeting will now come to order.
         This is the first day of the 469th meeting of the Advisory
     Committee on Reactor Safeguards.
         During today's meeting, the committee will consider
     technical aspects associated with the revised reactor oversight process
     and related matters, proposed final amendment to 10 CFR 50.72 and 50.73,
     proposed regulatory guide and associated NEI document 96-07 guidelines
     for 10 CFR 50.59, safety evaluations, proposed revision of the
     Commission's safety goal policy statement for reactors, proposed ACRS
         The meeting is being conducted in accordance with the
     provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.  Dr. John T. Larkins
     is the designated Federal official for the initial portion of the
         We have received no written statements from members of the
     public regarding today's session.
         We have received a request from a representative of NEI for
     time to make oral statements regarding proposed revision of the safety
     goal policy statement.
         A transcript of portions of the meeting is being kept, and
     it is requested that speakers use one of the microphones, identify
     themselves, and speak with sufficient clarity and volume so they can be
     readily heard.
         I want to begin the meeting by calling the members'
     attention to their items of interest.
         The first item in this summary should be of particular
     interest, a congratulatory memorandum from the Chairman.
         The members are also directed to the last page of the
     package on items of interest, which brings to their attention the
     Regulatory Information Conference, which many members have found to be
     of use in the past.
         I also want to alert members to the fact that we have a
     large number of issues to examine in the reconciliation of comments.
     That's going to be distributed to you today, fairly early, earlier than
     usual, and you should examine it and be prepared to discuss them
         I also want to call members' attention to the schedule for
     the March meeting.  We had agreed that, on March 1st, in the morning, we
     would take training in NRC's new ADAMS program and that we would start
     the full meeting that afternoon.
         Also, the Planning and Procedures Subcommittee is planning
     to meet in the morning on the 29th of February and, in the afternoon of
     the 29th of February, work on what we need to do in preparation for a
     meeting with the Commission, and we're inviting other interested members
     to attend that session.
         MR. BARTON:  That's the afternoon of the 29th?
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Afternoon of the 29th.
         And finally, I'd like to welcome our new large member, Mario
     Bonaca.  Members have been curious on whether you're just gaining weight
     or you've escaped from something.
         DR. BONACA:  Gained weight.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I see.
         Are there any opening comments other members would like to
     make on today's session?
         [No response.]
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Seeing none, I will turn to the first item
     of business, which is technical aspects associated with the revised
     reactor oversight process and related matters.
         John Barton, I think you're going to lead us through this --
         MR. BARTON:  I'll try, Chairman.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  -- important area.
         MR. BARTON:  The purpose of the meeting is to review the
     technical components of the reactor oversight process, including
     significant determination process and performance indicators.
         In a letter dated November 23, 1999, NRR Director requested
     the committee to review technical components of the reactor oversight
         In particular, we were asked to review the updated
     significance determination process and plant performance indicators.
         In an SRM dated December 17th, the Commission requested ACRS
     review the technical adequacy of the performance indicators, current and
     proposed, for the new reactor oversight process, which includes
     assessment to the extent to which the performance indicators
     collectively provide meaningful insights to those areas of plant
     operation that are most important to safety.
         The plant operation subcommittee met with the staff and NEI
     on January 20, 2000, to discuss these issues.
         The subcommittee, at that time, formulated a set of
     questions which were transmitted to the staff, and the staff was
     requested to respond to those issues at today's session.
         At this time, I will turn the meeting over to the NRC staff,
     and Frank Gillespie, you have the lead here.
         MR. GILLESPIE:  I think Bill Dean is going to take the lead.
         MR. DEAN:  Good morning, Dr. Powers and committee members.
         My name is Bill Dean.  I'm the Chief of the Inspection
     Program Branch in NRR.  Under my auspices are the development and
     implementation of the new oversight process which we're here to talk to
     you about this morning.
         With me today, I've got Mike Johnson, who is a Section Chief
     in my branch for performance assessment, and Alan Madison, who has been
     the task lead for the implementation of the new pilot program and
     revised oversight process.
         We also have with us today a number of our staff members
     that have been key in the development and implementation of this
     process, and there may be some opportunity this morning to have some of
     them weigh in and provide some additional information as we go through
     the agenda.
         What we intend to do this morning, in our two hours, is to
     provide a brief review of the pilot program results and the readiness
     for start of implementation, our feedback in that regard, to cover some
     of the defining principles and assumptions.
         We think this is important before we get into the actual
     detailed discussions of the performance indicators and the significance
     determination process, which are the two technical issues that we have
     brought forward to the committee for their consideration, that it would
     be important to go over some of the defining principles and assumptions
     of the whole oversight process.
         Alan and Gareth Parry will provide some discussion on the
     performance indicators and the significance determination process.
         Mike Johnson will then talk about the assessment process,
     where we pull together the results of the performance indicators and the
     significance determination process, and of course, we'll answer any --
     hopefully, try to answer any questions that you have.
         We met with the subcommittee on January the 20th.  Out of
     that subcommittee meeting, there was a number of questions that we have,
     and we believe that we've integrated the responses to those questions
     within our presentation.  So, hopefully, we'll be able to address all of
     those here today.
         Lastly, I guess this is a -- I don't know what number, but
     there's been an ongoing series of briefings for the committee on the
     process, and I believe the last time that we met with the full committee
     was in June of last year, which was right about the time that we were
     starting the pilot program.
         So, here we are now.  The pilot program is over, and we're
     looking at preparing for initial implementation, so it's a good time to
     meet with you again.
         The pilot program was a six-month program.  We performed
     this program between the months of June and November of last year.  It's
     important to note that we're still executing this process at those 9
     sites at which we did the pilot program, and so, we're still gaining
     information and lessons learned, albeit at a much more discrete and
     subtle level than we did earlier in the pilot program.
         I think the most important characterization of this new
     process that we developed as a result of our pilot program is that the
     performance indicators and the baseline inspection do provide a sound
     framework for providing oversight of licensee performance and to assure
     that reactor safety is maintained.
         Now, am I confident in saying that we've had enough time
     with this pilot program to prove this premise?  The answer to that would
     be no, and that could probably take us years to actually prove the
     premise that this program will provide reasonable assurance for reactor
         But have we had enough time and have we gained enough
     lessons learned to demonstrate that the process has demonstrated that we
     can have some confidence, a good level of confidence that this process
     will provide reasonable assurance and that it's at a point that we can
     expand this process beyond the pilot program?  I think the answer to
     that is yes.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I have a question on that.
         DR. SHACK:  Yes, sir.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  The committee has been struggling with the
     objectives, understanding the objectives of the program, and what you
     just said reminded me of that.  What exactly is the objective of the
     oversight process?  To assure safety?  And we have to elaborate on that,
     what it means.  Or to make sure that the plant is operated as licensed?
         MR. DEAN:  Well, I think you have to actually go back to the
     actual safety mission of the agency, and that's to assure reasonable
     protection of public health and safety from the operation of nuclear
     power plants.  I mean that's our overall mission.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  What does that mean?  For example, it
     could mean that you have some safety goals, and as long as the goals are
     met, you're providing reasonable assurance.
         On the other hand, when we were reviewing 50.59, we were
     told that the staff wanted to maintain the licensing basis.  So, all
     changes were evaluated in that context.
         We believe that this is a very key element here to
     understanding what you're doing.
         MS. MADISON:  Well, I think we've described that before,
     George, when we talked about the basis of the program.
         The cornerstone diagram shows as the top item on there is
     our basic mission of the agency, and part of the cornerstone of safety
     that we developed for this oversight process is the protection of the
     public health and safety due to the operation of commercial nuclear
     power, and underlying that, in the strategic performance area, are the
     goals you speak of.  By achieving those goals, we feel we've met our
     mission of protecting the public health and safety, and so, the
     cornerstones, then, have objectives that are directed at achieving those
     goals in the strategic performance areas.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yes, but -- so, let's take the case of a
     plant that has a very low core damage frequency, has highly redundant
     systems.  So, it's maybe -- core damage frequency, say, is 15 times
     smaller than the goal.
         That means, of course, that there are system
     unavailabilities that are lower than the average and maybe the rate of
     occurrence of some initiators is lower than the average and so on.
         If this process is to assure adequate protection, then in
     principle, you could allow this plant to raise the unavailability of
     those systems.
         MS. MADISON:  In principle, you're right.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Whereas if your objective was to make sure
     that the status of that plant, the risk profile, remains the same as it
     was last time you checked, then you would not allow it to increase, and
     that is a major difference in the objectives of the problem.
         MS. MADISON:  In principle, you're right, George, but you
     have a conflict.
         The rules and the regulations and the las are still on the
     books, and as long as they are, we also have an obligation to make sure
     that they're maintained, as does the licensee who signed on the license,
     but it probably would make a case for risk-informing those regulations
     or risk-informing the license that the licensee has and coming in for
     some changes based upon the risk characterization.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But what you're say, then, is that the
     objective of the program is to make sure that the risk profile -- and
     risk profile doesn't mean only the quantitative part -- I mean the whole
     thing, the way that it's licensed -- remains the same, as we think it
     is.  That's what you're saying, because if they want to change it, they
     have to follow, for example, Regulatory Guide 1.174 and come in with a
         So, that view would be consistent with the 50.59 revision,
     with all the regulations we have.
         DR. KRESS:  Suppose they came in with a change request, an
     exemption, and it was significant enough that they did it to 1.174 but
     it did change their risk status.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yes.
         DR. KRESS:  They increased it.  Would you do anything to the
     performance indicators for that particular plant?  The performance
     indicators would stay the same as they are now.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  No, because it would have to be plant
         DR. KRESS:  I know, but they're not.
         DR. BONACA:  But in this process, that will not change.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Why not?  The process allows for change.
         DR. BONACA:  You have certain values set for unavailability,
     etcetera, which are really coming from simply a threshold that you set.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yes, but that's the whole point of raising
     the issue, because if that is the view, then the performance indicators
     would have to be plant-specific.
         So, if you changed the licensing basis of the plant, you
     would have to change some of the performance indicators.
         DR. BONACA:  It seems to me that the only thing that the
     process has set up right now, we identify developing adverse trends.
     That's really what it does, okay?  I don't see that it can quantify
     safety.  I mean it will identify a trend if something degrades.
         DR. KRESS:  So, you would see the objective as being to
     provide a consistency --
         DR. BONACA:  Absolutely.
         DR. KRESS:  -- in the performance and not really to achieve
     a level of risk status that's equivalent to what was licensed.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  It's a very key question.  Maybe we are
     surprising you with this.
         MR. GILLESPIE:  You've actually hit the right principle for
     this program.  This isn't a licensing program.  What we're looking at is
     the delta change from the condition at the facility.
         We, in fact, are kind of -- although I hesitate to use the
     word "risk profile," because people jump immediately to quantitative,
     you know, but in the global picture, what we're looking at is departures
     from that kind of established norm, and that's when we get more engaged.
         Departing is not the end of the world.  It just means we
     have to understand why you're departing.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Departing from the license -- from the
     profile -- the risk profile that was there when the plant was licensed.
     License means, you know, including the amendments and everything.
     Right?  So, that's consistent, then, with the spirit of 50.59.
         MR. GILLESPIE:  So, we're looking at a delta.  We're looking
     at basically kind of -- you know, the surrogate is a delta CDF from
     whatever is allowed at that facility, and whatever the allowance is for
     that facility could be different from place to place, and we know it's
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Right.
         DR. BONACA:  Then there is an expectation that the
     indicators will be capable of identifying adverse trends.  This is the
     definition that we are going to use, and I completely agree with that.
         That's all that the process can do, can identify adverse
     trends, from one inspection to the next, something is degrading.  Okay.
         Then, also, I would like to say that the thresholds, then,
     are such that they should be able to identify the adverse trends.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  This was just an issue of objectives.
         DR. BONACA:  But you see how important it becomes.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  So, Dr. Kress, do we agree, then, on which
     the objective is of the five you've identified?
         DR. KRESS:  I'm still not sure.  We hear that it's to
     identify adverse trends, which would be plant-specific, also, but then
     we hear it's to maintain the licensing basis as it was, as licensed.  I
     think those are two different things.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  They are two different things, but the
     objective, though, is what the staff just said.
         Now, the issue of trends and so -- I would say that's
     implementation and what you want to -- you know, information you want to
     get and so on, but the fundamental objective is to maintain the
     licensing basis.
         MR. DEAN:  Well, I would say the fundamental objective of
     the program is to maintain the level of safety that exists in nuclear
     power plants today.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Not nuclear power plants, at that plant.
     There's a difference.  This is the key difference.  If you say at
     nuclear power plants, you are making it generic, and what I'm saying is
     no, to maintain the level of safety at that plant.
         DR. KRESS:  At that plant.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  At that plant.
         MR. JOHNSON:  George, we're not surprised by the question,
     because we have discussed it many times before, and we've not satisfied
     you, obviously, but you know, I think maybe we think about this more
     simplistically than you do.
         This is an oversight process, oversight meaning, you know,
     going back to our early words to you on what the process was trying to
         There's a lot to be worried about.
         We have a licensing process to control -- in which we try to
     control the licensing basis, and changes that the license tries to make,
     we want to make sure that we maintain that licensing basis.
         As Frank said, we have various regulatory programs, and this
     process doesn't change those programs.  What this process does is steps
     back to say, on any given day, a licensee may or may not be in
     compliance, full compliance with their technical specifications, they
     may have things that happen, you know, expected things that go on at a
     plant, and so, the role of the regulator and the role of this process is
     to step back and look at those things and changes in those types of
     things that happen at plants, to ask ourselves, is it okay, is it some
     nominal deviation from what is normally expected in terms of the
     performance of the plant, or do we need to go further and dig down and
     check, for example, to make sure that, with respect to issue A, they're
     in compliance with their licensing basis.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Right.
         MR. JOHNSON:  So, it's an oversight process.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Sure.  But you said of that plant.  These
     are key words.  The whole process is focused on that plant, and if you
     do that, you are consistent with the body of regulations.
         See, we can take an extreme case and say, okay, as long as
     the core damage frequency is less than 10 to minus 4 -- let's limit
     ourselves to that -- the oversight process says it's okay.
         Now, we know there are many plants whose CDF is less than
     that, much less than that.  You wouldn't let them raise the CDF up to
     the goal just because they keep being below the goal.
         This is not the role of this, because then why do we have
     Regulatory Guide 1.174?  Why do we have all the other regulations?
         So, it's really a plant-specific process to make sure that
     the level of safety at that plant is maintained, and if there is any
     change, you would like to know it, adverse change.
         I think we agree, actually.
         MR. JOHNSON:  Yes, I think we agree.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But this is so fundamental, because it
     then tells us how we should treat the thresholds, performance
     indicators, although we should make a distinction between the two.
         MS. MADISON:  I think you have to be careful with the term
     "plant-specific."  It is a program that looks at specific plants and
     looks at individual plants, but it is not -- does not carry
     plant-specific thresholds.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Sure.
         MS. MADISON:  There are some plant-specific indicators -- or
     type indicators, not necessarily plant-specific indicators.  There are
     plant-type indicators.
         And the same with the inspection program.  The inspection
     program may be tailored somewhat to the plant, but is ia fairly generic
     program industry-wide.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But that's why we're having this
     discussion, because we really have to agree on clear objectives and then
     discuss the implications of the objectives, because if the objective is
     to maintain the level of safety at that plant, then the thresholds must
     be plant-specific.
         That doesn't mean you have necessarily a different number
     for each plant, but you start with that premise, and then you may decide
     that, for certain performance indicators, you can live with more
     generic-type thresholds, but this is really key.
         We've been discussing this and we're trying to understand
     what's going on.
         MR. DEAN:  Let me cover some other objectives, though, that
     I think are important to make sure that we understand, you know, why is
     it that we even entered into an effort to try and revise the oversight
     process, and certainly, we've gotten some clear direction from the
     Commission based on feedback from a number of stakeholders, external
     stakeholders, both industry and public stakeholders, that there were
     some concerns and problems with our existing oversight process, and the
     Commission asked us to develop a process that was more risk-informed, a
     process that was more objective, more predictable as to what actions
     that the NRC would take for given performance declines, and something
     that was more understandable to the public and more scrutable, and so,
     that has been a lot of our defining principles as to how we're trying to
     revise this process.
         We have a focus on risk-significant issues, and I think that
     the early returns from the pilot program is that -- from a licensee's
     perspective -- is that we have been able to successfully focus not only
     our attention but the licensee's attention on those issues that are the
     most risk-significant at that plant, and that should be the appropriate
     allocation of our efforts and resources, to focus on those things that
     are most risk-significant at the plant.
         With respect to the oversight process and is it adequate to
     support initial implementation at all plants, as I mentioned earlier, I
     think that we've gotten diminishing returns from the pilot program.
         Like I said, we're still executing the process at all the
     pilot sites, and we are still getting some indications of issues that
     need refinement, but we're talking about much more subtle and discrete
     issues and not major changes that we made early in the pilot program,
     where we made substantial changes to the performance indicator program,
     to the significance determination process, and key elements like that.
         So, we believe we're at a point where we need to increase
     the volume and the scope in order to fully exercise the process and gain
     additional lessons learned so that we can further define and refine the
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Do you have an estimate of the reduction
     in unnecessary burden?
         MR. DEAN:  Do I have an estimate?  That would be something
     that I think would probably be better left to industry to provide some
     comment on that.
         MR. GILLESPIE:  I don't want the staff to get put in a box,
     so I'm going to jump in here.
         Reduction in regulatory burden, in the case of this program,
     can be viewed in different lights.  It could be viewed in fewer
     inspection hours, which in general the pilot says didn't happen.
         Good performers are still going to get inspected in the
     future, probably as much as good performers did in the past.
         One of the things industry very much wanted out of a new
     system was stability and predictability, and one of the things this new
     process builds is stability and predictability.
         Utilities wanted to say we know where we stand without
     waiting every 18 months for a SALP report.  What is the value in
     regulatory burden to a stable and predictable system on Wall Street to a
     utility?  Only they can predict that.
         But they were very vehement in the beginning that that was
     one of the most, if not the most important objective to where they were
         So, it isn't a question of, you know, is it 10 less
     inspection hours or are we doing this much less or do they get a
     licensing action through faster.
         The question on regulatory burden is truly one of what's the
     value of a stable predictable system where everyone knows the ground
     rules, and that's more of a social value, but they can turn it into
     dollars and sense on their end.
         DR. BONACA:  The only objective portion of the process is
     the performance indicators.  I mean you have not established a pass/fail
     system or the baseline inspection, nor have you established how baseline
     inspections and performance indicators will be integrated into an
     overall cornerstone assessment.
         So, I'm just saying yes, you have a more objective set, but
     the only objective set is the indicators.
         MR. DEAN:  That's not totally true.  I believe that we have
     objectivity that's imbued in various elements.  A significance
     determination process is an objective look based on the principles of
     Reg. Guide 1.174 in terms of ascertaining risk characterization of our
     inspection finding, is an attempt to try and make those inspection
     findings more objective in nature and being able to convey to the
     licensees and to the public what is it about this issue that is of risk
         DR. BONACA:  I'm only saying that, you know, Wall Street was
     mentioned, and they're not going to look at the safety significance.
     They're going to look at greens, and if you have all indicators in the
     initiators are green, that's a lot of statement coming from the
     performance indicators, and there isn't a process that says it's green
     but it's not really green because, if you average it and integrate it
     with this other information, it should be, really, a yellow or
         MR. GILLESPIE:  From a safety kind of perspective, one of
     the nice parts about this process was we don't try to aggregate it into
     a single score, and in fact, that's what a lot of our public groups
     really kind of like, because it's a profile, so that you don't get --
     and one of the -- maybe one of the deficiencies in what AEOD was doing
     earlier on was they were trying to deal with LER's, enforcement items,
     and aggregate it all, but they weren't mutually exclusive, and so, one
     could outweigh the other.  In fact, you could show good performance on
     the aggregate, even though the agency is very worried over here.
         So, we have deliberately left this as a profile, but people
     can see both whites in PI's and in inspections.  Inspections are like
     PI's.  They're divided into cornerstones, and now they're graded also as
     a structure.
         MR. DEAN:  We'll talk about that in a minute.
         The last bullet on this slide in terms of implementing an
     ongoing self-assessment process -- you know, are we done making changes?
     No.  Obviously, we've made notable improvements to address the concerns
     raised by the Commission.
         We have made a process that's more objective and scrutable
     and understandable and risk-informed, and there's still been a lot of
     what I would consider to be appropriate stakeholder skepticism, both
     internal and external, with respect to the long-term efficacy of this
     process, and we have to make sure that we address that skepticism, and
     we believe the way to do that is to expand this program to get more
     input and more experience on a broader scale, and so, that's why we
     believe -- and we've changed our -- I think, if you go back six or seven
     months ago, we talked about the next phase of this process,
     implementation, would be full implementation, and that's really not the
     right connotation, and we've changed that to say the next phase really
     is initial implementation.
         We've tested out the principles and the major processes
     through the pilot program.
         Now we're ready to move to an initial implementation phase
     where we recognize that we're going to gain lessons and that we need to
     come back and revisit this process after we gain about a year's worth of
     experience and go through a significant assessment as to what has this
     year's worth of information told us about implementing this process at
     all sites.
         So, we think we're ready to move into something called
     initial implementation but not full implementation where you would have
     the concept that this process is now a rigid, etched-in-granite process,
     okay?  There's still some dynamics that are going to be involved here,
     and we have to make sure that we continue to provide an appropriate
     self-assessment of this process.
         I just wanted to spend a few minutes revisiting some of the
     defining principles and assumptions, and one of them gets to this
     discussion that we've already had, George, and that is that thresholds
     -- you know, the whole concept of thresholds, okay?
         This program establishes thresholds both in performance
     indicator space and inspection space that, below which, only minimal NRC
     interaction is warranted, in effect that when you have plants that have
     green performance indicators and green inspection findings, that the
     appropriate level of NRC regulatory interaction is the execution of our
     baseline inspection program, okay?
         So, what does that mean?
         Does green mean good?  Green does not mean good, and it
     shouldn't be equated to good.
         What green means is that performance, as determined by the
     indicators, performance indicators, inspection findings, is acceptable
     to the extent that our regulatory oversight of a baseline inspection
     program is the appropriate regulatory oversight.
         MR. BARTON:  Bill, is that defined someplace?  Will I find
     those words, green means just what you said?  Somewhere in this process
         MR. DEAN:  Yes.  If you go all the way back to the technical
     framework of this process back in 99-007 --
         MR. BARTON:  All right.
         MR. DEAN:  We can help define where that is.
         MR. JOHNSON:  That will be in the program implementation
         For example, it will be in the SDP manual chapter that you
     haven't seen -- or you may have seen.  I guess that version is out.  It
     will be in the new performance indicator manual chapter.  We're very
     clear about what those terms mean.
         MR. BARTON:  Okay.  Thank you, Mike.
         MR. DEAN:  This is a clear paradigm shift.  That is an area
     that our inspectors still feel some discomfort with, that there is,
     within the process, what we call a licensee response band where issues
     that emerge within this band of performance are issues that are best
     turned over to the licensee, they're of very low risk significance or
     below, that these are issues that should be entered in a licensee's
     corrective action program and dealt with in construct with all the other
     issues that licensees themselves identify and put in their corrective
     action program, and that the NRC should not be driving resolution of
     these issues just because they're issued identified by the NRC.
         MR. BARTON:  A key part of the new process is reliance on
     the old violations being put into the licensee's corrective action
     process and that process being an effective means to get to the root
     cause and fix them.  Where in this new oversight process are we doing an
     assessment of the licensee's corrective action programs?
         MR. DEAN:  We'll get to that.  That's a good question, and
     we'll build to that.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Now, regarding the thresholds, first of
     all, I think we have to distinguish between establishing the performance
     indicators, the establishment of performance indicators and the
     establishment of the thresholds.
         Perhaps the indicators can be generic, but with the
     thresholds, again I have a problem, because as I recall, you looked at
     data over the five -- past five years for a particular indicator and
     then you plotted them and you took the 95th percentile, the highest
     value of the -- that performance indicator over plan, so you took the
     95th percentile as a threshold.
         Now, coming back to the objective, if the objective of the
     process is to make sure that the safety level at plant X is maintained,
     then if that plant X happened to be very good with respect to this
     indicator -- say it was down to the 10th percentile of that curve -- by
     establishing a threshold at the 95th percentile, aren't you, in effect,
     allowing that plant to raise that indicator all the way and then it will
     still be green, and then how is that consistent with the notion that I'm
     trying to oversee -- that I'm trying to convince myself that the safety
     level of that plant has not changed?
         See, this is where my problem -- the conceptual problem is.
         MS. MADISON:  But are you saying, George, that if a plant is
     performing in the top 10 percentile, that we should never let them slip
     below that, that for some reason our regulations should be written such
     that they can't be anything less than in the top 10 percentile once
     they've established themselves there?
         Because by establishing a threshold -- site-specific
     threshold based upon their top 10 percent performance during that period
     of time, that's what you're saying, that we would take action if they
     slipped below --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yes.  If your objective is that the safety
     level is maintained, you shouldn't allow them to slip.
         MS. MADISON:  But in a generic sense is our objective, and
     that's why the four outcome measures were meant in a generic sense, that
     an industry-wide, industry performance should be maintained in a safe
     manner, the maintenance of safety industry-wide, and I don't think we
     have the regulations to say that a licensee must perform in the top 10
     percent or an excellent manner.
         Our regulations all lead to licensees performing in an
     adequate, in a safe enough manner.
         MR. BARTON:  George, i think there is a difference between
     the old process and new process as a licensee would perceive it.
         In the old process, there was incentives to improve
     performance and raise standards.  Whether anybody wants to admit to that
     or not, I think the SALP process had that ingrained in it.
         I think the new process takes away those incentives to
     increase performance, to be an excellent performer.
         Jack, do you agree?
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Maybe you're saying the same thing with
     different words.
         I'm not picking one side, not yet.  All I'm saying is your
     thresholds should be consistent -- the establishment of the thresholds
     should be consistent with your objectives.
         So, if we agree that the objective is to make sure that the
     level of safety at that plant is maintained, then the thresholds have to
     be plant-specific.  There's no way around it.
         DR. KRESS:  There is one way around it, George.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  If, on the other hand, Alan is right and
     you want to look at the population of plants and make sure that things
     don't change, then again -- then the question would be different.  Why
     do you rely only on the 95th percentile?
         DR. KRESS:  Let me throw out a suggestion, George.
         Let's presume that what we're talking about is the
     derivative of a PI.  We want to know whether it's increasing and whether
     that increase is such that we begin to be concerned about it.
         Now, let's take your really good plant, at the 10th
         Now, let's say it goes through a derivative; it's degrading
     in performance for, say, one or more of the indicators.
         Now, how can we look and see whether that derivative is of
     concern to us?
         Well, it depends on the performance indicator.
         If that derivative is such that it extends in time so it
     crosses some threshold, then you have a measure that this derivative --
     a threshold away from its base case -- you have a measure of this
     derivative, because you know it crossed the threshold.
         That means it increased a certain amount over a given amount
     of time.
         So, the question is now would you have the same derivative
     measure if you put that threshold higher and higher and higher and
         In fact, you could put it all the way up to the 95
     percentile, and it depends on whether the degraded performance has an
     effect on this derivative sufficiently to drive it all the way up to the
         Now, that's the issue, to me.
         If a degrading performance that is of concern to me drives
     that derivative so that the value gets above the 95, then I've got the
     derivative for all plants, and I can use a plant-wide set of thresholds
     and not be plant-specific.
         If that derivative is not sufficient to hit my concern level
     before it gets up to that 95, then I have a problem.  Then I need
     plant-specific ones.
         Do you understand the difference?
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I still don't know why the 95th percentile
     should play such a major role.
         DR. KRESS:  I could have picked any.  That's arbitrary.  I
     could have picked any threshold, is my point.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But this is industry-wide.
         DR. KRESS:  Yes.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  And my objective was stated as one of
     maintaining the level of safety at that plant.
         DR. KRESS:  Suppose we were interested in the derivative and
     that a degraded performance, whatever caused this performance indicator
     to go, actually puts it way beyond the 95, you know, triples it.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Sure, then bells will ring.
         DR. KRESS:  Well, that's what I'm saying.  It depends on the
     magnitude of the derivative and how far it will go, and I'm not sure we
     know that.
         They have an implied assumption that, if it trips this
     threshold that we have set, that that is -- that you will find the
     derivative for that particular plant.  Even though it started real low
     or even if it started high, you'll still get the derivative.
         Now, I don't know if that's true or not, because I don't
     know enough about the relationship between our concern level and the
     thresholds and the derivative, but it's possible that you could have a
     set of thresholds for all plants and not have them plant-specific,
     although you begin to get a little concerned about that.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I'm still not convinced.
         MR. DEAN:  I'd like to share on insight with you, George,
     that may or may not help give you a little bit of a sense of confidence,
     but you know, the fact that -- an outgrowth of the fact that we are
     publishing on our web-site these performance indicators on a quarterly
     basis and it's there for God and country to see, you know, whether a
     plant is the green band or the white or the yellow has provided a
     tremendous incentive for licensees to assure that their performance is
     such that they do not have indicators trip thresholds, okay?
         They do not want to be seen as an outlier, and so, what a
     number of licensees have done within the pilot process is, within that
     green band, have established their own thresholds for performance, as
     they train within the green band.
         Now, we're not training within the green band, okay?  We
     have an objective threshold, green/white, that we judge to be an
     appropriate threshold for which we change our level of engagement in
     regulatory oversight, but licensees are tracking and trending within
     those bands and are responding when they start to see thresholds creep
     up, to maintain themselves, and not to go up and ride along that 95th
     percentile performance level.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I guess what I'm saying is that maybe we
     ought to be doing something like that, not the licensees, leave it up to
     the licensees, I mean just as a matter of consistency.
         DR. BONACA:  Well, the licensees have been doing this for a
     long time, because I mean many of these indicators are the INPO
     indicators that were -- and they didn't go through, you know, a very
     elaborate derivation of it, but they were very similar.
         First of all, I support the perspective that Dr. Kress is
     pointing out.  I mean I do believe the point he's making is correct.
         The concern I have is that thresholds may be high enough
     that it will be a long way before you get there, and so, therefore, you
     will not be able to see much, particularly because, already, for 10, 15
     years, the licensees have been looking at the INPO, and therefore, they
     are striving to be well below values which are below that, which says,
     then, the threshold may be inscrutable, inscrutable in the sense that
     they don't provide you a way, really, of seeing, but I'm sure we'll talk
     about that at some point.
         MR. DEAN:  Yes, we will.
         DR. BONACA:  Because what is being published in internet,
     you're saying, really is only the performance indicators and not the
     cornerstone performance indicators.
         MS. MADISON:  We're publishing the performance indicators,
     as well as the inspection findings, which cover the whole cornerstone.
         DR. BONACA:  So, you publish that, too.
         MS. MADISON:  Yes.
         DR. BONACA:  Now, here you're talking about an SDP green.
     We haven't seen that.  I don't understand exactly how that works.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Before we leave the thresholds, one last
         Why, then, if this is the thinking, did the staff feel that
     it was necessary in establishing the threshold between green and white,
     that you had to distinguish between some plant types?  In the electric
     power, I think you had something there.  I don't remember now which one
     it was.
         MS. MADISON:  We had to distinguish between plant types
     because of the safety systems involved, because BWRs and PWRs don't
     necessarily have the same safety system.  INPO did the same thing in
     their indicators, and we mimicked that to have the same four safety
     systems at each plant type.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Wasn't there also a distinction between
     plants with different numbers of diesels?
         MS. MADISON:  Yes.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  So, different kinds of redundancy, then.
         So, why would that apply to a threshold between green and
     white and not -- well, a higher threshold and not at the baseline?  What
     is the logic?  Why are we departing from the idea of a generic threshold
     at that level, but at the lower level we don't?
         MR. PARRY:  This is Gareth Parry from the staff.
         The reason we made that distinction or the reason we did it
     for the green/white threshold is because of the way we established the
     thresholds, which was to use historical data to determine that
     threshold, as you've describe it, and that's based on a single-train
     unavailability figure.
         This is going to be part, I think, of a somewhat longer
     discussion later, I guess.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Okay.
         MR. PARRY:  Let's come back to this.
         MS. MADISON:  We will come back to this.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Okay.
         MR. DEAN:  Another principle I wanted to discuss real
     briefly was the fact that, to obtain a level of adequate assurance of
     performance, that we need both the performance indicators and the
     inspection results.
         When we go out and make presentations to the public or to
     other stakeholders about this process, there's a tendency to latch onto
     the performance indicators as being the end-all and be-all, and they're
     not, okay?
         They're a complementary set of indicators, information by
     which we need both of those to be able to judge -- adequately judge
     performance at a plant.
         The revised oversight process, in utilizing these
     performance indicators and these inspection findings, has developed a
     process whereby our assessment of license performance is more of a
     continual and ongoing assessment process, as opposed to -- for example,
     we mentioned earlier about the SALP process, where maybe every 18 or 24
     months, you would get a package that gave you an assessment of plant
         So, we have embodied in this new process a much more
     continuous and ongoing assessment whereby every quarter, as we get new
     performance indicator information and as we update our inspection
     finding plant issues matrix, that you get an additional set of
     information by which you can add that onto your previous information and
     use that to judge on a more continuous basis licensee performance.
         The performance indicators obviously have a much more major
     role into this process than they did in the past.  Performance
     indicators in the past were really used more to perhaps provide a level
     of support or a confirmatory tool, as you will, for decisions when we
     got into the senior management meeting process.
         We would look at, well, what do the performance indicators
     say and do they jibe with what our inspection findings told us, which is
     really what we based our assessment on licensee performance on, really
     was inspection findings.
         So, now we have integrated performance indicators to provide
     some at least more objective tools in that area.
         The issue of cross-cutting areas -- and this gets back to
     the earlier question about performance -- problem identification and
         Within this process, I think as you're all aware, that we've
     identified three areas that we consider to be cross-cutting areas, that
     they find their way into all the cornerstones of safety in terms of
     contributing to the attributes, and that would performance -- problem
     identification resolution, human performance, and safety conscious work
     environment, and it's important to note that, in the revised oversight
     process, we're assessing performance in the cornerstones.
         I've heard mentioned a couple times an overall assessment of
     the cornerstones.  We're not providing an overall assessment of the
     cornerstones like we did with an overall assessment in the SALP process
     of a functional area, okay?
         What we're doing is we're identifying issues within a safety
     cornerstone, assessing that issue more discretely or assessing that
     performance indicator, which is an indicator of performance within that
     cornerstone, and dealing with those issues on a more discrete basis, and
     as those issues emerge with either a higher threshold being crossed or
     as you get more issues within that cornerstone, then what you see is an
     analogous NRC regulatory response -- a greater level of inspection,
     supplemental inspection, more focused team inspections, as you see
     higher thresholds being crossed or as you see more thresholds being
     crossed within the cornerstone, but we are not, in this process, trying
     to, quote/unquote, assess a cornerstone like we did assess a functional
     area with our more subjective process in the past.
         DR. BONACA:  Let me just ask a question.
         There is clearly a perception on the part of the industry
     that -- I quote here a statement in the NEI 99-02, a draft of it,
     regulatory assessment performance indicator guideline, where it says
     that a green performer from performance indicators only -- a green
     performer will be allowed to identify and correct perceived problems,
     which means essentially that the NRC action or interaction or
     intervention is going to be determined by the performance indicators.
         MR. DEAN:  No.  The interaction is determined, as we
     mentioned earlier, on the completely integrated set of performance
     indicators and inspection.
         DR. BONACA:  Well, I think we will have to ask the industry
     later on if it is the same conclusion they have documented here in this
     draft, because when I read that, it says that the performance indicators
     being in the green may, in fact, be an impediment to the staff to look
     at other things or to take action based on cross-cutting issues.
         MS. MADISON:  It's always been advertised that the
     performance indicators, from the beginning of developing this program in
     SECY 99-007, that the performance indicators could not stand alone, that
     the had to be supported and supplemented by baseline inspection program
     and that just because performance indicators are indicating good
     performance did not mean that we wouldn't react or wouldn't take action
     based upon inspection findings.
         DR. BONACA:  Even if everything was green.
         MS. MADISON:  Even if everything is greener than green in
     the performance indicators, if there are indications in the inspection
     program, then we'll take action based upon that.
         DR. SHACK:  Are they weighted the same?  That is, if you go
     through an inspection and you go through an SDP and you come up with a
     white, is that a white like a performance indicator white?
         MS. MADISON:  Yes, that's the purpose, and I'm going to try
     to explain a little bit of that during the SDP, and Mike will go into it
     more in the assessment program.
         MR. DEAN:  The intent was to try and brace our thresholds on
     the guidance that's contained within Reg. Guide 1.174 and try and make
     the performance indicator thresholds analogous to the inspection finding
         Now, is it exact across the board?  You know, obviously not,
     but I think that we've come pretty close in trying to make them similar
     so that a white here and a white here are equivalent.
         MR. BARTON:  That's an important point, because under the
     current process, you could have good PI's and still be in trouble.
         MR. DEAN:  Oh, yes.  Matter of fact, I'll give you a good
     example.  This came up, matter of fact, in a discussion last night.
         I was up in New Jersey last night, matter of fact, speaking
     to the public on the new oversight process, and the issue came up about
     the complementary nature of inspections and PI's and could something be
     evaluated as green in PI's and potentially mask a potential problem, and
     in fact, in New Jersey, we've had recent incidents where, in the
     emergency preparedness area, the performance indicator has been green,
     it's shown good performance over the last year in terms of EP
     performance, but that there have been several actual events at Salem
     where you have had some problems in --
         MR. BARTON:  -- misclassification.
         MR. DEAN:  -- misclassification of events, and that was
     evaluated through our inspection program and determined to be a white
     issue, even though the green performance indicator in EP would show that
     -- you know, give you an indication that performance in that area was
         MR. BARTON:  So, what does that tell me?
         MR. DEAN:  So, what's that telling you, is that that's a
     good example of where the PI's and the inspection process are
     complementary in nature, the fact that the performance indicator is not
     the overall indicator of performance in that area, it's an indicator of
     performance with a specific aspect within that cornerstone but that our
     inspection program is complementary or supplementary to what we get from
     the performance indicators and that we may have issues emerge that a
     performance indicator doesn't give us the same information that our
     inspection does.
         MR. BARTON:  What does the public see in that case?  What's
     on the internet?
         MR. DEAN:  What they would see is they would see, underneath
     that cornerstone, okay, if you're familiar with our web-site, you know,
     the single page, you have the cornerstones and the PI's underneath that
     cornerstone, and then, below that are the inspection findings, and what
     they would see is, under that inspection finding, the block for that
     current quarter, when that inspection finding emerged, would be colored
     white, and then they could click onto that box and it would take them
     right to that description of what that inspection finding was as to why
     we characterized it as a white issue.
         DR. BONACA:  The performance indicator was green.
         MR. DEAN:  That's right.
         DR. BONACA:  So, you would have not only a white, you would
     have a performance indicator of green and then you would have an
     assessment white.
         MR. DEAN:  An inspection finding of white, that's correct.
         MS. MADISON:  And they would both be inputs into the
     assessment program, as Michael described, and the same action would be
     taken for a white inspection finding as a white performance indicator.
         MR. DEAN:  Before I move off the slide, I want to make one
     other point, and that has to do with the problem identification and
         We recognize that, in establishing this band of performance
     and backing away a little bit, as you will, from focusing on these
     low-level issues and trying to drive their resolution, that we have to
     rely on a licensee's ability to identify and resolve their problems more
     substantially than we have in the past.
         In order to provide us with some level of assurance that a
     licensee does have an effective problem identification and resolution
     process, we have embedded in every inspectable area a portion of that
     inspection procedure has to focus on problem identification and
     resolution activities associated with that inspectable area, and that's
     a substantial change from our previous inspection program, where we may
     do, every couple of years, perhaps, a programmatic review of a
     licensee's problem identification and resolution or their corrective
     action program.
         We have now embedded that in each and every inspection
     procedure, as well as having a periodic annual inspection that looks at
     problem identification and resolution from a broader perspective.
         So, we are spending a lot of our inspection resources and
     effort to look at problem identification and resolution, much more than
     we did in the past.
         DR. BONACA:  In your guidance to the resident inspectors,
     you specify that, if you have a number of misclassifications, that would
     correspond to a white?  Is there a criterion for determining that?
         MS. MADISON:  It's in the significance determination process
     for emergency preparedness.
         DR. BONACA:  Well, that still leaves it to the -- you don't
     have a head count.  I'm trying to understand how objective that process
         MR. DEAN:  We're going to talk a little bit about the
     significance determination process later.  So, hopefully, we'll be able
     to address that.
         The last point I want to make before we start talking about
     some of the technical aspects of the program is that the oversight
     process is intended to be indicative within the licensee response.
         I think we've talked about that already several times, that
     we are backing away from having a more diagnostic approach for those
     very low-level, low significant issues, and that's a purpose of our
     risk-informed baseline inspection program.
         It's intended to be indicative, are we getting indications
     of problems whereby, if we do see issues that are crossing
     risk-significant thresholds, that would then engender additional or
     supplemental inspection, which is designed to be more diagnostic in
     nature, it's intended to be looking at what is the root cause that the
     licensee has conducted say about that issue, what have they done in
     terms of looking at extent of condition.
         And as you see more thresholds being crossed or higher
     thresholds being crossed, that supplemental inspection becomes much more
     independent in terms of its level of diagnostics, and the oversight
     that's based on our action matrix -- as I have stated several times, the
     action matrix is one of the tools that we have in place to help make our
     process more predictable and understandable as to why it is we're taking
     the actions that we are taking and that a licensee or the member of the
     public can predict and understand why it is we're doing whatever sort of
     inspection or regulatory response, whether it be a 50.54(f) letter or an
     order -- they can understand what performance issues have led to us
     taking that action.
         So, that's one of the major intents of the action matrix.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Can you explain the first sentence?  I
     don't understand it.  "The oversight process will be indicative within
     the licensee response band."  What does that mean?
         MR. DEAN:  I guess what that's referring to is that the
     performance indicators, okay, provide indications of performance, are
     not measuring performance, but they provide you indicators.
         The inspection program is designed to identify indications
     of potentially poor performance that have some risk significance, and
     so, the process, as long as a licensee is within the green band, their
     performance indicators and the inspection findings are characterized as
     green, then our process in that realm is more of an indicative process.
         We're looking for indications of potential poor performance.
         Once you emerge from the green band, you cross a threshold,
     whether it's a performance indicator or whether it's an inspection
         Our process now is designed to be more diagnostic with
     respect to that issue or with respect to that cornerstone, if you have a
     degraded cornerstone, if you have several issues within a cornerstone
     that cross thresholds.
         So, now we move into more of a diagnostic, trying to
     understand why is this happening, why did you have issues that caused
     you to cross this PI threshold or cross this risk significance threshold
     for the inspection findings?
         So, there's a shift in our focus of what we're trying to
     understand about licensee performance.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  By the way, again, for my education, when
     the inspectors perform the inspection, are they using generic criteria
     or plant-specific criteria?
         MR. DEAN:  In terms of assessing the significance of the
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yes.
         MR. DEAN:  We're going to talk about the significance
     determination process, but there is, I think, a -- you know, your
     concern about generic thresholds and so on.
         I believe that our significance determination process and
     the tools that we have for the inspectors to use are much more
     plant-specific in terms of looking at, you know, what mitigating systems
     are available and so on and so forth.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Right.  So, the ADP is plant-specific.
         MR. DEAN:  Yes.
         MR. BARTON:  Yes, it is, George.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  We've asked in that regard why it is --
     it's plant-specific, but it appears to me that they have gotten that
     plant specificity by looking at the IPE submittals.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  That's right.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  And those IPE submittals are now, what,
     eight years old?
         At the time they came out, the committee was acquainted with
     some substantial concerns on whether the analyses in the submittal
     represented a complete set of accidents and whether the IPE was, indeed,
     faithful to the plant design.
         Since that time, anecdotal accounts suggest that several of
     them weren't.
         How do you correct for that?
         MR. DEAN:  Alan is going to specifically address that issue
     and the concern, and I think we're probably ready to get into Alan's
         We'll start with the PI's first, right, Alan?
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I don't think I got an answer to my
         During the inspection, in an inspectable area, the inspector
     has industry-wide criteria in his mind or the history of this plant and
     how things were done --
         MS. MADISON:  The simple answer to your question is yes,
     both.  They're going to have to use some industry-wide guidance.
         There's industry-wide standards that they'll be looking at,
     but there are plant-specific implementation standards that they'll also
     be concerned with and plant-specific design characteristics that they'll
     be looking at when they're doing their inspection.
         So, the inspection program has both elements in it, both the
     generic, both industry-wide-type concerns, as well as a plant-specific
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  So, in my mind, then, the only part of the
     whole process that uses generic numbers is the thresholds for the
     performance indicators.  Everything else is more or less plant-specific.
     It doesn't mean you ignore the industry, the rest of the industry.
         MR. DEAN:  In a general sense, that's accurate.  I will say,
     for example, in the significance determination process, for example,
     initiating event frequencies are basically generic, industry-wide
     initiating event frequencies, and a specific plant may have a different
     factor built into their IPE that may emerge as you get further into the
     risk analysis of an issue, but you know, there's generic aspects to the
     significance determination process, although that process, I believe, is
     much more aligned towards the plant-specific design.
         DR. SHACK:  The inspector will be looking for all,
     essentially, violations of the licensing basis, just the way he does
     now.  It's the SDP that suddenly becomes different.
         MR. DEAN:  Yes, what do you do with those findings and
     issues.  Do we have something -- a compliance issue that is significant?
     If it's not a significant issue, we turn that over to the licensee, they
     are still required to comply with the regulations.
         It's just that we will not expend a lot of our effort to
     drive resolution of that.  We'll come back and revisit it as part of our
     corrective action program reviews, but it's not --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  So, it confirms what I said.  It is
         DR. SHACK:  But what he's looking for is essentially a
     violation of the licensing, which I guess is plant-specific, yes.
         MS. MADISON:  Well, we've changed the focus a little bit,
     and we're trying to focus them on risk significance rather than
     violations, and in fact, that has occurred during the pilot program.
         Some of the issues -- some of the significant issues that
     have been raised have not been necessarily violations of regulations,
     but they have risen to a level of significance that we were concerned --
     and the licensee was concerned with the issue.
         MR. DEAN:  Alan?
         MS. MADISON:  We're going to talk first about performance
     indicators and then about the significance determination process, and
     we're going to try to address a couple of the questions that you had in
     these areas.
         A little bit later, Gareth Parry -- in fact, in a few
     moments, I hope, Gareth Parry is going to be talking about George's
     specific issue on plant-specific thresholds.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I'm not trying to be a bad guy.
         MS. MADISON:  No, no, we're trying to address your
         MR. BARTON:  When did you change, George?
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I'm really troubled by this.
         MS. MADISON:  I just wanted to highlight a couple of things
     about the performance indicators and the thresholds.
         The purpose of that green/white threshold was to indicate or
     identify licensee performance below which we needed to start getting
     involved as an agency, we needed to start getting, as Bill said, more
     diagnostic rather than indicative, and instead of turning the problems
     back over to the licensee, focusing on them ourselves and trying to
     determine more of the why's.
         We're not -- within that green band, as long as it's above
     that green/white threshold, we're not ranking, we're not trending within
     that green band, although some licensees are, and in fact, in some of
     the performance indicators, we don't think it's appropriate,
     necessarily, to trend, especially like in the barrier areas, because
     they're more data point-type indicators.
         Again, one of the other things to focus on is they are
     indicators, they're not measures, and in some cases, we don't have a
     real clear tie to risk some of these indicators.  So, we're not looking
     at them as a straight-line-type measurement of performance.
         The green/white threshold, as we've been talking about -- we
     initially set that trying to come up with like a 95-percent performance
     area, but it's really focused on -- with the concept that we have looked
     at industry as a whole and feel that industry as a whole is performing
         Now we're looking for outliers, folks that are outlying from
     nominal performance, and the development of that threshold, then, was
     based upon this 95-97 history, saying if that's a safe history, then
     where were the outliers in that time period and where would we establish
     a threshold to capture those outliers in the future?
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  If I have a plant that, because of a
     design characteristic, some peculiar feature of it causes me to be in
     this upper 5 percent, and there's nothing I can do about it, it's a
     design feature, it has been accommodated and corrected with some
     compensatory action, presumably, in the licensing process and it's fully
     documented, everybody understands that, do I still end up getting a
         MS. MADISON:  It's a good point.  We haven't seen that,
     actually, in the reactor safety areas, but we're likely to see that in
     some of the non-reactor areas, and we're addressing that by -- our
     proposal for addressing that is we recognize that performance.
         For example, in the security area, where comp measures may
     account and provide backup for some security equipment, but we do need
     to, for the public's scrutiny and to maintain a stable program, we will
     identify that as a white issue or a white performance indicator, but
     we'll note what actions are being taken by the licensee and by the
     agency to address that issue.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I think you're inviting difficulties here.
     You have set your thresholds for green/white so high, 95th percentile
     high, that you've given white, which on reading the words is not
     particularly bad -- it's only requiring some additional attention,
     whatnot, it has not impacted the public's health and safety the least
     little bit -- you are drawing attention to it.
         A white in a field of green stands out, especially since
     there's no gradation in the greens, and I think you invite trouble if
     you ask people to look at the asterisk that said this is okay.
         I don't think it will be captured.  I think you invite
     difficulty to that plant.
         MS. MADISON:  And we'll have to look at that, Dana.
         MR. GILLESPIE:  I think one of the important aspects is what
     Alan said, is none of the existing plants seem to have the problem.  So,
     we want to be careful that we don't try to fix something that's not a
         Now, if someone builds a new plant and does it, well, that's
     okay, but we've got a number of years to deal with that, quite honestly.
         So, you know, we're trying to get a process in place, and
     this really hasn't become an issue, and even in security, we're
     re-examining the threshold itself to ensure it's not an issue.
         MS. MADISON:  I was just going to mention that.  We have --
     one of the bullets on here says we will re-evaluate those.  We are
     re-evaluating those thresholds based upon the historical data that the
     licensees gave us on the 21st of January.
         In looking at -- we're considering raising the threshold --
     or lowering, actually, the threshold on the security equipment
     performance index, but we're still going to -- we still identify some
     outliers, and that's the purpose of the index.
         I think it's about seven or eight plants that we think will
     be identified based upon that, and in talking to our security folks,
     they're considered true outliers in performance in the industry.
         It may be because of some design concerns that they have on
     their security equipment, but their security equipment is considered as
     an outlier in performance in the industry.
         We haven't seen anything in these performance indicators
     that would say otherwise so far.
         DR. WALLIS:  How many PI's are there?
         MS. MADISON:  There are 19.
         DR. WALLIS:  Nineteen.  So, it's conceivable that the 95
     percentile will identify 50 percent of the plants but only in one PI.
         MS. MADISON:  We're doing 95 percentile per performance
         DR. WALLIS:  That's right.  So, it could be that this field
     of green, every plant could have a white on something.
         MS. MADISON:  Yes.
         DR. WALLIS:  This isn't 5 percent of plants in that regard.
         MS. MADISON:  Per indicator, that's correct.
         MR. JOHNSON:  But there is no denying the point that Dana
     makes, that the relative rarity of whites makes the pucker factor for
     when you get a white very high, and that's something we've seen in the
     pilot program, and I think Alan's right.
         DR. BONACA:  I do believe one of the reasons why you don't
     see more of these whites that Dana is talking about is because they are
     not sensitive.
         I mean they are so high, the thresholds, in my judgement,
     that the issue of 5 percent of the plants for some indicators -- like,
     for example, barrier performance.  I don't know where you have one of
         I mean 50 percent of your tech spec value on containment
     leakage, on fuel activity -- I mean you could have bundles of fuel
     leaking to get those kind of values.
         Again, I think it will go down to the last bullet and it
     will talk about then the objective shouldn't be that you change a
     threshold when you have an increasing risk.  We already said you're not
     measuring the risk.
         The objective should be that you have a sensitive enough
     indicator that it will tell you something.
         MS. MADISON:  There are some exclusions to that, and in the
     barrier indicators, we did not choose on the 95 percentile.  We chose
     based upon tech spec limits, and if you look at the tech spec limits,
     they are really a very small percentage of the Part 100 limits in the
     barriers.  So, the impact on true risk to the public is very, very
     small, even at 50 percent of tech spec.
         DR. BONACA:  If the objective was purely the one of looking
     at increasing risk, but I thought the objective was the one of being
     able to see, I mean to have a sensitive indicator that will tell you
     this -- there is a trend.
         MS. MADISON:  And we're looking at those thresholds.  We're
     also looking at those indicators to determine whether or not we keep
     those indicators, because of that very concern.
         I think I've talked about that pretty much.
         As I mentioned, we are probably making a change to the
     security equipment performance index.  We're looking at all the other
     thresholds in the performance indicators.
         As you see on the last bullet, we're talking about the -- at
     least for the initiating events and mitigating systems cornerstones, the
     yellow and the red thresholds did have a direct tie to risk, in our
     estimation, as we developed those thresholds.
         In those performance indicators that do not -- for example,
     the safety system functional failures do not show a direct correlation
     to risk -- we chose not to have a red threshold.  We chose just to have
     the lower thresholds, because the action taken based upon the action
     matrix would be sufficient to get to the root cause of problems in those
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  If one indicator is yellow, then I have a
     delta CDF of about 10 to the minus 5.  If two of them are yellow, what
     happens?  Two times 10 to the minus 5?
         MS. MADISON:  It's strictly on one performance indicator at
     a time, but in the action matrix, we try to then add those issues
     together to accelerate our action taken to address the problems.
         At this point, if there's no other clarification questions,
     I'd like Gareth --
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I have a clarification question.
         MS. MADISON:  Oh, I'm sorry, Dana.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  And it's in this last one, and it comes to
     this red corresponds to about 10 to the -- a delta CDF of 10 to the
     minus 4th.
         Maybe we take something that everybody seems to focus on,
     scrams, and I look at the information used to come up with that, and I
     guess I don't understand exactly how you got the number you did and why
     it's pertinent, because I certainly see plants that get about a 10 to
     the minus 4 with scrams much lower -- that get scrams much lower than
     your yellow-to-red threshold, and I see others where the number of
     scrams has to be much higher to get about a 10 to the minus 4.
         When I try to say, okay, this top 5 percent of those, I
     don't find that in -- I mean just going through the numbers, I don't get
     that same number.
         MS. MADISON:  If the explanation in SECY 99-007 was
     inadequate, I'll get someone to -- I would ask Gareth if he would add
     some detail to the discussion on the scrams.  Gareth, along with several
     others, helped develop the thresholds on that performance indicator.
         MR. PARRY:  I'm not really sure I understood your comment
     there, Dana.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I guess what I'm asking is really the
     mechanics of deriving the threshold values.
         MR. PARRY:  The white/yellow and the yellow/red thresholds.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Any one of them would probably help me,
     but I focused here just because the yellow-to-red has some
     quantifications with it, so I could go back and check.
         MR. PARRY:  Right.
         Well, the way that was done was to take the parameter in the
     suite of PRA models that we used and varied it from the base that was in
     the model until we got a delta CDF of 10 to the minus 5 or 10 to the
     minus 4, and you'll see that there's a significant variation between
     plants, but for most of them, the simple reactor trip, which is the
     parameter we used, is not a major contributor to risk, and that's why
     you see these rather large numbers associated with the thresholds.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I believe the number you came up with
     there -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- is about 50.
         MS. MADISON:  No, 25.
         MR. BARTON:  There is a 50, I think, at one time.
         MR. PARRY:  For one of the plants, maybe.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Okay.
         If I used the criterion, most of the plants -- then most of
     the plants in the tables would be 100.
         MR. PARRY:  A lot of them would be, that's true, but that's
     just a reflection of the fact that simple reactor trips are not major
     contributors to risk.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Whatever they are, they are a performance
     indicator, they have a threshold, and I'm interested in how the
     threshold was found.  Someone has asked me what is the technical
     foundation for these thresholds, and I've got to answer him, because he
     has a higher pay grade than I do.
         MR. PARRY:  I've just tried to explain how we did it.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  And I understand, but when I try to go
     back and look at the numbers and re-do it myself, I don't come up with
     that number.
         MR. PARRY:  How can you re-do the numbers without having the
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Well, I've got these tables.
         MR. PARRY:  Okay.  I see what you're saying.  In a sense,
     what we did, I think, to come up with the final number which we used was
     -- well, we just said it was greater than 25.  It's just large.  It's
     not a very useful threshold in that sense, because it's so large.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I have one particular plant where, in your
     tabulation, it says, gee, if they have more than seven, they've got a
     delta CDF of 10 to the minus 4.
         MR. PARRY:  Okay.  That's probably a SPAR model, right?
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  And then all of the others -- I mean they
     can go up to 100.  Here's one with 35.  Here's another one that says
     greater than 50.
         It's not apparent to me how the number was actually arrived
         MR. PARRY:  Where is the seven?  Which plant is this?
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  If you look in Appendix H, page H-9, Table
     2.  Maybe I'm misinterpreting the numbers.
         MR. PARRY:  Okay.  These are the risk significance scrams
     that you're talking about.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Yes.
         MR. PARRY:  Okay.
         MS. MADISON:  That's a different scram.
         MR. PARRY:  These are essentially losses of feedwater.
         MS. MADISON:  That's a different indicator, though, Dana.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Yes, I understand it's a different
     indicator.  Many of your thresholds are very, very subjective, by your
     own admission, because you have no quantitative tool to deal with them.
     A couple of them you have quantitative tools to deal with.
         I'm just trying to understand how you got the actual numbers
     in a way that I can go back and reproduce and say, oh, yes, had I
     accepted all your assumptions, all your predications, which I'm willing
     to do, I, too, would have come up with this number.
         MR. PARRY:  This is over a year ago now.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Well, maybe you can give that some
         MR. PARRY:  There is a discussion of that particular plant,
     which is Palo Verde, and it's a design-specific feature, I think, of
     that plant, which is the reason why that one comes out a little low, and
     I think the exception is that we're going to set it at 10 for the
     white/yellow except for those plants where feed-and-bleed is not an
     option, which Palo Verde is one of them, I think, and it says that this
     plant will be treated in a design-specific way.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Okay.  But you see what my problem is.
     You set the number at 10.  All the other plants -- I mean they get
     numbers of 46, greater than 100, 34, 21.
         MR. PARRY:  Well, you're mixing two tables there.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Because I'm just asking a question.
         Now, if you want to get specific on one, I'm perfectly
     willing to do it.  It sounds like you don't have a facile answer to my
         MR. PARRY:  I think the simple answer to your question is we
     looked at the results, we chose the lowest of the set of those results
     and chose that as the threshold, unless there was a reason for an
     exception, and in this case, for the risk significance scrams, that was
     true, because Palo Verde does not have the feed-and-bleed option.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Okay.  So, I can go back and reproduce
     your numbers by looking at these tables and come up with exactly that
         MR. PARRY:  I think you should be able to understand where
     the numbers came from.  You might come up with a slightly different
     perspective, because we've probably done some rounding-off here, but
     yes, you should be able to read Appendix H and come up with those
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  It will stun me if I do.
         MS. MADISON:  I'm not laying it all on Gareth's plate
     either.  Gareth worked with several other folks in industry as well as
     NRC, and their discussions, which he probably can't remember now, after
     over a year, led to that type of decision.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I guess I think this is bad practice to
     establish thresholds and not have a good documentation on exactly where
     those numbers came from, because sooner or later, at some time in the
     future, perhaps after Dr. Parry has left the agency for greener pastures
     or more delightful pursuits, somebody's going to want to change those
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Want to define greener?  What's the
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Well, it's not white.  He's got white here
     today.  He doesn't need that anymore.
         MR. DEAN:  Dr. Powers, you make a good point, and one of the
     things that we intend to do once we can get out of the developmental
     phase and get into a more stable implementation phase is to go back and
     develop what we are going to call a basis document that will help do
     exactly what you describe, what was the basis for all these decisions
     that led to the thresholds, and collect that all in one document so that
     there is, indeed, not the reliance on more, okay, but there is a
     documented basis that we have in one place.
         It's in a number of different places, 99-07, 07-alpha.
     There's a lot of places.
         MS. MADISON:  Yes, we've taken that on as a task.  It's kind
     of the never-ending-job part of the process.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I have another question.  Again, it's
         Let's take two plants.  One, as the IP's have found, is from
     the ones that have a core damage frequency greater than 10 to the minus
     4, let's say 5 10 to the minus 4, 19 PWR units were found to have that,
     and then the other one has a core damage frequency of 3 10 to the minus
     5, so big difference.
         There will be random changes in performance, right?  I mean
     it's not always consistent.
         Wouldn't it be easier, due to random causes, for the plant
     that is already at 5 10 to the minus 4, to have a delta CDF of 10 to the
     minus 5 or more, easier than the plant that's already down to the 10 to
     minus 5, because that plant has to double its CDF.
         So, for the plant that is already at the 5 10 to the minus
     4, would I expect it to be in the yellow region a lot of the time,
     whereas the other one would not?
         MR. PARRY:  I don't think that's necessarily the case,
     because you are talking about -- you have to decompose what goes into
     that 10 to the minus 4, and if the thing that you're changing is in a
     very low cut-set, the delta might be the same for both plants.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yes, but it seems to me, if I'm already at
     5 10 to the minus 4 --
         MR. PARRY:  But if we're working on deltas --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  -- changes there on the order of 10 to the
     minus 5 would not be something that would surprise me.
         It would even be sensitive to the way I calculate things,
     because that's not a first decimal place, where the other one is way
     down there, something really drastic has to happen for 10 to the minus 5
     delta CDF.
         So, the question is, should they prepare to see more yellows
     for the high core damage frequency plant, and what does that say about
     the process?  I don't know.
         MS. MADISON:  Well, there's two answers, I think, to that,
     and Gareth started with one of them.  That's not necessarily the case,
     just because there's a greater risk overall at that plant, that the
     change will be greater based upon an equipment failure.
         The second is, you know, if part of the purpose of the
     program is to focus our resources more effectively where the risk to the
     public is greater and if the risk at that plant to the public is greater
     and they have more problems and they do go into the white or the yellow
     more often, that's where we should be focusing our resources.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But the question is whether getting into
     the delta CDF of 10 to the minus 5 is something that's sort of expected
     due to random causes for that plant.  So, there is no reason for alarm,
     whereas for the other plant there should be.
         I don't know the answer myself.
         MS. MADISON:  We'll have to watch that during the
     implementation phase.  That's, again, another question that we'll have
     to try to answer during initial implementation.
         MR. DEAN:  And one of the other things is that, within our
     program, part of our inspection procedures is an event response element
     which is defined to allow the agency to react appropriately to issues
     that cross thresholds but to look at other performance attributes of
     that that have to be evaluated.
         So, in other words, you may have an event that, because of
     the very nature of the event, has a certain risk significance to it and
     that we would want to respond with a certain inspection reaction, but
     that may not, it and of itself, be a relationship to a performance
     issue.  It may be something that's related to the actual risk
     characteristics of the plant.
         MR. GILLESPIE:  George, is your fundamental question, if
     someone's got a plant that's designed with more redundancy in certain
     functional areas, do they have an advantage?  The answer is yes.  The
     answer to that question is yes.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I guess I was coming from another point of
         If already the CDF is high, then we anticipate random
     changes with time around the baseline value, which is an average value.
         So, if I'm already high, a delta CDF of 10 to the minus 5
     should be something that I should see very often in my plant, because
     that means small variations with respect to my baseline CDF.
         MR. GILLESPIE:  Yes.  Now you're exactly where the staff was
     in wrestling with thresholds, because up until this point, the criticism
     was the thresholds are too tight, and this argument could be used for
     saying the thresholds go the other way, and that was precisely the
     problem in being risk-informed, by the way, not risk-based, that we
     needed to wrestle with.
         Now, what the industry data is showing us -- and the team
     just got all the industry data in on the PI's -- they have to step back
     and look, does that profile look the same as the pilot plants and what
     was anticipated, and they're still in the process of kind of doing that,
     but we're not necessarily anticipating, I don't think, a lot of whites
     by design, if you would.
         MS. MADISON:  And we have not seen a lot of problems with
     the historical data submittal that we would necessarily need to change
     thresholds dramatically, although we're still -- it's under review.  We
     think there are some changes to be made, but we're still looking at it.
         Did you want Gareth to talk about the plant-specific issue,
     because he has some information he'd like to share.
         DR. WALLIS:  I have a follow-up question to George's
     question about plants with a large CDF.
         Now, you get into red by doing something which is increasing
     your CDF by 10 to the minus 4.
         Can you get out of it by fixing something else which has
     something to do with something completely different from what got you
     into this red, because you already have a large CDF to play with, so you
     can fiddle something else to get you a negative delta CDF to cancel out
     the one you've just gotten.
         MS. MADISON:  It's issue-specific.
         So, if you have a piece of equipment failure -- pardon me --
     a performance indicator that causes an availability of that piece of
     equipment, the emergency diesel generator, to be out for that period of
     time, that is an unavailability number that will cause you to cross a
         There's not another piece of equipment, as far as that's
     concerned, you can throw that back.
         DR. WALLIS:  You can get back, though, by -- in that
     specific -- delta CDF of 10 minus 4 -- by getting back part-way, till
     it's a half 10 to the minus 4, then you go back to yellow, or do you
     have to fix the whole thing?
         I mean you could get out of this state in the same way you
     got into it, by reversing exactly the same thing that you got into --
         MS. MADISON:  By reversing performance.
         For example, the scrams -- once the scram crosses the
     threshold, that number stays there for a certain period of time.
         DR. WALLIS:  You can't cancel that out.
         MS. MADISON:  Well, you can't cancel out unavailability of a
     piece of equipment either.
         DR. WALLIS:  You're bound to stay red for a long time if you
     have a lot of scrams, no matter what you do?
         MS. MADISON:  As your critical hours increases, as your
     denominator increases, that number will go down.
         MR. BARTON:  That's no different than what industry does
     not.  You cross the threshold, it just stays in there for a few years.
         DR. WALLIS:  You could also cross the threshold by making
     some error which you could fix.
         MR. SIEBER:  You can't.
         DR. WALLIS:  You can't?
         MS. MADISON:  There is an issue in unavailability with fault
     exposure hours if you find a design problem which you might consider an
     error that's been around for 20 years.  An aggressive program on the
     part of the licensee, going out to look for design issues, they find
     this issue, and when looking at it, it says that piece of equipment
     would have been unavailable because of that design issue.
         Now, we've tried to accommodate that in the process by
     saying that could probably cause you to stay white, yellow, or red for a
     long period of time.
         If that issue is corrected, if we have reviewed and found
     that issue -- the correction to be adequate and we've documented that in
     a report, after four quarters, we'll remove that fault exposure hours to
     take that off of the books, number one, to say -- you know, to
     compensate, you know, it was not necessarily a performance issue on your
     part, it was something we needed to focus on, we needed to apply some
     resources, and number two, we don't want to mask any future issues that
     may crop up, because you have this large number of fault exposure hours
     due to a design issue.
         We're looking for that type of issue if it comes up in other
     performance indicators, and we may need to make similar type of
         DR. KRESS:  Where in the performance indicators do you
     incorporate this time element?  If a performance indicators jumps above
     the threshold, do you say it has to reside there a certain amount of
     time before you trigger some sort of action?
         MS. MADISON:  No.
         DR. KRESS:  If you could have a time element, it could take
     care of George's problem of randomness --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yes.
         DR. KRESS:  -- because it wouldn't be there long if it was
     random, and if it were a real performance degradation, it probably stays
     there a long time.
         MR. JOHNSON:  Well, remember what we do with all of these
     things in terms of the action matrix -- and all of this is driving to
     get us to a point where we can decide what the regulatory response
     should be and what the licensee response should be, and in fact, the
     consequence of, you know, a spike above a threshold, for example, the
     consequence -- the ultimate consequence for a white is that we go do
     some additional inspection and do some diagnostic look, and in fact, the
     result of that inspection could indicate that this was random.
         DR. KRESS:  Okay.  That would be another way to deal with
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  You had how many, six pilots, six pilot
         MS. MADISON:  Nine.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Are the baseline core damage frequencies
     for these plants available easily?
         MS. MADISON:  I'm sure they are.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  And the question is really did you check
     whether there was any correlation between the findings and the baseline
         MS. MADISON:  Frankly, we didn't have enough findings
     greater than white to draw any kind of conclusions in that area.  We'll
     have to look at that closer during initial implementation.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Okay.
         MS. MADISON:  Gareth?
         At this time, I'd like Gareth to address the issue of
     plant-specific thresholds.
         MR. PARRY:  Let me see if I get this straight.  You'd like
     to see plant-specific thresholds.  Is that right, George?
         MR. PARRY:  Okay.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  All this, you know, everything we do
     depends fundamentally on what the process is designed to achieve, and it
     seems to me -- so, the first thing is we have to have consistency
     between the objectives of the process and the way it's implemented, and
     then we have the second issue, do you agree with the objectives?
         So, from the discussion today, and other discussions, I get
     the impression that the process is really designed to maintain or to
     alert the staff that the level of safety at that plant has changed in
     the wrong direction, because if it changed in a good direction, we
     really don't care.
         So, if you start with that premise as an objective, then
     everything else has to be plant-specific, and that would be consistent
     with what we do in other parts of the regulations -- as I mentioned,
         I mean we agonized over what is negligible, minimal,
     whatever other terms we used, but we said we really want to maintain the
     licensing basis, and a lot of other things.
         Now, if you start from that point of view, then you're
     saying, well, gee, you know, I want a plant-specific set of, say,
     performance indicators, but then you may decide that the performance
     indicators really should be the same for all plants because of certain
     reasons, but you started with the idea that you would try to define it
     on a plant-specific basis.
         Then the thresholds, which is a separate issue, you know --
     I may decide that the PI's are generic, but then the thresholds -- and I
     think that's where my disagreement is -- again, I start with that
     premise, they have to be plant-specific.
         Now, for certain things, I may decide that, you know, the
     number I'm using for plant X really should be applied to a whole class
     of plants or maybe all the plants.  That's fine, too, but you started
     again from the fundamental premise that it has to be plant-specific.
         If you start with generic, then there are all sorts of
     problems with inconsistency and so on, and this is really my fundamental
     problem, the consistency with the objectives of the process and then
     what are the right objectives of the process.
         MR. PARRY:  Okay.  And I think the staff's on record as
     saying that, certainly in the ideal world, we would like plant-specific
     thresholds, and I'm trying to think of the way that you'd set this up.
         Now, presumably, if you had a good PRA model for each plant,
     you could extract from that the appropriate parameter value that would
     give you what the long-term expected value of the particular PI would be
     that would -- that gives you that level of risk, and you could use that
     as the current status of the plant, if you like.  Okay?
         So, you'd have a target, much like the maintenance rule for
     setting their goals on reliability and availability.
         Now, what that represents, though, is a long-term average
     about which we're going to have statistical fluctuations.  Let's get to
     that in a minute.
         First of all, we're making an assumption here that that
     value of the PI is going to be dramatically different from plant to
     plant -- at least it's going to be different from plant to plant and
     that the variability has a direct correlation with the level of CDF.
         I think if you look at the particular parameters that we're
     dealing with, which are diesel generator unavailability, HPCI
     unavailability -- if you look at those from plant to plant, from the
     plant's own assessments and also from the AEOD assessments, you're not
     going to find that that varies tremendously, and perhaps it's more a
     function of the fact -- and the argument's a little easier to make, I
     think, for the HPCI pumps, where they tend to be fairly uniform design
     -- that perhaps what we're seeing is more a fundamental limitation on
     the way they can be maintained and operated rather than a conscious
     decision that, in some plants, we have to really look at this carefully
     to maintain the level of risk, and I think, if you look at that
     variability, you're not going to see a great variability, which argues,
     I think, for the fact that, at the level of the indicators that we're
     talking about, that the generic types of values and thresholds are, in
     fact, not such a bad approximation.
         Now, the other thing is, I keep hearing that you think that
     the green/white threshold is high.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I think a lot of people think that.
         MR. PARRY:  Yes.  I'm not just saying you.  We keep hearing
     that it is high.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yes.
         MR. PARRY:  If you look at the thresholds, in fact, they are
     not so very high compared to typical unavailabilities that you see in
         The other thing I would point out, too, is that we did look
     at this in terms of sensitivity studies, and if you look at the back of
     Appendix H, you see, for a couple of the plants, what we did was we took
     all the PRA's for the reactor, for the initiating events and mitigating
     systems, we bumped them all to the green/white threshold, okay, so
     they're all at the top, and in putting all of those at that value, we
     still didn't generate a delta CDF that was 10 to the minus 6, and it's
     because you can't say that there's one plant that contributes at the
     highest level to each of those indicators, but I think these are
     plausibility arguments, I think, to suggest that the thresholds we've
     chosen are adequate for the purpose that we need them for and that they
     are not -- it's not necessary to have plant-specific thresholds.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  No, but it seems to me -- you see, I think
     we have an issue of presentation here, because the logic that you
     followed is exactly the logic I would follow.
         Now, the last sentence I disagree with, because if you did
     all that, then it is plant-specific.
         Plant-specific does not mean that the number is different
     for each plant.  The numbers may turn out to be very close, and you say,
     well, I'll pick this number, but this is not what's written here.
         The second question -- so, you really follow the logic that
     I'm advocating, because your argument was that we really looked at
     plant-specific data, but we concluded that there was not really
     variability, and instead of producing 103 numbers that are within the
     noise of each other, we said, well, go with this, which I think makes
     perfect sense, but that's not what it says here.
         Second, though, you said that you looked at the data and you
     didn't see variability.
         Now, I think that deserves some discussion, because if I
     look at page H-18 and H-19 and I read in the text that the bars that I
     see here are the highest values per year over five years -- these are
     not just the actual numbers, these are the highest numbers.
         I don't know that if I look, say, at Figure H.1 on page
     H-18, that I can conclude that there is no variability.  I mean on what
     basis are we deciding that this is statistically insignificant?
         On what basis are we deciding on the next figure for BWR
     high-pressure injection system unavailability, that for example -- you
     see if I look at plant 54, it has an unavailability of perhaps .005 or
     something, or 6, and then I have other plants that have, you know, .04
     and even higher.
         So, the argument that we looked at the plant-specific data
     and we didn't observe any significant change, I'm not sure how you can
     justify that in light of this evidence, because these are the highest
     numbers.  These are not the actual numbers.
         MR. PARRY:  I don't want to mislead you, George. We didn't
     look at this to see the plant-to-plant variability.  What I'm saying is
     that I looked at various sources like IP's, the AEOD studies, okay, and
     in those studies, the long-term average of the unavailabilities that
     people use for these systems are not that variable.  That's what I'm
         Sure, we expect to see variability because of the
     statistical variation, because what we're dealing with is relatively
     infrequent events.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But Gareth, if this is the highest over
     five years, the highest per year over a period of five years --
         MR. PARRY:  It's the highest three-year rolling average over
     five years, I believe, is the way it is.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Then that should be a robust indicator.
         I mean that shouldn't change that much, and if I have these
     differences that I see in these pictures, it seems to me I should worry
     about this variability, and maybe that should be an input to the studies
     that the AEOD has done and so on, but it's not something that
     immediately convinces me that the generic value would be good enough,
     because for example, for the high-pressure injection system
     unavailability, for plants 51, 54, 55, 62, the threshold is way too
     high, because it was driven by other plants.
         Now, again, should you, within the time constraints you had,
     have developed plant-specific values for all these?  Probably not.  But
     in the maintenance rule, you ask the licensees to do it for you.  Why
     don't you do the same thing here?  Spread the work.
         There are several issues here -- the conceptual issues, the
     practical issues.  You know, I do appreciate that you're under
     tremendous time pressure, but --
         DR. BONACA:  I think you have a problem, also, with the fact
     that thresholds are being set at a value where safety is not degraded.
         So, there is a presumption of risk information, and we are
     talking about whether it's legitimate, but I thought the more important
     issue we discussed at the beginning of the meeting was that you should
     be able to trend performance from what it was last month or last quarter
     and see trends.
         I mean the importance of the indicators is trending, it
     seems to me, and again, I do believe that, by using the criterion of
     safety is not being degraded, you're making these indicators too
     insensitive to changes, and I still think there is a confusion between
     what objectives you have --
         MS. MADISON:  I think the safety degraded issue is a
     measurement sense of how degraded is it.  Any error, any industrial
     error that's made out at the plant could be construed to be a reduction
     in safety or an increase in risk.
         We're saying that, at the green/white threshold, it is a
     very small increase -- it's a small increase in the risk.
         DR. BONACA:  I understand that, but let me just tell you why
     I have just a very practical concern.  I want to get away from -- the
     practical concern is, if I get all greens -- assume we get all greens --
     and that's probably going to be true for many plants -- then the
     indicators are irrelevant.
         I am going back to everything else you've got in the
     inspection program, the baseline program, being the fundamental element
     that you're looking at.
         However, you still have a statement of all green, and it may
     be an impediment or a reduced ability on your part to rely on --
         MS. MADISON:  What it means, being all green, is that we
     will do the baseline inspection program, and the baseline inspection
     program can still identify problems.
         DR. BONACA:  I understand that, but I'm saying that if, in
     fact, it doesn't give you an ability to discriminate and it's generally
     green, why do you have it at all?  Just throw it away.
         MS. MADISON:  Because that's one of the basic premises of
     the program, that there is a level of performance at the licensee below
     which we don't need to get more involved other than the baseline
     inspection program.
         That is the basic premise of the program, that says if they
     are green in those indicators or if they are green in their performance,
     that the maximum level of involvement we need to have at that point is
     the baseline inspection program, and if that's true for all plants, then
     that's true.
         MR. DEAN:  And remember -- I mean our inspection process is
     a sampling process.
         I mean you very well know that we don't look at every aspect
     of every plant operation or activity we sample, and that's one of the
     reasons why we have a continuous inspection program and why we go back
     and do the same inspections, looking at the same things, because maybe
     this one time we don't find that performance issue but maybe another
     time we will, and then we can pull that thread and maybe uncover --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Is plant 54 on two different figures the
     same plant?
         MR. PARRY:  I think it is, yes.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Okay.
         So, if I look at Figure H-2, 54 is a very good performer,
     page 19, H-19.
         The BWR HP injection system unavailability is very small.
         Then I go on to the next figure, which is emergency AC power
     system unavailability; 54 is again among the best performers.
         Then I go to the next figure, BWR RHR system unavailability
     -- 54 is doing very well.
         Three indicators and 54 is one of the best plants.  So, the
     threshold is higher than the performance of this plant in all three
         So, this plant now would be allowed to deteriorate its
     performance on three key indicators and it would still be in green,
     because the threshold is determined by the performance of other plants,
     and is that something that an oversight process ought to allow?
         MS. MADISON:  On an individual basis -- that's a question
     that we're going to have to answer for the program sometime after
     initial implementation.
         One of the processes that Bill was going to get into at the
     end was we need to develop a oversight process for the oversight process
     -- in other words, a quality assurance process for this where we look
     back at the program, at industry as a whole, in the macro sense, and say
     have we maintained safety in the industry, or because of what you're
     talking about, George, has safety in an industry-wide sense decreased,
     and that's a question we're going to have to answer, and we've committed
     to answer that question in June of 2001 based upon our review of initial
         Now, that's going to be a process that's going to look at
     some industry-wide indicators that we may already have, some yet to be
     developed, and it's also going to look at, programmatically, how it's
     been implemented and some of the lessons we've learned out of the
     program, but that is a question we're going to have to answer.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Now I think it's clear what my fundamental
     problem is, that there is this plant 54 that is doing very well, and now
     you're setting the threshold so high that this plant, on three key
     indicators, can -- not that they will try to do it, but if its
     performance deteriorates on all three, the agency will do nothing.
         MR. GILLESPIE:  Inherent in that is they're still in
     compliance with their license.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Suppose that it is true that this plant is
     doing very well because of heroic efforts on its part.
         It has concentrated resources, it has focused its
     engineering department, it has focused its training program.  It does
     very well on these things, at the expense of substantial investment on
     its part.
         Why shouldn't it be acceptable for this plant to relax on
     that because it is going -- it's over-devoting resources in those areas
     and should be devoting in the areas such as fire protection or emergency
     preparedness, where maybe it doesn't do so well?
         I mean why isn't that one of the objectives of having a
     risk-informed regulation, that we want resources to go to the areas
     where they're needed, as opposed to areas that are thought to be
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Well, that argument, by itself, could have
     some merit, although we would have to look more carefully.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  You can understand why sometimes our
     planning and procedures meetings go long, with this kind of support from
     my Vice-Chairman.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But it would be absurd for the same plant,
     if they want to change some minor thing, to have to argue that they are
     within the requirements of 50.59.  Either we change all the regulations,
     then, to say, you know, go ahead and change things and we'll look only
     at what's important or try to be consistent.
         MS. MADISON:  A lot of those are consistent in that they
     utilize Reg. Guide 1.174 as kind of a basis for deciding whether or not
     to make that change, and we've tried to rely on Reg. Guide 1.174 to also
     help us define what is the significance, and 1 times 10 the minus 6th or
     1 times 10 to the minus 5th fits into Reg. Guide 1.174 and the backfit
     rule as far as what is considered a significant enough issue that we
     need to get involved or we need to review that closely.
         MR. BARTON:  I think the bottom line here -- and you can
     change indicators -- and George's concern is, well, this plant can now
     be allowed to slip, and Dana's saying, well, why not, because they're
     focused on other areas.  Fine.
         But isn't the real key here how is the new process going to
     allow you to identify problem plants in a more timely basis than the old
     process, which was a criticism of the old process?
         MS. MADISON:  Exactly.
         MR. BARTON:  Now, how are you going to be able to do that
     with all these fluctuations and this, well, it's got a little bit of
     risk, but it's still in the licensing basis, and there's this new
     process to allow you to identify the problem plants on a more timely
         MR. DEAN:  The combination of having a more frequent
     submittal of information that reflects on plant performance, that we're
     looking at this information on a quarterly basis, that we have in place
     a predictable process by which we can react to performance issues, that
     we will, as performance degrades, apply a greater amount of resources
     and focus on those plants to better understand the issues.
         I think just the very fact that we have a periodic updating,
     a public display of what the overall performance assessment is of the
     plant is, in and of itself, a substantial driver of trying to enhance
     consistent safe performance of the plants, because there's going to be a
     lot more public pressure, as you will, to maintain indicators within
     appropriate bands of performance, so that the NRC is not engaging --
         MS. MADISON:  I think there's two ways.
         Number one, by the significance determination process and
     the indicators, helping us identify those areas that aren't as
     risk-significant, we can stop looking at those areas and spending
     resources there, freeing up those resources to look at more
     risk-significant areas, where we can identify problems, will help us
     identify problem plants in a more timely manner, and as Bill mentioned,
     the more frequent information coming up, but frankly, it's the idea that
     we put out a system that establishes -- that says, if we have these
     inputs, this is what we're going to do.  We're no longer a black box.
         You know, the Arthur Anderson study -- one of the things --
     in '96 -- one of the things they said is we're an agency that had more
     information available to us than any other regulatory agency they had
     seen.  It wasn't that we lacked information at the facilities.  It's
     just we may have reacted slowly to it.
         What this process does is it puts out in front and
     advertises this is what we're going to do if we get this information,
     and to react differently, we're going to have to justify that.  That's
     new.  That's something we haven't had in the past, and I think, frankly,
     it will force us to react in a timely manner.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I have a second thought.
         DR. KRESS:  I do, too.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Let's let Dr. Kress introduce his
         DR. KRESS:  As you said, how you implement this system
     should start from your fundamental objective.  It looks to me like the
     fundamental objective is to keep the performance below an acceptable
     level -- I mean above an acceptable level.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Up and down is going to be a problem.
         DR. KRESS:  But if you viewed that as the objective, then
     all this makes sense.  The acceptable levels are the thresholds, and it
     doesn't matter how far below you are, as long as you're below it.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I would answer you the same way I would
     answer Dana, that this is a noble objective, rearranging resources and
     so on, but I don't think it's the job of this particular regulation to
     do that.  That's why we have 1.174.
         If the licensee feels they can spend the resources in a
     better way, they can always come to us and argue to change -- you know,
     to request a change in their licensing basis, and we have other
     regulations that deal with that.  The job of the oversight process is to
     make sure that what we approved remains the way we approved it.
         MS. MADISON:  We would disagree.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  It's not the job of this regulation to
     allow changes.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I think we've got to move along.
         MS. MADISON:  I guess we want to ask you at this point --
     where do you want us to go?  Because I think we've reached our 10:30 --
         MR. BARTON:  Well, NEI does not have a 15-minute
     presentation.  As I understand, they just want to make some comments.
         Is that true?  Is NEI here?
         MR. HOUGHTON:  Tom Houghton, NEI.
         We didn't have a prepared presentation.  I think we laid out
     our issues at the last meeting.
         Industry has presented their data to NRC.  We're satisfied
     with the program as it is right now and ready to move ahead, and we
     believe that there are a number of issues that require looking at the
     thresholds, and that will continue in the public venue.
         Preliminary look at the data that's been submitted, although
     it hasn't all been verified yet, would show that there are a number of
     plants which have exceeded the threshold, and so, it is not a program
     that will result in all greens for everybody.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Well, can you speak to the issue of
     someone exceeding the green-to-white threshold, for example, not because
     of any poor performance on their part but, rather, because the way the
     threshold was chosen is not consistent with the kind of design they
         I mean they are forced into exceeding this threshold by
     design, even though the plant has, throughout the licensing process,
     been found certainly safe enough, maybe even exemplarily safe.
         MR. HOUGHTON:  There were a number of plants that thought
     that the thresholds would unfairly treat them.  Those issues are being
     looked at.  However, the preliminary data shows that it hasn't
     disadvantaged them.
         The plants with the whites that we see so far -- their data
     shows that they've had unavailabilities which would show up in the data
     and for which they want to make correction.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  And that's kind of the same answer that
     you had found, but again, we go from pilots to more extensive, we need
     to be alert to that, and we'll have to figure out some way to handle it,
     because I think it does not serve any of us well to have a plant
     highlighted for no reason.
         MS. MADISON:  No.
         MR. DEAN:  I will share one of the things that we would have
     gotten to if we had continued the presentation --
         MR. BARTON:  I think you need to continue to make the points
     you want to make on PI's and then jump into the SDP, because we haven't
     even talked about that yet.
         MS. MADISON:  Do you want us to continue on, then?
         MR. BARTON:  Yes, I think so.
         MS. MADISON:  Really, the only point I wanted to make on the
     next slide, really focus on, was kind of respond to your question you
     had on the SSA, why it was not used, although there are some other
     issues as far as how we developed these performance indicators.
         I just want to remind you there was a rigorous process that
     -- we thought a fairly rigorous process -- to go through and select
     performance indicators and drive down through what we called the
     football diagrams to look for important attributes, important areas to
     measure, and see if there was a performance indicator available.
         Now, I'll refer you to SECY 99-007 on page I-11, and we
     responded to this question over a year ago about the SSA, and our answer
     was the SSA indicator proposed by NEI did not differentiate between
     plants or add any new information.
         Only one plant, a declining trend plant, was in the white
     band, and it was also in the white band for transients.
         Lowering the threshold by one would capture two average
     plants and three watch list plants, all of which were identified by
     other PI's.
         In addition, the SSA indicator did not show a strong
     correlation to the discussion plants in the Arthur Anderson analysis.
     For these reasons, we did not include the SSA.
         And I guess the two points there I want to highlight are,
     you know, the information was provided -- that the SSA provides is also
     provided by other indicators.  So, we have bounded the SSA.
         There's no new information provided by the SSA, and we felt
     the other indicators actually were better indicators.
         MR. BARTON:  I think that was part of a larger question
     which said are you satisfied that you've got enough indicators to be
     able to assess performance?
         MS. MADISON:  In connection with the baseline inspection
     program, again, you know, being aware that it's not just a performance
     indicator program.  It's an oversight program that includes performance
     indicators and inspection.
         MR. DEAN:  Could we have better indicators or indicators
     that would give us a more comprehensive view of plant performance?
         MS. MADISON:  Yes.  And we're looking at those, and that's
     the next slide, the ongoing work.
         You had some questions about the other long-term issues that
     were out there.
         We're continuing to look at the consistency of PI
         We feel we're consistent right now, agency-wide, with the
     availability definition, and that includes the maintenance rule folks,
     because we worked with them to help develop this definition.
         Industry, NEI has agreed that this definition is correct.
     INPO has agreed that the definition is correct.  They're trying to work
     with WANO to get them on board.
         We finally found an agency that's slower to react than we
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Would you add the two issues that we
     raised today to the ongoing work, please?  The definition of the
     objectives for the program and the issue of plant-specific information.
     Or is that something that you will do in the future?
         MS. MADISON:  We'll take those questions back and look at
     them again.  I'm not sure we'll add them to our workload.  We'll have to
     look at those two questions, though, George.  I've noted them in my
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  With the industry and WANO, since the
     fundamental objection here seems to be that the thresholds are too high,
     it's not really surprising that the industry supports this, is it?
         MR. BARTON:  Not to me.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  So, that doesn't really mean much.  You
     are giving them more than they have now, so why should they object?
         MS. MADISON:  We're also satisfied.  We feel that the level
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I understand that.
         MS. MADISON:  -- noted by the performance indicators allow
     us enough opportunity to get involved and to do our inspection
     activities and identify our concerns before there is unsafe performance
     at a plant.
         MR. BARTON:  George, what I'm hearing loud and clear today
     -- maybe we didn't focus on it or absorb it in the past -- is I keep
     hearing the inspection program really is what they're relying on, since
     the PI's have got, you know, these concerns that we've been talking
     about.  I think the key here is how good is the inspection program and
     the SDP process.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  And it's plant-specific, so I'm happy.
         MS. MADISON:  Do you have any other questions on what we
     have -- the last two bullets up here are really kind of what I had
     mentioned earlier as far as developing an oversight program for the
     oversight program, looking at those long-term, a self-assessment
     program, looking at industry-wide performance, and we're developing --
     as we said, we're continuing to look at additional indicators, better
         The research has an effort right now ongoing for us to look
     at risk-based indicators, and we're going to consider those in the
         DR. BONACA:  One last comment I'll make is that I still have
     a problem in answering the question about the technical adequacy of the
     performance indicators, and the reason is, anytime I raise an objection
     to them, or to the threshold set for those, I get statement that says
     but we have the baseline inspections and we have the significance
         I mean -- and it leads me into limbo about, you know, the
     significance of those indicators.  That's a problem I'm having.
         And I understand the program.  Actually, you know, I'm more
     impressed today because I heard that you're going to have some kind of
     gradation you are going to make, also, on your baseline inspections, so
     therefore you have some ways of balancing the full green from the
     indicators or something else, but still, I've got a problem in
     addressing the question regarding technical adequacy, because anytime I
     find some problem with it, I get an answer that says but there is
     something else.
         MS. MADISON:  That's one of the problems we had in
     developing the program.
         The first proposal by NEI was a program that relied entirely
     on performance indicators, and when we looked at the performance
     indicators that were available, that we had, industry had, or that we
     could devise quickly, we couldn't find any that we could just rely
     strictly or solely on performance indicators.
         We had to devise a program that was supplemented and
     complemented by inspection.
         We're going to continue to look at the performance
     indicators and try to come up with better ones, and more technically
     adequate, but remember, again, they're not measures, they're just
     indicators, and even if -- and Arthur Anderson said this -- if you add
     enough numbers together and you can show a correlation to performance,
     by looking backwards, then you probably have an indicator of some worth,
     and we've proven that with the safety system functional failure
         DR. BONACA:  And yet, they will be questioned and judged
     independently as a set.  Independent of all the considerations we are
     making here, there is also the baseline inspection, because that's the
     way -- how things happen.
         You have a matrix there, and people are going to ask
     questions specifically about those.
         MR. DEAN:  You're absolutely right, and we've struggled with
     that in every meeting, whatever venue we have, that there tends to be a
     focus on the performance indicators as being a complete, comprehensive
     set of information, and they're not.
         MS. MADISON:  I want to move on now to the significance
     determination process, kind of focus a little bit on the basics of this,
     and I understand Mr. Bonaca has not read SECY 99-007A that describes --
     one of the appendices to that describes the basis for the significance
     determination process.
         What we wanted to do and devise was a simple tool for
     inspectors to use to characterize inspection findings, and what we
     wanted to do was make sure that the output of the significance
     determination process correlated closely to the output of the
     performance indicator process, colors with the same relative risk
         It's an approximation within an order of magnitude,
     hopefully a conservative approximation, but it's an approximation.
         We're not trying to draw any bright lines between
     performance.  We have numbers associated with the thresholds, but
     they're approximate numbers.
         So, in determining the characterization of the significance
     of an inspection finding, there's no difference, in our minds, between
     .8 and 1.1.  They're the same.  It's a fuzzy line, in other words.
         The SDP process goes through -- I'm just going to quickly
     describe it.
         First of all, the input to the significance determination
     process is the output of one of our documents, the manual chapter 0610,
     which says that the basement of issues or the threshold of issues to be
     discussed in the inspection report is right about the minor violation
     threshold, and that's true for issues that aren't necessarily
         They have the same relative risk significance
     characterization of issues that are not violations that you would
     discuss in an inspection report.
         That's where we define what we call a finding.
         Those issues, then, can be put into a significance
     determination process, and it's not just one significant -- the
     significance determination process, there's multiple processes.
         We have one for the reactor side of the house, but it
     doesn't have, right now, the issues of containment or shutdown involved
     in it.  We're still developing those.
         There are other processes for the non-reactor side, for EP,
     safeguards, and there's actually a couple of processes in the health
     physics area, but they're tools.  Again, they're simple tools for
     inspectors to identify the relative risk significance.
         The phase one part of the process is a screening process
     that, on a conservative nature, says does this inspection finding have
     any likelihood of being greater than green, and if it doesn't pass that
     screen, it is a green finding, it should be turned over to the licensee
     for evaluation and correction.
         If it has any likelihood of being greater than green, it
     goes to phase two.
         Phase two involves, then, the site-specific work-sheets that
     have -- we've gone back and looked at initially the IPE's, the
     information that we had available on the docket from the licensees,
     developed the site-specific work-sheets, and then went out to the sites
     and looked at, site-specifically, what issues, what changes to the
     sequences should be made, what changes to the event frequencies should
     be made, and what other mitigating systems should be considered within
     that phase two screening.
         That phase two screening is, again, more site-specific, more
     involved, but it, again, is a conservative screen, and it's an
     approximation screen in orders of magnitude.
         That is an initial determination of the relative risk
     significance of the inspection finding.
         The phase three review -- what that phase two review, then,
     does is say this is definitely greater than green, this inspection
     finding is definitely greater than green, and it should be considered by
     a -- in a more rigorous manner, and we throw this into the SRA's, the
     Senior Risk Analysis in the region, as well as in headquarters, who then
     look at this issue more closely and determine its actual risk
         So, the phase three is more detailed and would use more
     discriminating tools, more definite risk models than the significance
     determination process, to come to a final determination.
         I see some questions.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I guess that the phase three is a
     problematic area in your first attempts to do it?  I get the impression
     that phase three may be a time-consuming activity done largely outside
     the realm of public scrutiny?
         MS. MADISON:  That's a definite perception.  There's a
     couple of reasons for that, we think, that we have tried to address.
         The first phase three review that was attempted to be done
     was we had not awoken to the fact that site-specific phase two
     documents, work-sheets were necessary.  We were still under the
     misconception that we could do this generically, and that happened at
     the -- Prairie Island raised an issue that definitely needed
     site-specific information on, and because of that new knowledge, it took
     us an inordinate amount of time to come to conclusion on that inspection
         The phase three review that was done at the Sequoyah issue
     was more of a -- involving how much is enough due process allowed to the
     licensee, how much information should we be gathering from the licensee,
     how much input do we need to have from the licensee before we come to a
     final determination.
         We discussed this at the lessons learned workshop, and one
     of the conclusions that we came to is that, in agreement with industry,
     because of the public perception issue, when we make the initial
     determination that this is a risk-significant issue, that is has
     potential for being white or greater, we should document that in a
     report; the public needs to have notification of that immediately, and
     that's what the new process should have.
         So, when the initial phase two review has had some screening
     by management, some oversight, that will be documented in an inspection
         Now, after that point, we do need to allow -- we may need
     more additional information from the licensee, more technical
     information from them to complete our review, and we do need to allow
     them some sort of appeal process, but that will be further structured
     within the process.
         MR. JOHNSON:  It's a good question.  It's not a new issue.
     It's, in fact, an issue that we've dealt with for a long time in the
     enforcement program, as you're well aware.  Escalated enforcement
     actions have taken time to resolve.
         We've got some challenges.  We need to be open to the
     public, and we're sensitive to that.
         We also need to have a process that allows the licensees to
     respond to us.
         And so, it's working out how we're going to do that with
     this new process that we've run into some challenges and we're putting
     in place some fixes.
         MR. DEAN:  Yes, but I think it's important to emphasize,
     just like our current process, if there's an operability issue, that's
     dealt with in an immediate nature.
         So, there's no change in the fact that, if we've got a
     concern about operability of a piece of safety equipment, that's going
     to be dealt with in an immediate fashion.
         MS. MADISON:  But the other part of your question, Dana, is
     the -- there is more time required to review the issue, once it's raised
     to the level of significance, there is more demand for technical
     knowledge in the area of risk, there's more demand on the senior risk
     analysis with this process, the analysts, than in the past.  We
     recognize that that may be an impact on our resources that we're going
     to have to address.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I think we're quickly running out of time
     in an area that still is fertile for discussion.  I personally have
     quite a few questions on the significance determination process, not so
     much in those that are clearly treatable with risk analysis tools or
     those that are clearly un-treatable by risk analysis tools but those
     that lie in they should be able to treat with risk analysis tools, and I
     can see you're still struggling with some of those, and I also think
     this phase three needs to be looked at in a lot more detail as we gain
     some experience.
         MR. BARTON:  We've got a Commission paper on this subject
     the middle of February.  We'll have these people before us again in the
     March meeting, and our letter to the Commission is due in March.
         Would it be appropriate to get into further discussion on
     the SDP in the March meeting, or is that not timely enough for you?
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I guess we're going to have to discuss
     that.  I don't know what we'd do given our constraints of schedule and
     whatnot, because I think the SDP discussion is protracted.  I think we
     have a number of them that we need to walk through to understand why it
     is not capricious and arbitrary.
         MR. BARTON:  Right.  I understand that.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Are you -- we have already mentioned
     problems with the third bullet, you know, the availability of PRA's and
     the IP's, the problems they have, but even if one had a good PRA, a lot
     of the inspections deal with issues that are details, the noise of the
     PRA, so you would have to be a little creative to see how this finding
     affects the PRA.
         But in light of all these issues, are you prepared to tell
     the Commission that there is a need for research in this area, that this
     process will not work very well until we have reasonably good PRA's that
     can be used in phase three, and possibly in other phrases, to determine
     the significance of issues?
         MR. DEAN:  I don't think so.  I think that, once again, what
     we've tried to develop is a risk-informed and not a risk-based process,
     and one of the challenges that we have as a staff is trying to make sure
     that the significance determination process is as Alan described, that
     it's a usable and relatively simple tool that an inspector can use to
     provide some risk characterization to his inspection finding that can be
     easily communicated to the public and to his management as to why we
     believe this issue is important and needs to be dealt with, and we have
     to be very careful that we don't fall onto the side of trying risk-base
     our process where now we find ourselves into this realm of PRA's with a
     lot of uncertainties, and I think that's all recognized, that risk
     analysis is still an uncertain proposition in a lot of respects and that
     the assumptions that are made, you know, have to be considered.
         MS. MADISON:  It's really lessons learned out of the
     Sequoyah issue.  One of the reasons why it took so long is the licensee
     kept trying to provide additional information to have us cross this --
     what in their minds was a line that we had to cross to get them below
     green or below white, but we told them that, because of the
     uncertainties, there is no fine line and we didn't consider the
     information was enough to cause us to change our opinion of what the
     characterization of that issue was.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I think, although I appreciate your point,
     there is an unintended consequence which is not insignificant for this
         Because the staff is reluctant to say when they are dealing
     with specific problems and to tell the Commission that there is a need
     for research in certain areas, the Office of Research is viewed as
     almost unnecessary, and some Commissioners, in public speeches, have
     expressed doubts about the need for any further research, and it's
     understandable, because the staff never comes back to them to say, gee,
     we really can't do this very well unless certain issues are resolved
     which are properly within the domain of the Office of Research.
         So, I don't know how we can face this, because you know, how
     can you do bullet number three there if you have an IPE which had a
     different objective, you know, looking for vulnerabilities and so on,
     and the Commissioners are not aware of it?
         If we don't tell them that, for some cases, the tools are
     not there, why should they know?  They're not going to go a conference
     and read the papers.
         So, it seems to me there are conflicting interests here.
         On the one hand, of course, you don't want to say, gee, we
     can't do this because we don't have perfect tools, but on the other
     hand, it seems to me that that attitude, for a long time, has created
     the impression on the decision-makers that the Office of Research is not
         MS. MADISON:  We think with this process, number one, as far
     as the SDP process of phase two, we do not need a perfect tool.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  It doesn't have to be perfect, Alan.
         MS. MADISON:  We're looking for something that is close
     enough, that gives us a characterization of the finding within a band,
     and there are uncertainties to it, but there are uncertainties to the
     models, to the SPAR models, to the other models that we have.  There are
     uncertainties there, as well.
         DR. BONACA:  I would like to ask a question regarding the --
     this assessment program.
         The question is this:
         You have an event -- for example, a misalignment, which may
     be significant, and you have a process now by which you're going to
     determine the significance of that, and I could go right through it, and
     you can come up and say that it was not safety significant, and that's
     the conclusion of that.
         What if you have a situation where there are multiple
     misalignments taking place in a given period of time, okay?  Is the
     significance process going to be applied to that condition, and how
     would it be treated?
         I didn't understand by reading that document how that would
     come through.
         For example, you may get lucky and you may have 10
     misalignments, and none of them is safety significant, yet the fact
     itself that you are having these multiple repeats --
         MR. BARTON:  It's a programmatic problem.
         MR. DEAN:  What you're getting, Mario, is something that's
     been at the core of a lot of concerns on the part of our inspectors, is
     that what do I do with that situation where I have green issues --
     here's a green issue, here's another green issue -- I never tripped that
     significance threshold, but I'm seeing a pattern and a trend that I
     believe is indicative of a potential programmatic problem, and the
     Commission, if you back to the SRM that the Commission gave the staff,
     after we briefed them on the pilot program preparations, is that they
     told us they did not want us aggregating green issues to try and come up
     with a different risk significance number, but on the same hand, they
     told us to make sure that this program was robust enough to detect
     programmatic breakdowns.  So, that puts us in a tough situation.
         I think what you've seen -- and I discussed earlier about
     cross-cutting issues.  I think where we see that type of performance
     having an impact is in cross-cutting areas.
         A number of human performance issues occur over a period of
     time, problems in not identifying problems or recurrence of problems
     that you thought you resolved, and so, one of the things that we have
     included into the program that will be part of the ongoing structure is
     to allow our inspectors to be able to weigh in on those situations where
     the issue, in and of itself, may not have caused a SDP threshold to be
     crossed but that they have seen over a period of time a collection of
     these issues and that we want to make sure that we raise the forward in
     the inspection report and in the assessment process to make the licensee
     aware of the fact that we've seen this pattern or trend, you ought to
     pay attention.
         DR. BONACA:  Just a comment about the process.  In fact, I
     would have liked to see a question, this is event and there are these
     boxes that throw you to a green or send you further in the process.
         What would be important to us is the question, are similar
     events occurring?  Are events with similar characteristics and so on and
     so forth -- I mean I think some improvements can be made in the
     determination process.  I understand where the Commission is going, but
     that's an important issue.
         MS. MADISON:  Well, as far as concurrent issues, if you're
     talking about concurrent failures --
         DR. BONACA:  No, not concurrent, just saying, hey, is
     something else happening of a similar type that tells me there is a
     programmatic breakdown?
         That thinking process doesn't address the specific
     significance of the event, but it tells me, in fact, if I had a
     programmatic breakdown or at least I should be looking into it, and I
     think that that would be an important part of the -- because otherwise,
     to say the safety determination -- it's almost like a hand waver at
     times in other plants to say, oh, but that wasn't safety significant,
     you know, so that's no problem, no issue.
         Well, there are issues which are important just because they
     happen on a certain frequency.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I think we should wrap up now, because
     there are many important issues.
         DR. BONACA:  I understand, but I think this is a very
     important one.
         MR. BARTON:  I think we need to continue this discussion the
     next time we meet with the staff.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  So, if you had one minute, how would you
     wrap up the presentation?  No more transparencies.
         MR. DEAN:  I would wrap up the presentation by leaving the
     message that we think that the process that we have designed, the
     revised reactor oversight process, is, on a broad number of measures and
     given the direction given to us by the Commission, is a substantial
     improvement in terms of its structure and its framework as to how we go
     about the business of overseeing nuclear power plant activities and
         I think the pilot program has given us a substantial set of
     information and lessons learned that we have made revisions to and are
     working on, making refinements to this process to prepare us for
     implementation of this program at all sites.
         MR. BARTON:  Initial implementation.
         MR. DEAN:  Initial implementation at all sites, so that we
     can utilize the increased scope and breadth of information and
     experiences to really fully flesh out the process and be able to address
     some of the underlying concerns that not only our internal inspectors
     have but a number of external stakeholders about we just aren't
     convinced, we're not sure that the pilot program has told us enough, and
     we agree with that, and we think that we need to expand the process to
     be able to hopefully build the confidence in our inspectors and in our
     public stakeholders that, indeed, we have established a good framework
     and a good process for a reasonable assurance of plant safety.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  John, anything else?
         MR. BARTON:  I don't have anything else.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Okay.
         We'll recess until 10 minutes after 11.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  The next subject is proposed final
     amendment to 10 CFR 50.72 and 50.73.
         Dr. Bonaca is the cognizant member.
         DR. BONACA:  The staff plans to present a proposed final
     amendment to 10 CFR 50.72 and 50.73.
         The objectives of the proposed amendment, just to remind,
     include to better align reporting requirements to the NRC's reporting
     needs, to reduce the reporting burden consistent with the NRC's
     reporting needs, and to clarify the reporting requirements where needed.
         The staff has met with the industry and other stakeholders
     during several workshops and meetings to discuss the proposed
         We, the ACRS, reviewed the proposed amendment in March 1999
     and issued a letter which included a number of conclusions and
     recommendations that I will read here, restate.
         One, issue the proposed amendment for public comment.
         Two, eliminate the requirement for reporting late
     surveillance tests by amending the rule and not by revising the
     associated regulatory guide.
         Three, the staff should comprehensively examine the NRC
     reporting requirements to assure no duplication or inconsistencies.
         And four, plant-specific lists of risk-significant systems
     should be developed, and they should not be included in the rule.
         NEI is concerned with the addition of the requirement for
     reporting components.  It believes that the requirement lacks clarity,
     is ambiguous, and does not warrant backfit, and they are here to, I
     believe, provide us with a presentation of that.
         We would like the staff, during its presentation, to
     specifically address their recommendations concerning plant-specific
     lists of risk-significant systems and NEI's concern with added
         I would like just to add one question, which is, over the
     past month, I have received two drafts of this proposed amendment with
     significant changes.
         In fact, the last one I received was last Monday and had
     significant changes from the December 30th, and I just really wonder if
     we are ready to have a final amendment because of that.
         I would like you to explain how these issues, which are not
     unimportant -- like, for example, the systems which are listed in the
     rule, which were taken out in December and now are put back in -- you
     know, if we have now a final position on that.
         With that, I'll let the staff go to its presentation.
         MS. MALLOY:  Thank you.
         I am Melinda Malloy.  I am the Section Chief in the
     Rulemaking Group within NRR.  The branch that we reside in is the
     Generic Issues, Environmental, Financial, and Rulemaking Branch, in the
     Division of Regulatory Improvement Programs.
         We are, I believe, prepared to address your concerns that
     you've raised, to answer the questions that you would like us to
     address, and we'll get to them throughout the presentation.
         As you know, the proposed rule was published for public
     comment back in July of '99.  We received 27 letters of public comment,
     mostly coming from the industry, and they were critical of the couple of
     the areas that you've mentioned.
         The staff has worked very hard over the last few months to
     take the public comments to heart and to develop revisions at the
     rulemaking that we feel are responsive to the public comments but, at
     the same time, preserving the staff's need for information.
         We have undergone extensive internal reviews over the last
     two months, and that's probably the main reason for the revisions that
     you've seen, but I think we can say with great confidence that we are at
     a point in time where the staff -- and we are talking not just NRR
     staff, but we have coordinated extensively with IRO, as well as Research
     and other interested parties, to come up with workable requirements for
     the rule, and so, with that, I would like to introduce the other folks
     that are here to support this briefing.
         To my immediate left is our Deputy Division Director, Scott
     Newberry, who I think you've seen from time to time, and to his left is
     Denny Allison, who is the Task Leader for this particular rulemaking,
     and Denny will be giving a presentation for us.
         We also have in the audience some key members of our
     internal stakeholders that are here to help support us during this
         So, go ahead, Denny.
         MR. ALLISON:  Dr. Bonaca, thank you for the introduction.
         As far as -- I'll deal explicitly with the ACRS's
     recommendation about the list of systems in the presentation, as well as
     with NEI's concern about which -- their biggest concern, of course, is
     with the proposed new criterion that was in the proposed rule.
         With regard to whether we're ready, I think we have a
     position that will be the staff's position.  I think it's final.
         I'm waiting yet for Brian Sheron's side of NRR to wade in
     formally, but we've met twice with all the division directors in NRR,
     and the first time we agreed on what to say, in general, and then the
     second meeting, with all these same guys, was about how to --
     specifically how to say it, because we had some problems with the words.
         So, I think that the Federal Register notice that I've
     provided to you is the staff's position.  I hope so.
         MR. NEWBERRY:  Well, let me clarify, Mr. Chairman.  We're at
     the point where what you'll see here today is the proposed position.
     We're at the point of filling in aspects of the Federal Register notice
     and perhaps some examples in the NUREG.
         So, I would request that, you know, what you see here we
     work with and that being the proposal in front of the committee.
         MR. ALLISON:  Now, the objectives of this rulemaking I think
     most people subscribe to.  That's to clarify the requirements, where
     that's needed, to reduce unnecessary burden, not to reduce worthwhile
     burden but unnecessary burden, and use risk-informed thinking.
         You know, I wouldn't call the whole rule risk-informed, but
     we've got some risk-informed thinking in the changes we're making, and
     to be consistent with the NRC's new programs, and particularly the new
     oversight programs, and in a nutshell, that means don't get rid of
     things we need for that program.
         DR. WALLIS:  Immediate?
         MR. ALLISON:  I'm sorry?
         DR. WALLIS:  Immediate means in the blink of an eye or what?
         MR. ALLISON:  Where does "immediate" --
         DR. WALLIS:  "Immediate" is key in the first two --
         MR. ALLISON:  Oh.  Yes, sir.  That's the title of 50.72, and
     all of the requirements in 50.72 are stated that way.  Declaration of an
     emergency class is to be reported immediately after the state is called.
         DR. WALLIS:  Well, I was sort of intrigued by the term
     "immediate NRC action."  How fast can the NRC do anything?
         MR. ALLISON:  Well --
         DR. WALLIS:  This means within a day or something?
         MR. ALLISON:  No.  Immediate --
         DR. WALLIS:  Fifteen minutes?  So, it's less than an hour,
         MR. ALLISON:  Yes, sir, although there are four-hour and
     eight-hour reporting requirements, but those are also stated as as soon
     as practical and in all cases within four hours.
         The principle changes that we're making are we're deleting
     outside the design basis of the plant, and you'll see another slide in a
     minute as to how we're doing that and what will stand in its stead to
     ensure that we don't miss events that we need to know about; the system
     actuations, which I'll get into, and that was a specific ACRS comment,
     but we're proposing a list that will make things more consistent and, on
     balance, a small reduction in the number of reports.
         Invalid actuations -- most commenters object to any report
     -- any reporting of invalid actuations, because invalid actuations
     involve conditions -- pardon me -- do not involve conditions -- plant
     conditions that require the actuation, like low reactor coolant system
     pressure or something which would turn on the ECCS system.
         So, they're for some other reason, usually a dropped jumper
     or something, and so, we're going to reduce the burden of those reports
     by a good bit by turning them into telephone calls rather than LERs, but
     there is a reason, and when we get there, I'll explain it, why we still
     need those.
         The required initial reporting times are being relaxed to
     greater or less degree depending on the reporting requirement.
         The reporting of emergency conditions is, of course, not
     being relaxed.  That's still immediately after calling the state.
         One of the things -- and it's not the principle comment that
     the ACRS had, but I remember Dr. Powers wanting us to go back and look
     at these times again.
         We were going with a rather simple approach of everything's
     in one hour or eight hours or 60 days, and we have done that, and we've
     put in a few more shades of gray based on experience and the perceived
         The reporting of historical problems -- we're excluding
     reports of things that happened more than three years ago and no longer
     exist, that haven't existed for the past three years, and that's not a
     big problem, but it just eliminates some unnecessary work in searching
     old logs and things like that.
         Finally, the late surveillance test is the biggest example
     of a reduction in reporting burden.  It's going to get rid of about 200
     LERs per year, and those are simply cases where a surveillance test was
     performed late but the system passed anyway, and of course, that doesn't
     have much significance, because the system was working all along, and
     so, we're getting rid of those LERs.
         So, with regard to outside the design basis, in the proposed
     rule we have proposed to eliminate that requirement, and we described
     how events that we need to know about, events that are significant,
     would -- are still captured by these criteria, including this proposed
     new one, and that is the one where we got a lot of comment.
         Basically, the intent was just to try to make sure we didn't
     throw out the baby with the bath-water, but the commenters essentially
     were saying that we missed the boat and this would be vague and it would
     require a lot of additional reporting.  So, we've changed it
     substantially now.
         In the draft final rule, we're still removing the
     requirement to report a condition outside the design basis of the plant,
     because that requirement is vague or unclear in its application, and the
     other side of the same coin to that is that it requires reporting of
     events that are not very significant, depending on how you read the
         So, the new criterion we've modified, and what it requires
     now is reporting any event or condition that requires corrective action
     for a single cause or condition in order to ensure the availability of
     multiple trains or channels to perform the required safety function.
         This is -- the idea here that we're trying to capture is
     this would be an event -- it may not qualify as a common cause failure
     -- that is, it may not make independent trains inoperable at the same
     time, but it's getting close to it, and it's things like you've
     discovered gummed-up solenoid valves due to some common cause and you
     have to go and replace a bunch of them and clean out the air system,
     that sort of thing, and that sort of thing is the kind of thing that the
     NRC needs to consider taking some action to make sure it's addressed.
         DR. BONACA:  I have two questions.
         One, you changed the definition of the new criterion from
     December to this, and I don't understand what the intent of the change
         And the second question I have -- some of the examples
     provided -- to me, they would be reportable under Part 21 -- for
     example, the, you know, stem of an MOV that is made of the wrong
     material and therefore is subject to certain cracking -- or to other
     reporting requirements anyway.
         So, the question I'm asking is are you sure you're
     fulfilling the objective of assuring that what is being reported under
     some other means of reporting is not duplicated here?
         MR. ALLISON:  Yes, sir.
         As to the Part 21, that stem might be reportable, maybe, by
     a vendor, if it was discovered by the vendor, but it's -- certainly, it
     wouldn't be reportable by a reactor licensee.
         The threshold in Part 21 is very high.  It's a major
     reduction in the level of safety of the plant.  That's what a
     substantial safety hazard is, and it corresponds more or less with --
     you pretty much have to have an abnormal occurrence.
         DR. BONACA:  But if I found a stem that is cracking and
     that's because the material is old or stems in MOVs in other
     applications, that's a substantial safety hazard in my mind.
         MR. ALLISON:  I don't believe that would be reported under
     Part 21 as a rule.
         DR. BONACA:  Okay.
         MR. ALLISON:  I do remember a case, just to give you a quick
     example, when we ran this through the Part 21 process and found that it
     was not reportable.
         It happened at McGuire, I think, a test of a spare scram
     breaker, and it didn't work, because a plastic part was cracking, opened
     up the other scram breakers at McGuire, several of them were cracking,
     but they hadn't failed, went over to Catawba, same kind of breakers,
     cracking, some of them maybe didn't work, not reportable under Part 21.
     That's the kind of a threshold that Part 21 has.
         Now, maybe that should have been, but -- and it was
     reported, of course, under 50.72 and 73.
         DR. BONACA:  Okay.
         So far as the two definitions, could you explain what the
     logic was in changing the definition?
         MR. ALLISON:  Yes, sir.
         The December package --
         DR. BONACA:  You have that at the bottom of page three of
     your presentation.
         MR. ALLISON:  Okay.
         Well, the commenters -- we have some problems with this
         I would say the first one is a vague point where we say
     "could reasonably be expected to apply to other similar components in
     the plant."
         Now, the objective is the same here, of course, is to get
     something that has some significant generic implications, but the
     commenters said that, as soon as something fails, you know, in many,
     many cases, they're going to end up in an argument with the inspectors,
     then, about whether that same failure mechanism could reasonably be
     expected to apply to everything else.
         The other one is, of course, there was -- the word
     "significant" is in there, "significantly degraded," and by that, we
     meant on the verge of failure, not failed.  So, we're talking about
     substantially -- or greatly reduced margins, but that's hard to define
         DR. BONACA:  So, you went to this new criteria which you
     have now at page four.
         MR. ALLISON:  Yes, sir, and I think this can be objective,
     because it -- it can be a lot more objective, certainly, because it's
     going to have to be a change -- first the licensee has to determine
     corrective action is necessary, so we're not arguing about someone's
     perception, it's a determination that will be made, and it's got to be
     necessary for that reason, not for instance, to meet the EQ rule, but to
     make the system perform its safety function, and so -- and you don't
     have to review every failure, you only have to look at your corrective
     actions programs, and the next slide, under the guidance, you see time
     is allowed there.
         Licensees are given time to decide whether the corrective
     action is needed and what it's needed for.
         DR. WALLIS:  It seems to me there's some vagueness.
         I mean if I have a valve which is supposed to open fully and
     let in some emergency coolant or something and it turns out that valve
     travel in some way is not 100 percent, so it opens 90 percent of the
     way, it's just sort of iffy about whether this is significant or not.
         MR. ALLISON:  Well, the term of art that's in here is the
     ability to perform the specified safety function, and that really means
     operable, and that's a determination the licensee is going to have to
         Operability is a determination the licensee has to make one
     way or the other, and the NRC knows what this determination is.  If we
     disagree with it, we can raise it with the licensee.  The inspectors
     look at these things.  But that's the definition of operability, able to
     perform its specified safety function.
         Now, something could be operable today but getting worse,
     and you have to take corrective action.  That would be reportable.  But
     if something is just operable for the -- will remain so indefinitely,
     that would not be under this criterion.
         MR. NEWBERRY:  Dennis, while we're on that point, thinking
     back to Dr. Bonaca's opening remark, there's many comments on that
     proposed criteria, as you can well imagine, and it wasn't until recently
     that the staff came to this proposal and let, you know, the different
     things that the committee may oversee.
         I think, in looking at it within the last few days, this is
     going to be the first time that many people see this new criterion, but
     we're approaching the final, you know, draft rule point.
         So, our thought is -- and I think you're going to hear about
     this later today -- that we really think it's in everyone's best
     interest to have a public meeting, announce a public meeting on,
     certainly, this part of the rule, I don't imagine others, but the intent
     of the meeting would not be to negotiate a position -- I mean we're in a
     rulemaking process here, but certainly for the staff to explain to
     anyone who would be interested the rationale for the position, answer
     questions of clarification on the position.
         I think that would be reasonable to do before we go up to
     the Commission.
         MR. ALLISON:  These are just some of the additional guidance
     that you find in that Federal Register notice that I've sent you.
         The principle one is that it is -- you screen what your
     corrective action program comes up with instead of every failure, you
     screen the corrective actions, and you have the time to do that.  The
     reporting clock doesn't start until you've made that decision.
         DR. WALLIS:  So, you can dilly-dally in making up your mind?
     There ought to be some incentive to determine this, whether a corrective
     action is needed or not, pretty quickly.
         MR. ALLISON:  Well, there is.  We have guidance in Generic
     Letter 91-18 that requires licensees to make operability determinations
     on a time scale that's commensurate with the risk importance, the safety
     significance of the issue, and so on, and so, they will make that
     determination pretty quickly.
         Yes, sir.
         MR. SIEBER:  I think the other aspect of that is tech specs,
     typically, for systems important to safety, will force you to correct a
     non-conforming or inoperable condition within a certain amount of time.
         So, that forces the clock to start on LER issuance, correct?
         MR. ALLISON:  Yes.  That's right.  But you can't really tell
     whether something is truly reportable under this criterion until you
     decide what the corrective action is.
         MR. SIEBER:  That's correct.
         MR. ALLISON:  That was my presentation on this criterion.
         The next one is of lesser importance, but it was the number
     two issue, I guess.
         DR. BONACA:  And we will hear the industry's perspective
     later, right?
         MR. ALLISON:  Yes, sir.
         The number two is system actuation, and in the proposed
     rule, we proposed a list of systems and so on.
         The ACRS, among others -- well, the industry opposed the
     list of systems.  They wanted to use the list that's in their FSAR,
     which varies from plant to plant.  The ACRS commented that this list
     shouldn't be in the rule but should be developed.
         In the final rule, what we're saying is to go ahead and
     impose the list.
         Now, the list has been changed in response to specific
         So, we've gotten rid of some things that the industry
     pointed out didn't really need to be on the list or weren't appropriate,
     but this will be, on balance, a small net reduction in reporting, it
     will be consistent, and one of the things with regard to the ACRS
     recommendation -- the industry commenters said I don't think we're
     really to the point where we have good criteria developed that we can
     develop a plant-specific list of systems.
         Now, that's supposed to come in the future, in the
     risk-informing of Part 50, but it's not here right now, so why don't we
     do it then?  That was their idea, and we basically agreed with it.
         So, rather than try to solve the problem of how to define
     risk significance in terms of systems in the context of this rule, we're
     putting it off, but the things that are on that list, I would say, are
     always risk significant.  We don't have things on that list that are
     going to be insignificant at any plants.
         DR. UHRIG:  I have a question on that, however.  Is there
     inconsistency in some FSAR's between the list that you have in this rule
     and what they call --
         MR. ALLISON:  -- ESF's.
         DR. UHRIG:  There is inconsistency in the FSAR's.  One of
     the issues was that some of the FSAR's would not recognize, for example,
     auxiliary feedwater or emergency power as one of the systems.
         MR. ALLISON:  That's correct, yes.
         DR. UHRIG:  And you were trying to resolve that issue.
         MR. ALLISON:  Some plants don't classify auxiliary
     feedwater, for instance, as an ESF.  So, they wouldn't be bound to
     report it as long as they're using the list in their FSAR.
         DR. UHRIG:  But with this change in this rule, they would be
     bound to report it.
         MR. ALLISON:  Yes, they would, and so, that would lead to a
     few more reports here and there, but the list also eliminates some
     reports, about twice as many as it adds, but both of them are small
         DR. UHRIG:  Does it represent, this change, a backfit in the
     licensing basis?
         MR. ALLISON:  I'm sorry.
         DR. UHRIG:  Does it represent some change also in their
     licensing basis?
         MR. ALLISON:  No, it doesn't, because we're not -- this
     change does not say these systems are ESF's.
         DR. UHRIG:  Okay.
         MR. ALLISON:  It says report the actuation of the following,
     and the numbers are small.  I think we would require about eight reports
     a year that wouldn't be made under the current regimen, but we'll
     eliminate about 16.
         The next point is invalid system actuations.  In the
     proposed rule, we recognized that there was no need to pick up the phone
     and call us in four hours or eight hours about these, because the plant
     conditions that require actuation aren't there in this case.
         Licensees objected to any reporting, but we -- and this was
     an issue that had been gone through at the advanced notice of proposed
     rulemaking stage, as well.
         We need those for reliability estimates and things like that
     to help us to move towards risk-informed regulation, and in fact, we had
     some years ago proposed a data rule to get that information, and the
     industry proposed a voluntary alternative, and we accepted it, and one
     of the bases for accepting the voluntary alternative was having these
         So, in the final rule, what we've done is we're keeping the
     reports, but we're changing them to a 60-day phone call under 50.73, and
     in the guidance, we specify just what needs to be in the call.  It's not
     a lot of information, but we have to specify it.
         This reduces the burden drastically for those events that
     are only spurious actuations, and those are not going to be considered
     LER's.  The guidance will state this is not considered an LER, but it's
     like a factor of 50 reduction in burden for a given event, and this is
     maybe 60 events a year.
         DR. WALLIS:  Are there no spurious actuations which actually
     compromise the system's operation later on?
         MR. ALLISON:  I can't think of any.  I mean you could have a
     spurious actuation where the system fails to work, that reveals a
     failure of some kind, but I can't think of spurious actuations that
     really create problems other than possible failures.
         DR. WALLIS:  Unless it put a plant through a transient that
     did some damage.
         MR. ALLISON:  Well, that will certainly be reportable,
     though.  If you get a transient, you'll have valid actuations occurring.
         The next thing was required initial reporting times, and
     rather than the one-hour, eight-hour, and 60-day approach that was in
     the proposed rule, in the final rule we're saying one hour and four
     hours some events that are of a little more urgency.
         One of them is press releases, because -- and the reason for
     that report is not the urgency of taking action but it's in responding
     to public concern.
         The other one is unplanned transients, like valid ECCS
     injections, shutdowns required by the technical specifications, and so
     on, and then eight-hour reporting for other events under 50.72.
         We're also deleting three redundant criteria from 50.72.
     Those are actual threats and radiation releases, and the reason is that
     those are captured -- under 72, they're captured by other criteria.
         DR. WALLIS:  What is the concern about reporting to other
     government agencies?
         MR. ALLISON:  Well, the -- that's to respond -- again, going
     back to the objectives -- respond to heightened public concern.
         If the state gets a report and if they're concerned about it
     and they want to call the NRC, we want to know about the event.
         DR. WALLIS:  It could really be generalized to a plant
     notification of any other party.
         MR. ALLISON:  It could be, but it's -- there is a
     difference.  That is, if they notify a consultant or their board of
     directors, that's not required under the rule.  It's only another
     government agency or a press release.
         Nobody's complained that we need to generalize it further.
         Historical problems -- in the proposed rule, we recommended
     limiting these reports for just two specific types of events.
         In the draft final rule, we're expanding it to all events
     reportable under 50.72 and 50.73.  That was actually -- I guess that
     suggestion really came from the Commissioners in the SRM on the proposed
     rule, and we asked for comments specifically, and everybody supported
     expanding it to all kinds.
         The final change in my list of principle changes is late
     surveillance tests, and I discussed that with the first slide.  These
     events don't involve an impact on the ability to perform a safety
     function, and therefore, they're not very important to us.
         My last slide is the schedule, and we're going to brief the
     CRGR next week, and we're due to provide this package to the
     Commissioners on the 10th of March, which means to the EDO a week before
     that, and so on.
         So, we're getting close to the date, and we're going to have
     to hold the meeting that Scott mentioned a minute ago sometime within
     the next month.
         Yes, sir.
         MR. SIEBER:  I guess -- and I want to pick on a specific
     phrase that you used, but I've heard it over and over again when we talk
     about risk-informed regulation and enforcement and so forth.  The phrase
     is, well, this is not very important.
         To me, that has a bad connotation to people who work in
     power plants, and maybe the plant manager, the vice president, or SRO's
     can make that differentiation, but everybody else says, well, this isn't
     very important and so my attention need not be as high at performing
     surveillance tests on time or doing any other thing on time, since it's
     not very important, and it would be better if we could use another
     phrase than that, because I think it puts a negative motivation into
     power plants and workers.
         MR. ALLISON:  I agree.
         MR. SIEBER:  All right.
         MR. ALLISON:  It was a bad term to use.
         DR. SEALE:  There's, if you will, almost an industry that's
     grown up within the Commission and within other groups that are
     concerned with the operation of power plants, and that is that group of
     people who essentially mine such reports to extract from them useful
     data on causes, consequences, remedial interventions, and so on, the
     kind of thing that AEOD did in the old days, the kind of things that the
     people in INPO and WANO do in their independent realms on events.
         In modifying these reporting requirements, have you checked
     with those people to be sure that you haven't reduced the usefulness of
     these data for the people who are using it with the greatest
         MR. ALLISON:  Well, we've coordinated with the NRC staff
     organizations, and our assertion is that we're not eliminating any
     reports that we need, and we asked the public specifically in the
     Federal Register notice, if you can identify an example of something
     that's needed that would be eliminated, please tell us, and of course,
     none were, and so, I think, yes, we've coordinated with everybody.
         DR. SEALE:  Perhaps I'll want to ask the person from NEI
     later whether or not they've inquired in a similar vein with the people
     at INPO.
         DR. BONACA:  Any other questions.
         [No response.]
         DR. BONACA:  I think we'd like to thank you for the
         MR. ALLISON:  Thank you.
         DR. BONACA:  We'd like to hear from NEI.
         MR. DAVIS:  Good morning.  Jim Davis, Director of Operations
     at Nuclear Energy Institute.
         Looks like I have the unenviable position of being between
     you and lunch.
         I've got a number of slides here, but I've only got two
     points to make.
         DR. BONACA:  Take your time.  I really want to hear about
         MR. DAVIS:  One, when we briefed you last year, in March,
     one of the things we said, we thought the rulemaking process embarked on
     in this area was very good.  We got the ANPR that laid it out in some
         We got an opportunity to interact in that arena, and
     throughout the process, there were a number of interactions between the
     staff, the regional examiners and inspectors that have to enforce this,
     and the operators that have to make it work at the plant, and through a
     bunch of workshops, tabletop exercises and so forth, there was a lot of
     effort put on solving this problem that we've gone through for the last
     eight years, so everybody understood exactly what the requirements were
     and what the rule said.
         In many cases, we found that the intent was clear.  We all
     knew what we wanted to do, but the perspective from the three visions
     didn't quite fit, and there was a lot of time and attention put on that
     particular aspect of it, and we told you last year that we were very
     satisfied with the process.
         Then I come to the point that I will tell you -- and in that
     process -- I'm sorry, I moved my slides around -- operability is a key
     aspect of it.
         At every meeting, operability, operability determinations,
     and how we do those are the things that we all understand, and as you
     see, we move very quickly to a process of how do you figure out whether
     a report is required?
         Operability is a key issue.  We do the operability
     determination.  It's a very clear process.  It's an expectable
     processing.  It does involve some risk insights, where it's appropriate.
     That's a key to the entire business.
         My second point:  The draft rule comes out, and as far as
     the industry is concerned, the rule should not have gone forward.  We
     could not support the rule as written.  It didn't meet the three
     criteria that the staff had put out, it was not clear, it did not reduce
     any burden, and the industry was ready to go to the Commission to say
     don't put this rule, we'll solve the problem in harmonizing Part 50.
     You already know what the problem is.  It's 50.73(a)(2)(ii)(C), the
     reporting of degraded components.  It's related to my first point.
         This showed up for the first time in the final Federal
     Register notice that came out for public comment.  It did not go through
     the process that all the other elements in this rule went through.
         I have no comments on the list of what systems will be
     reported on.  We went through the process.  We made our comments.  We
     gave the staff our best input, and they've got to make a decision,
     because that's what rulemaking does.  This particular element didn't go
     through the process.
         To address your issue, sir, we don't think that this is a
     data collection rule.  We've been through the data collection rule.
     We've been through the discussion.  There are opportunities for the
     staff to get the data they need from other arenas.
         INPO's database has been made available to the staff and
     they're working in that area, and we are really concerned that, in one
     case, we say we no longer require the reporting of design basis events
     and turn right around in the Federal Register notice, we point out
     design basis -- the purpose of this particular section, this data
     collection element, was to ensure we continue to collect design basis
     information, so we clearly didn't meet the requirements.
         I will tell you -- I'll skip a slide.  The examples in NUREG
     1022 made no sense.  It was a very important part of the process that we
     bring the implementing NUREG along at the same time we were developing
     the rule.
         So, we had the rule, we had the NUREG, we could look at them
     both simultaneously, and when this came out and we looked at the
     examples, we could make no sense of the examples in the NUREG, and the
     further we've gotten into it since the workshop we had last year and the
     closure of the public comment, the more confused we've gotten, and we
     put forth a big effort to make absolutely sure the staff understood
     where we were in that particular arena.
         DR. WALLIS:  Did this get resolved?
         MR. DAVIS:  I'll get to that in just a second.
         DR. WALLIS:  Okay.
         MR. DAVIS:  If you removed -- I want to make sure I make
     this point.
         If you remove that one small section on reporting degraded
     components, we feel that the draft rule does improve the clarity of
     reporting in all other areas, does provide a clear focus and a nexus to
     safety, and I think that's one of the things that we were trying to
     achieve using the operability determination process.
         We have one we can understand, one the inspectors can
     understand, and we think one that provides the headquarters and the
     people upstairs and the operations center the information they need to
     make timely decisions, would eliminate the unnecessary reports that
     don't help anybody, and would be a great conclusion to eight years'
     worth of effort.
         Coming into the exercise, what were our recommendations?
         If you want to go forward to the rule, eliminate the
     degraded component reporting or separate it out and do the backfit
     analysis that we think would be required to support that level of
     reporting, or if we can't come to agreement in that area, just let's
     stop the whole process and let's harmonize this rule as we go through
     the Part 50 process.
         Looking at what was proposed in the briefing today, it
     obviously moves in the right direction.
         It gets us back to a discussion of operability and what's in
     that area, and our intent is to reinforce what we just heard, as we will
     provide a request to the staff that they, one, give us the language and
     the examples for NUREG 1022 in advance and that we have a workshop and
     follow the same process that we followed on the other pieces of it for
     this narrow thing.
         You know, I don't want to open the whole rule again, or
     we'll spend eons arguing, but we've had a significant enough change and
     this is an important enough issue that we need to get it right, and I
     think we need to have an opportunity for the industry, other
     stakeholders, and the regional people to look at it, discuss it, and
     make absolutely sure we understand what the words mean, get the right
     words in there in that particular area, and also ensure that we've got
     the right examples in NUREG 1022 as we go forward on this, and presuming
     that's about to occur, I think we'll have achieved our purpose, but the
     nexus is process.
         We had a good process, and the one piece of the rule that
     becomes the major contention is the one that didn't follow the -- didn't
     run through that process.  So, I emphasize that, because it's sort of a
     more global issue there.
         DR. KRESS:  Your objection to that part of the rule, I
     gather, is more than just it didn't go through the process.
         MR. DAVIS:  That's absolutely correct.
         DR. KRESS:  You say it would increase burden significantly.
         MR. DAVIS:  Yes.  One plant looked at it over a period of
     nine months, and it would have required them to evaluate a significant
     number of items in their plant.  It didn't generate a report for every
     one of those, but every time you have a component with an abnormality,
     you suddenly have to go through this evaluation of if and whether
     reasonable could, significantly, and all these other vague words to try
     to come up with a engineering determination of whether it fits in that
         DR. SEALE:  In other words, this is reporting of degraded
     but operable components.
         DR. BONACA:  You seem to have made a distinction there, at
     the beginning, in your second overhead, or third, regarding operability.
         So, are you saying that the operability determination
     process is sufficient to deal with the significant issues on degraded
     components without the necessity of reporting?  Are you saying that?
         MR. DAVIS:  Let me answer it this way.  We found that
     operability determinations that are required in the rest of this revised
     rule work.  The words that I look at appear to tie this to the same
     operability to process for the component that we're looking at.  It is
     in the operability.  It impacts the operability of the system we're
     talking about.
         If that is truly what we're saying, I suspect that will go a
     long way to solve the problem.  That's why we'd like to make sure -- you
     know, have the discussion to make sure that's what we really mean in
     this process.
         DR. BONACA:  The question I have for the staff is, is this
     an event or condition of a single cause?  Is this a component which is
     operable but degraded?  I would like to understand --
         MR. ALLISON:  It could be.
         DR. BONACA:  -- how the issue of operability addresses this
     or doesn't address this.
         MR. ALLISON:  It could be, but it would have to be something
     that pointed out to the licensee that he has to take corrective action
     on multiple trains to ensure that they remain operable.  So, that would
     be -- so, it could be degraded but operable, but it has to fulfill those
     other conditions.
         DR. BONACA:  It seems to me that there hasn't been
     sufficient communication of this issue, and you're talking about, in
     fact, a public workshop or something, maybe, under which that could be
         MR. ALLISON:  Yes.  Mr. Davis is in a bad position as far as
     commenting on this criterion, since he's just seeing it, but as he said,
     it goes a ways towards resolving the comments, and we will schedule a
     meeting between now and when we send this paper to the Commission.
         MR. NEWBERRY:  I'd like to offer another comment.  This is a
     good discussion a very difficult issue.  I can think of a number of
         I guess it should be no surprise on the inconsistent views
     given the term "design basis," which we're working on to clarify in
     another area we've talked about with the committee, but one of the
     points here I'd like to emphasize is the inclusion of the term -- the
     notion of corrective action.
         When I talked to folks in industry or where they came up to
     me at every opportunity in the last few months on this issue, said, you
     know, we have a process, an Appendix B process, we have a corrective
     action program at the facility to handle these issues.
         If a degraded condition is identified, we put it into our
     process, we evaluate it for operability, we evaluate it also for the
     need to take corrective action under Appendix B, and so, it was that
     line of commenting and thought that led us to this criterion, to say,
     well, we inspect that program, we oversee that program, do we need a
     report for all the data that goes into the program?
         We concluded no, but when the evaluation is completed and
     the utility determines that action is necessary at that plant that could
     also occur at another plant, we said, okay -- we looked at the
     objectives of the rule.  We said, okay, we should have a report for
         Now, maybe there are some areas there we would need to
     explore further and get some dialogue going with, you know, the
     industry, but that was the thought process, was to try to credit
     further, as we are in other areas, the programs at the plant.
         DR. BONACA:  Thank you.  Now I understand why it got in
     there.  All right.  I didn't understand it before.  I understand it.
         MR. SIEBER:  On the other hand, the staff has been aware of
     NEI's position on this, I presume?
         MR. DAVIS:  Yes.  I mean we were -- the comments were very
     clear and very detailed on this.  There's no question that the staff
     understood exactly where the industry stood and why we had difficulties
     with the wording that was in there the first time around.
         MR. NEWBERRY:  Yes.  It was clear we needed to rethink
     totally what we had proposed, and that's why it's no longer being
     proposed.  We came up with the new criteria which Mr. Davis is saying he
     thinks is headed in the right direction but we need to talk about
         DR. BONACA:  My feeling is that we are not ready to write a
     letter on this.  I mean clearly this is an open issue, in my mind.
         Even if the staff has resolved that they want to proceed
     with this to the degree to which you're going to have a public meeting
     in which there is going to be exchange of information, things may
         I would like to have your comments on that, Jack.
         MR. SIEBER:  Well, I just want to agree with you that, until
     the staff resolves this one way or another and takes a position, I don't
     think there's anything that we can do to endorse or not endorse where
     the staff is at this point in time.
         DR. BONACA:  It is going to be, you know, a burden.
     Clearly, you know how much time is being spent on operability
     determinations.  I mean it's very time-consuming, and this is going to
         So, there has to be a real buying-in from the stakeholders
     that this is a necessary thing to do, and communication is important.
         MR. DAVIS:  I must also admit that we would like to see the
     rule change completed in a timely manner.  There are other parts of it
     that have some benefit to the industry.
         So, if we can -- you know, if closure on this one issue can
     be achieved quickly, we would support moving forward with the rest of
         Even though I haven't seen the rest of it, you know, I got
     some insights into it.  You've got to have some faith in the process and
     the opportunity to share information, that that information will be
     used, and so, we're really focused -- I mean this is really a very
     narrow focus.
         I don't want to open the whole rule and go through the whole
     process again.  I'm just narrowly focused on this one issue that I think
     needs some additional thought on our part.
         MR. NEWBERRY:  Mr. Chairman, I would propose that, you know,
     consistent with Mr. Davis' comment on the need for dialogue, we talk
     with them and then talk to your staff about a process that we could use
     to satisfy the objective of timely implementation of the rule but also
     get the committee the information that they would need to inform them so
     that you could write a letter on a timeframe to support the rulemaking.
         So, we'll take that as an action and get back to you.
         DR. BONACA:  We will support you promptly, but I think that,
     at this stage, with this issue open, that's a major comment that we need
     to address, and we really can't right now.
         Any thoughts?
         DR. SEALE:  That's a reasonable position, yes.
         DR. BONACA:  With that, I thank you for the presentation.
         MR. DAVIS:  Thank you very much for the opportunity.
         DR. BONACA:  Mr. Chairman?
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Thank you, Mario.
         Recess until 10 after one.
         [Whereupon, at 12:10 p.m., the meeting was recessed, to
     reconvene at 1:10 p.m., this same day.].                   A F T E R N O O N  S E S S I O N
                                                      [1:13 p.m.]
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Let's come back into session.  I think we
     are going to discuss a new and different topic that we are relatively
     unfamiliar with --
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  -- and so I expect all members to pay
     close and keen attention as I ask -- Jack, you are going to help us
     explore this untrammeled territory?
         MR. SIEBER:  Yes, sir.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Okay.
         MR. SIEBER:  The purpose of this afternoon's session is to
     hear a briefing by the NRC Staff and the Nuclear Energy Institute and
     hold discussions with them regarding the status of a proposed Regulatory
     Guide which, if it is issued, will endorse the guidance of NEI 96-07,
     associated with the implementation of the revised 10 CFR 50.59 process
     -- 10 CFR 50.59 is a keystone regulation probably used more extensively
     by licensees than any other, and it allows under certain controlled
     circumstances changes in the plant and also tests and experiments.
         The current version 50.59, in force, has been in force for
     about 30 years.  During this last summer there was a new rule issues
     which changes the three criteria in the old 50.59 to eight criteria,
     clarifies a number of aspects of the process and was issued as a final
         The implementation of the final rule occurs 90 days after
     the associated Regulatory Guide is issued and that has not been issued.
     It was contemplated by the Staff that the Regulatory Guide would endorse
     NEI 96-07 and all of us have received a copy of that and I am sure
     reviewed it.  At the time I reviewed it there were, it seemed to me, 24
     outstanding items based on the matrix that was sent along with it.
         I understand also and have received a copy of a final draft
     of 96-07, which I got this morning and the Staff got Monday in spite of
     the snow and it seems to me that the Regulatory Process is such that a
     final determination as to the acceptability of the changes and the
     resolution the remaining open items couldn't be done between last Monday
     and today.
         So what we will hear about today is a status report on the
     issues of the Regulatory Guide and NEI 97-07.  It would be good if we
     could talk a little bit about the outstanding items and those which
     remain outstanding which, by my count, should be six, unless others have
     developed in the meantime -- if we could hear a little bit about that
     and what the problems are.
         In addition to that presentation, I expect the
     representatives from NEI to avail themselves of time during this
         What I would like to do now is introduce Eileen McKenna, who
     is responsible for this presentation.  Eileen?
         MS. McKENNA:  Okay, thank you very much, members of the
     committee.  I might also mention Scott Newberry, our Deputy Division
     Director, is here at the table for any questions, and I was going to
     suggest if the committee had no objection that Mr. Bell sit at the table
     here, so we can discuss this.  I think it may be helpful to turn it over
     at a certain point and then turn back over, to kind of give an idea of
     what the discussions have been between us.
         I think in terms of my first slide, your introduction pretty
     much covered the information I have there that indicated the rule was
     issued in October, the 90-day timeframe after the approval of the
     guidance for implementation of the rule, and that we are looking to try
     to endorse an industry document through a Reg Guide as the regulatory
     guidance for the rulemaking.
         I want to make a couple comments about why this is a status
     briefing rather than coming to you with the draft Reg Guide.  I think
     our original plan and schedule would have called for us to be ready to
     give you a draft Reg Guide to present at this meeting and get a letter,
     but because of some of the open issues that you alluded to, we are not
     quite to that point in time and I will come back to the question of
     where we are on schedule and some of the reasons therefore in a little
     while, but that is why it is status report to discuss the distance we
     have come but some of the issues that are still remaining, and then
     where we expect to be going to.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I am curious.  Is there some absolute need
     that you need a letter from us?
         MS. McKENNA:  Well, I think there are some options for the
     committee.  You know, we are going out for a draft Reg Guide and then we
     will have a public comment period, to be followed by a final Reg Guide.
     This is an item of high Commission interest, so we do have Commission
     due dates and attention and we are working with that.
         I think our view at this point is that we would not be ready
     to come to the committee in March, because since that is only a month
     away, we would have to have our final, have our Reg Guide put together
     in about two weeks, and I don't see that happening, so obviously the
     next window after that is April, which is perhaps a little later than we
     had hoped to publish in order to meet some of our other objections on
     the schedule but we are trying to work with that.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Well, let me ask you this.  If you have
     got outstanding items with NEI do you think the ACRS can help resolve
     those issues?  I mean I am not asking you to overestimate or
     underestimate.  I am asking for a prognostication on your part about
     your abilities.  Do you think you'll get it all sorted out and be happy
     with it?
         MS. McKENNA:  Well, I think we are going to come to a
     resolution.  Obviously we may or may not be able to agree with what they
     propose and they may not agree with where we come out on some of these
     things, and if that is the case then what we may have to do is have a
     Reg Guide that at least at the draft stage has some clarifications or
     exceptions, if that is where it comes out.
         Some of the issues I think the committee may be able to help
     us on.  There are a few that we are wrestling with that are perhaps more
     in the "how do they fit with the regulations and the process" and the
     committee may feel less comfortable providing their input in that area,
     but we will try to cover what the different ones are.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I think we need to think carefully about
     the value added at this late stage of the process where we are really
     working on implementation, I am wondering if it is really not necessary
     to have them get a blessing, because that is all we would be doing is
     just passing judgment over something that we have seen many times and
     they are down into the implementation stage and I am not sure -- I think
     we may need to use our judgment about whether we -- we all know and love
     Eileen, but she is free to visit us without 50.59.
         MS. McKENNA:  I hope so.
         MS. McKENNA:  And as I said, this is the draft stage and we
     would have a final stage and there would be another opportunity at that
     point for the committee to revisit and after we have the benefit of
     comments.  I think that is an option that the committee may want to
         MR. SIEBER:  Yes.  Actually, the SRM that controls your due
     dates says May, 2000.
         MS. McKENNA:  Yes, we have approached the Commission about
     an extension on that, because obviously if we are here in February and
     don't have a draft Reg Guide, we are not going to be at the Commission
     in May with a final, and we have made an approach to move that date out
     a few months in recognition of those facts, yes, but I think anything
     the committee can do to help us with the schedule we would appreciate.
         MR. SIEBER:  I think that we can certainly try but I don't
     think there is value added in rushing through something and perhaps
     missing it because once the final document is issues it stays there for
     a long time before anybody has an opportunity to change it.
         MS. McKENNA:  Yes.
         MR. SIEBER:  So we ought to get it right the first time.
         MS. McKENNA:  Okay.  I thought at this point might be a good
     opportunity to ask Mr. Bell to talk a little bit about the development
     of 96-07, since what we are trying to do is endorse that document, so I
     felt this might be a good opportunity to let me make some presentation
     and then I will come back and talk about where we see the status on some
     of these issues.
         MR. SIEBER:  Did you want to do these first?
         MS. McKENNA:  Well, I suspect we have some overlap in our
     slides since we really didn't try to coordinate in any detail.  I think
     I have covered some of these bullets.  We have had some draft
     interactions and I can go into this in more detail.
         The document that you mentioned, presented on January 18th
     for our consideration, we are in the process, there are some questions
     and issues we have, and we are in the process of getting a letter back
     out that we hope to get out this week, but it is not yet out of what
     some of those remaining issues that we are still working on.  We have
     scheduled a meeting next week to talk about what those issues are and
     what we are going to do about them, and, as you may be aware, there is a
     Commission briefing scheduled on February 29th on this subject and we
     will be probably covering very similar territory with the Commission, as
     you will be hearing.
         It's rather than where we hope to be, perhaps, in terms of
     February.  At this point we are looking at perhaps a two month -- it
     might be a little shorter if we don't come back for a letter on the Reg
     Guide.  We may be able to shorten that by a couple of weeks, but it is
     that kind of timeframe we see at this point for publishing the Reg
         MS. McKENNA:  I'll move over to the other side, how's that?
         MR. BELL:  Thank you and good afternoon.  I am Russell Bell,
     with the Nuclear Energy Institute.  I am the Project Manager on the
     50.59 issue.  I had a nice cover slide.  I think everybody has my copy
     of these.  I appreciate somebody -- Dr. Seale, was it you? -- who likes
     "what's past is prologue"?
         DR. SEALE:  Yes.
         MR. BELL:  I had a draft slide that just said "Background"
     up there and I thought that this might be an audience that might
     appreciate something else.
         DR. SEALE:  Quicker than most.
         MR. BELL:  There's certainly an overlap with some of the
     things Eileen just said, but just suffice to say this has been a story
     in the making for some time, probably the seed were laid for where we
     are today back in 1989, when the industry produced the first guideline
     document on 50.59, and the consciously or unconsciously a decision was
     made not to go the extra mile and get a Reg Guide, you know, NRC
     endorsement of the thing.
         The rest of these events here that are kind of captured are
     almost predictable based on that early direction chosen, so here we are
         The most recent thrust/assault at this issue began I guess
     three years ago now, say, and we wrote this objective and I thought I
     would trot it back out because I think it still holds, so this was an
     observed, very extensively used regulation where there is
     misunderstanding about its requirements and expectations, there is
     regulatory instability, and we certainly experienced that, so we set out
     to resolve that.
         Indeed, the rulemaking, which was completed last summer but
     is not yet effective, went a long way towards resolving the regulatory
     instability.  It removed the so-called "zero standard" that was
     reflected in the original rule.  It established key definitions where
     there were really no commonly understood definitions before.  The margin
     of safety criterion was somewhat problematic and that has been replaced,
     we think improved.  So these kinds of things were accomplished, have
     been accomplished already in the rule, and what is left to us, and it is
     not necessarily the easy part, is to then translate that into
     implementation guidance.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Well, you have done a lot in that
     direction, but I can't help but think a little bit about our initial
     discussions of what to do with 50.59 that came about, I think, because
     our ability to quantify some of the questions in the original 50.59 has
     just improved so much over the years that what in the past was
     indistinguishable from zero suddenly became distinguishable from zero.
         We talked about, gee, let's think about doing a
     risk-informed or maybe even a risk-based 50.59, but in the interim we
     have to do something and get this out of the way quickly and the
     operative phrase was "quickly" but now I want to turn to the
         Having gone through this, do you and your fellows within the
     nuclear industry see advantages to now launching forth on a
     risk-informed 50.59?
         MR. BELL:  The Staff may be able to update farther, but my
     understanding is that we are proposing certain things as a part of
     another issue that I think the committee will hear about in this
     meeting, the risk-informing of Part 50; 50.59 is certainly a part of
     that, so I think the answer is yes, we still see a benefit.
         DR. WALLIS:  I noticed a lack of enthusiasm.  I was
     expecting you to come back and say "Yes!"
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Russ doesn't do things like that.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  You are looking at battle-scarred veterans
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Well, I think though we have to make clear
     what we mean by risk-informing 50.59, because I think a lot of people
     think that the objectives would be the same.  You would just be using
     risk information, and at least some of us are thinking about it in a
     different way.  Perhaps the benefits of risk-informing 50.59 or the
     process of allowing changes without review are not very clear to a lot
     of the industry.
         If I told you right now that I was advocating a 50.59-like
     process that would have as a sole criterion that the core damage
     frequency doesn't go about 10 to the minus four, would you say yes, the
     way Dr. Wallis wants it?
         I would allow you to do anything you want except exceed 10
     to the minus four core damage frequency.
         That is an extreme, of course, but, you know, the benefits
     of a new process have not been articulated very well.
         MR. BELL:  The other way to come at that is to somehow risk
     inform the scope of matters that 50.59 would be applied to.  I believe
     they are looking at both approaches in terms of out to improve things.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But coming back to the issue of quick fix
     that Dr. Powers mentioned, is this quick?
         MR. BELL:  I have seen things quicker and things take
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  This is pretty good?
         DR. BONACA:  No.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Are we going to go into details of this?
         DR. SEALE:  A blink of El Nino's eye.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Because I have two questions I want to
         MR. BELL:  Well, I might identify -- I guess my purpose is
     to, in the middle of Eileen's status report, just to provide you some
     context by going through providing an outline of the document and some
     of its key aspects.  I would try to do that as quickly as possible,
     although we have a day and a half workshop devoted to this document
     planned in April and so it is quite a challenge to cover that material
     in just a few minutes, so I am willing to try though to again provide
     some context.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Can I ask my questions now?  I like
     plant-specific, document-specific questions.
         I noticed that in 96-07 there is actually a quantitative
     criterion for the increase in frequency of occurrence of an accident
     which is not the way I understand the document to be used only when one
     chooses to use a PRA.
         This is on page 39 of the document.  It says --
         MR. BELL:  Section 4.3.1 --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  It's in the book.
         MR. BELL:  That is the old one.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  What I have is the old?
         MR. BELL:  Yes.
         MS. McKENNA:  I don't think that page changed very much, so
     it should be about the same place.
         MR. SIEBER:  It might not be the right page.
         MS. McKENNA:  That's possible.
         DR. SEALE:  What is the section number?
         MS. McKENNA:  The section is 4.3.1.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  You have a different one?
         MR. BELL:  Yes, this is the latest and greatest.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Well, I am going with what we have in the
     book.  So it is 4.3.1 -- so it says, "If the proposed activity affects
     the overall system performance in a manner that could cause an accident
     previously evaluated to shift to the higher frequency category or result
     in a calculated frequency increase to be 10 percent or greater, then the
     proposed activity would be more than minimally increased."
         Now "or result in a calculated frequency" -- now I can
     choose not to calculate the frequency, the change in the frequency?
         MS. McKENNA:  Yes.  I think you phrased it a little
     differently than I might have phrased it in terms of the usage of this
     criteria, that the criteria is trying to cover both the cases where a
     licensee chooses to do a qualitative assessment of a particular change
     against this criterion, and also the cases where a licensee chooses to
     do some kind of quantitative assessment, whether that is PRA or it is
     some other way of approaching it but with some kind of quantification
     involved, and that this part of the guidance would apply where that kind
     of quantification, numerical usage, comes into play.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  The distinction is made much more clear
     later on on the next section, 4.3.2, where you talk about the equipment
     malfunction, where there is a list of eight levels of performance, and
     then with boldface letters it says, "Number 8.  For use where the change
     in likelihood of a malfunction is calculated."
         The distinction is much clearer here, whereas there it is
     buried in that "or" --
         MR. BELL:  Clearer that it is optional.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yes, clearer that it is optional that you
     don't have to do it.
         MR. BELL:  Sounds like a --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I think it is --
         MR. BELL:  -- fair comment.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  -- in the frequency as well, but here,
     now, I have a problem with this paragraph.  Essentially if you read it
         MR. BELL:  Which paragraph?
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Eight.
         MR. BELL:  Okay.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Number 8, C-8.
         MR. BELL:  I think before you -- I think we addressed that
     problem.  In fact, that paragraph has basically gone away.  We call that
     an elegant solution, when you just eliminate things.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  The intent of this, though --
         MR. BELL:  Yes --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  -- was really use this criterion only if
     you are sure that you will be below a factor of two, because if you are
     above, it is inconclusive.  You can still use qualitative arguments to
     argue, which seems to me like a cyclical argument because in order for
     me to conclude that the change in the probability is greater by more
     than a factor of two -- that the change in the likelihood of an
     occurrence of malfunction is increased by more than a factor of two I
     will have to use qualitative arguments and engineering judgment, so how
     then after I conclude it is three I can use qualitative arguments and
     engineering judgment to knock it down?
         MR. BELL:  In fact, the Staff identified that to us.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  That is why it is eliminated.
         MR. BELL:  On further thought, that whole thought has been
     eliminated.  What you have there I think is a December revision.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  December 20th.
         MR. BELL:  The latest one is January 18th.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  So there is no paragraph like that?
     Absolutely nothing?  A factor of two?
         MS. McKENNA:  It just has -- there is a CH that says
     "increasing the likelihood of a malfunction" -- excuse me, "of
     occurrence of malfunction by more than a factor of two."
         MR. BELL:  And then the note equivalent to the bold --
         MR. BARTON:  There is a footnote, George.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I see the footnote.  Okay.  So the
     self-consistency of this paragraph then goes away.
         Now is there any way we can avoid presenting this kind of
     criterion or analysis as an additional analysis?  In other words, it
     looks like, if you read it now, that one would still have to satisfy one
     through seven and then as an addition to eight, because perhaps it is
     easier to show that it doesn't increase by more than two, but if one
     goes through the expense and effort of quantifying these probabilities,
     shouldn't that person get some relief from the other requirements?
         MR. BELL:  In fact, this list of A, B, C, and then there are
     subconsiderations under each, are a list of considerations, and in fact
     the intent would not be that you have to check all those off.
         In fact, many may not apply to a particular activity that
     you are trying to evaluate, but it does represent a list of things that
     you ought to consider to the extent they are applicable, and that goes
     for the last one as well, the one you are talking about, in the case
     where you are practically able to or able as a practical matter to
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I guess my -- not objection, really, but
     something that does not excite me too much is this idea that Number 8 is
     in addition, that if someone really spends money to do a PRA, then, you
     know, still have to do the other stuff.  Reducing system redundancy,
     diversity or independence -- I mean I can argue qualitatively now that
     there is a minimal change or I can go ahead and quantify and then get
     into trouble.
         Now this factor of two or greater refers to the mean value
     of the frequency of failure?  Because there is a distribution there.  I
     have a PRA, I get a distribution.  I don't get a number, so it refers to
     which number, the mean?
         MR. BELL:  Do you recall if that was a mean number from --
     we took that number from --
         MS. McKENNA:  I don't think it was specified in the other
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Because doubling the mean is not really a
     minimal change.  Most likely what you are going to see is a distortion
     of the shape of the epistemic distribution of the failure rate, but the
     mean will not jump up by a factor of two.  That would have to be a
     significant change, so maybe you can eliminate the sentence that
     survived under 8 and don't say anything, because I don't think that
     sufficient thinking has gone into this, what it means -- unless you want
     to do that.
         See, if I have a distribution, to move the mean up by a
     factor of two is not -- you have to do something significant on the high
         You were thinking probably in terms of point estimates,
     which are not well defined anyway.
         MR. BELL:  I think you are probably right.
         Well, I think that is a point well taken.
         You know, by the way, comments such as that or others the
     ACES has -- that subject came up earlier -- to the extent they are known
     at the same time that the public comment period is taking place, I would
     think that would be the timely way to capture some of that.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Let me put the question a different way.
     I realize that a lot of these changes are difficult to evaluate
     quantitatively, because either the equipment does not appear in the PRA
     at all, which is very common, or the change is of such a nature that you
     say, my god, how does that affect anything?
         Would it be useful to make a distinction between components
     that are in the PRA and components that are not and reserve all this
     qualitative discussion for the ones that are not, but for the ones that
     are in the PRA you must look at the distribution of the failure rate.
     It is not an option -- because you are going to get that question
     anyway.  It's similar to this thing that you will have a two-tier
     regulatory system, one risk-informed and one, the traditional system,
     which I think is an illusion, because you are going to get the question
     of what happens to the core damage frequency anyway.
         So if it is in the PRA, please provide arguments.  The
     arguments can be qualitative, but look at the distribution and tell me
     what you think happened.  That would make it cleaner.  There will be no
     ambiguity, at least in the guide.  The guy who is doing it, of course,
     is going to have a problem, because you can't really say I am doing
     something that may affect, you know, the function of a major pump, of a
     safety system and then say, "Well, qualitatively I conclude."
         I mean the question what happened to the distribution that
     everybody else is using will come up.  They may still argue that it
     doesn't change much.
         MR. BELL:  The longstanding, I guess, posture on this is
     that these are qualitative guidelines and --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  They will be qualitative.
         MR. BELL:  -- and the intent with this document was to stick
     with that, and not in any case really compel folks to do a quantitative
     or probabilistic --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But what I am saying is that as a
     practical matter, if there is -- if these components are used routinely
     in the PRA and there are distributions for the failure rate, I can't
     imagine that the reviewer would not go and say, gee, this is the number,
     what do you think?
         MR. BELL:  I agree with you.  I would be very surprise if
     they had that tool and didn't avail themselves of it.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  The argument will have to be qualitative,
     but at least the issue will be addressed.  Maybe we should recognize
     that.  Just a thought.
         DR. BONACA:  I would like to ask one question.  As you move
     through the presentations today, I would appreciate if you could, you
     know, emphasize the changes that you made since we met previously when
     we reviewed this in detail, first, and second, how you addressed the
     comments of the ACES.
         We had a number of detailed comments.  I think it would
     worthwhile for us to know how they were addressed.
         MR. BELL:  We might be able to do that.
         DR. BONACA:  I don't mean to disrupt your presentation, just
     simply, you know, I looked at it and a lot of this seems to be some
     review of things we already reviewed before and I would like to know
     what changes took place between the industry and the NRC since that
         MR. BELL:  I sure hope that is the case, because this is an
     implementation document that really implements a final rule, and as you
     say, we have been through --
         MS. McKENNA:  Maybe it would helpful if I went back just
     briefly on one of my slides, which was kind of what changed in the rule,
     just in case -- it's been several months for some of you and some may be
     new members who aren't familiar with all the changes that were made.
         There were some organizational changes.  A major change was
     adding definitions in terms of what "change" means, what facility is
     described, what are procedures.  In terms of the way those definitions
     are applied, it allows some degree of screening as to whether something
     is a change for the facility as described, and I think a number of
     changes on the evaluation criteria that were alluded to, the concept of
     the minimal increases in the likelihoods of failure and in consequences,
     not much change with respect to the criteria of new or different
     accidents and new or different malfunction, and removing the old margin
     of safety and using two other criteria, one on design basis limits,
     fission product barriers, and one on methods of evaluation.
         Those were the things that were in rule and in the statement
     of considerations, which was what the committee had reviewed.
         Now at that time of course, 96-07 had been drafted more
     along the lines of what the existing rule reflected, and therefore there
     were a number of changes that were necessary, and I think you saw they
     showed up first in the September version of the document that was
     provided to the Staff.
         Then, as was mentioned, the Staff provided some comments,
     and then in December NEI responded with I think the matrix that you
     mentioned of how they responded to the questions we had asked at that
         The December version we had another meeting and we had some
     additional discussions and there were some relatively small -- I guess I
     would characterize them as changes -- in the January versions, and as I
     mentioned, there still are some issues that we are wrestling with,
     trying to get to agreement among all the parties within the Staff, and
     we are trying to put those down on paper to let NEI know what those are
     and where we have perhaps some hard spots with the guidance that is
     there now.
         One comment I think in terms of what is different.  I think
     it is recognized that a lot of the stuff that we saw in September was
     kind of carrying forward from what was in the rule and putting that down
     on paper.  I look at it as there were some additional additions or
     extensions or however you want to characterize it of taking the thoughts
     a little further that were offered in December, and I think it is
     primarily in those areas where material is a little bit new to us that
     we are having these discussions, not so much on minimal increases in
     consequences and things like that, where I think we are pretty much on
     the same page, but when we get to some of the open issues.
         As one example, we have had a lot of discussion about the
     question of methods, criteria and methods and when is a licensee
     changing a method sufficiently that an NRC review would be appropriate,
     and one of the areas where we have had a lot of discussion is the extent
     to which a method that was approved on a plant-specific, individual
     basis can be then used by another licensee as a rationale that that
     methodology is acceptable to NRC without further review, and that is an
     area where there is some additional information in the guidance that we
     have been discussing and we are making progress but we are not totally
     in agreement with at this point a couple of other ones that are kind of
     in that new bin as well, so I think that is -- some of the old issues
     about what was in 96-07 may not really fit on the table anymore.
         You know, we are into these areas where things were changed
     and then they perhaps, to conform with the rule, and whether that has
     all been taken care of and then perhaps in these areas get pushed a
     little further.
         So that is where I see it in terms of where the changes are
         DR. WALLIS:  Are we going to talk about some of these, like
         MR. BELL:  Yes, a little bit.
         DR. WALLIS:  I don't know quite where to interject a
     question, because I don't want to interrupt but I do have a question
     about that at some time.
         MR. BELL:  Let's try and move on.  That was -- Eileen
     highlighted a number of the key changes to the rule itself, okay, and
     that part of the process is done and we're quite satisfied with the way
     that turned out, but it is bigger than a bread box to take it the rest
     of the way and translate that into clear guidance.
         That is where we are now.  The clarity of the guidance is
     one of our objectives, comprehensive in the sense that we have been
     looking back at past generic communications, notices, letters and so
     forth that have touched on 50.59 and tried to be sure that the guidance
     that we are preparing now deals with those issues and if need be
     clarifies those kinds of things, so we are trying to have a one-stop
     shop for folks on 50.59 implementation.
         We think that the result will be more consistent and
     effective implementation, owing largely to following through and getting
     the NRC endorsement of it, and I feel that we are on track with that.
         The status is, as Eileen mentioned, there was an iteration
     in here that I have left off my slide, the December version, but we are
     now at the point where we have what we consider to be a pretty good
     draft subject to a few remaining issues that Eileen has identified.
              So how do you implement this process?  At a certain
     level it boils down to this -- does the rule apply or is some other
     process more geared towards governing changes, like in the area of EP,
     emergency planning, security.  There are change processes set for that.
     Tech spec changes, that's another process.
         It might surprise you to know that some utilities in the
     past have done 50.59s for all of those, duplicate kinds of evaluations
     and reportings and so forth.  One of the important things this rule
     clarifies is that's not necessary.  Just do the evaluation where it
     makes most sense and follow that set of guidance and you don't have to
     do it more than once, so that's important.
         Secondly, and it probably should say "must" -- must the
     activity you are proposing to do be subject to the eight questions?
     Somebody mentioned earlier that we went from three to eight questions,
     or three criteria to eight criteria, and this middle step we call the
     screening process, and I'll have a little more to say about that.
         Finally and more to the point, once you get to the
     evaluation criteria, there is NRC approval.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Isn't that question the same as the first?
         MR. BELL:  This one --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  The first and third bullets, aren't they
     the same thing?
         MR. BELL:  Well, 50.59 -- does it apply would mean do I even
     need to do this screening step, or because it is an emergency planning
     program change I have a separate criterion for that, in 50.54(q) or --
     maybe it is -- so that is what this question means.  This is the
     screening step and the evaluation step and some of that might be a
     little clearer.
         Now if you skip a page in your package, I think you will
     find a copy of this diagram.
         MS. McKENNA:  It is in the 96-07.
         MR. BELL:  That is Figure 1 from our document.  This is
     basically the applicability question, the step we just talked about.
     This is the screening step, the evaluation and then implementation.
         Over here I listed a number of the other regulatory
     processes that might be more appropriate or are more appropriate for
     certain changes.  I mentioned EP, security.  There are Part 20 kinds of
     changes on effluents and things like that.  One of the more interesting
     ones is the maintenance rule, one of the areas, maintenance rule
     guidance related to the new (a)(4) provision on the risk impact
     assessments.  Well, that, it would seem to me, it would seem to us if
     you did a maintenance rule assessment under (a)(4) that you wouldn't
     also need to do a 50.59 evaluation that duplicates that assessment, and
     so fortunately both guidance documents were in play at the same
     timeframe, and with the NRC we have been trying to get the guidance to
     dovetail, again to avoid the duplicate or overlapping, I should say,
         So that is one of the things that didn't settle down until I
     guess the December version and there may be more clarification of that
     that is needed.
         MR. SIEBER:  Maybe I can jump in and ask a question here.
     One of the exemptions under the maintenance portion of this guidance is
     the hanging of lead from pipes, and it says you don't have to do a 50.59
     to hang lead.
         I remember always doing that because you don't necessarily
     hang lead on the system that is out of service for maintenance.  You may
     hang it on an active system.  You need to know about whether you are
     increasing stress in the pipe or stressing a hangar, bending something,
     so maybe you can clarify to me exactly what it is you are doing when you
     are talking about hanging lead.
         MR. BELL:  As I say, we are trying to make the two
     guidelines dovetail.  One of the things that the (a)(4) will say is
     that, hey, if you do something like that under the maintenance -- for
     ostensibly maintenance purposes you need to consider the effects of
     those kinds of activities on other plant systems and if that is a new
     addition to the most recent revision of that (a)(4) guidance, it is
     intended to get exactly at that kind of question.
         MS. McKENNA:  This is one of those that I mentioned we are
     kind of in this -- it is somewhat technical and also somewhat process
     questions that we are wrestling with, because the kind of thing you are
     talking about you could look at and say, yes, this is a change because
     it is changing the piping or whatever I am hanging it on.  The purpose I
     am doing it may be because I want to do maintenance on something, and
     what are the right kinds of assessments and processes that should be
     looking at those changes, and can you truly be under one or the other or
     are there overlaps, and that is still something I think we are dealing
     with is it is not always easy to tell that it is just maintenance
     because it is only working on the thing that you are doing maintenance
     on, or it is 50.59 because you are hanging the lead on something else or
     you are moving the equipment by something else, or there are other
     configurations you can be in.
         MR. SIEBER:  You're setting up scaffolding -- there are all
     kinds of things --
         MS. McKENNA:  Absolutely.
         MR. SIEBER:
         MR. SIEBER:  -- having an impact on other systems and
     hopefully the maintenance activity, the assessment that occurs because
     of that covers all these other systems, as opposed to somebody putting
     blinders on and saying the box I am working in is the piece of equipment
     that I am working on and what I do around it, which might have a seismic
     impact, a fire impact, change the loading on a system, is somehow or
     other not included in that assessment -- just so that's clear.
         MR. BELL:  That's first an issue for the guidance and then
     it is really a training and follow-through issue and we have a
     maintenance rule workshop scheduled in March, 50.59 in April, and more
     after that in terms of getting this kind of awareness --
         MR. SIEBER:  Part of that is organizational, because
     typically 50.59s are done by the Engineering Department or the Safety
     Department, whereas maintenance assessments are done by maintenance
     engineers --
         MR. BELL:  True.
         MR. SIEBER:  -- who ordinarily don't do 50.59s.
         MS. McKENNA:  I think because both of these, the (a)(4) is
     in the process, it is kind of similar to 50.59 in a way in that it has
     this when the guidance is ready then it becomes effective, and that
     hasn't kicked in yet, that we don't really know exactly how it is going
     to work yet, and therefore trying to -- we have two moving targets, so
     to try to nail down one and then see how it impacts the other is
     something we are having some difficulty with.
         MR. SIEBER:
         MR. SIEBER:  Well, I would like to see them dovetail in a
     way that there are no open holes between the two.
         MS. McKENNA:  That is what we are trying to look at.  I
     think NEI is trying to make a proposal that they are separate and --
     some of the parts may be separate, parts may overlap and we try to see
     where that overlap is, and, as you say, make sure that if we think it is
     over there that it really is over there and that it is just not there.
         MR. SIEBER:  My picture of the process is that it is
     interlocking, that it has to be comprehensive enough and everything has
     to be covered someplace, otherwise you are going to have some unanalyzed
     safety condition out there, which I think is unacceptable.
         MR. BELL:  In each case where there is perhaps more
     appropriate or more specific regulatory process to evaluate the change
     the guidance makes the point that, hey, there may be aspects of that
     activity that affect both your emergency planning -- maybe it is a
     change to your, what do they call it? -- facility --
         MR. SIEBER:  The EOF?
         MR. BELL:  Yes, the EOF, that affects one of the SSCs
     credited in the safety analyses or designs so we are very careful I
     think to identify that in the guidance and then there will be a training
     and awareness issue in terms of the follow-through, so you could have to
     do both, but where it is a purely -- clearly maintenance, clearly
     emergency planning, then there are better rules than in the general
     change rules to apply.  The point is well taken.
         Just a little more on the screening process --
         DR. WALLIS:  I guess I have a question.  I'm sorry.  This
     big diagram that you showed us, really you need another set of diagrams.
     "Perform 10 CFR 50.59 Evaluation" is just one blob on this.  That
     involves a lot of steps and I think you need to provide a framework for
     how you do that.
         MR. BELL:  We certainly could --
         DR. WALLIS:  Not just words, but some sort of a diagram --
     do this, then this, this, ask these questions.
         MR. BELL:  That clearly alludes to that section of the
     document.  It's a lot of words.  There are some further documents that
     are going to generically implement this on a plant-specific basis --
     generically on a plant-specific basis?
         MR. BELL:  Generic procedures, forms and so forth, for
     implementing this thing are -- we are working with some utilities to
     develop those.  That might be a place for additional pictures.
         MR. SIEBER:  Well, I agree with Dr. Wallis that it would be
     very helpful in this document.  It's the process under Section -- it is difficult to follow unless you almost make a
         DR. WALLIS:  You have to make your own diagram.
         MR. SIEBER:  Yes, you have to make the diagram, whether you
     do it or NEI does or somebody does it in order to understand it.
         DR. SEALE:  The hard part is knowing when to quit.
         When we started on this, Dr. Powers mentioned the fact that
     it was in fact the ability to quantify risk and to come up with
     numerical values for changes that are purported to result from some
     particular action that to our dismay, I guess, quantified zero, and made
     us accept the fact that zero was no longer a neighborhood but was in
     fact a point on the line, but there is another aspect to that.
         We have mentioned it before here.  That is, sometimes when
     you make a change and the immediate impact of that change is perhaps a
     slight increase in the risk, there are attendant modifications which
     reduce the risk and so on balance the effect of -- and I will hesitate
     to use the word "everything" -- is a negative.
         The question is how far do you go before you declare that
     you have got everything, because, you know, clearly it is the old
     question of completeness that we face in any kind of evaluation like
     this.  It is still out there with this.  Presumably what you are doing
     here is coming up with this list of the regulations you want to look at
     and so forth and somehow that tells you when you have done everything in
     the context of the regulatory process to evaluate all the changes, but
     it is still kind of an open issue, isn't it?
         MR. BELL:  In the context of 50.59, the guidance is that you
     really need to take every change and look at it unto itself.  Now you
     can link certain other things if they are a direct result or a necessity
     of the primary change.
         DR. SEALE:  Or a direct consequence of the change, yes.
         MR. BELL:  But there is essentially a prohibition against
     drawing that envelope wider and wider until we -- we find, lo, we really
     did improve our risk profile.
         DR. SEALE:  Yes.
         MR. BELL:  That doesn't sound risk-informed.  That sounds
     like we may be doing perhaps more than we need, nonetheless, that has
     been the state of affairs and this document maintains that.
         MS. McKENNA:  I think that is the way the process is
     structured, that you are looking at the individual changes and you try
     to keep each of those minimal as opposed to perhaps a different
     framework that was put all the changes together and as long as you net
     has not gone more than whatever the number or is a net change of zero,
     but the difficulty you have is how you put them together in those kinds
     of approaches.
         DR. SEALE:  So the process known as bundling doesn't apply
     to 50.59?
         MS. McKENNA:  That's correct.
         DR. SEALE:  That is an interesting point.
         MR. BELL:  It is intuitive.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  To create a risk-informed 10 CFR 50.59,
     wouldn't bundling ipso facto be used?
         MS. McKENNA:  Yes, that's my personal -- because you are
     looking at things in a different way -- but you need some method of
     looking at them together and if you are doing these individual changes
     to different things, saying this one is a little bit here, this one's a
     little bit there, that is kind of what the process does now.
         You would have to have some different tool to do it in an
     across-the-board type of sense.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I'll be honest with you.  I am using this
     briefing more to think about going to a risk-informed 50.59 than I am
     about the details, because I have a feeling that you can worry about
     them enough for both of us, to be quite honest with you.
         MS. McKENNA:  Yes, I think sometimes down in -- I was going
     to say the nitty-gritty but to a certain degree of actually certain
     things crack through the system.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I don't look at it just as being down in
     the nitty-gritty.  I just think it takes more knowledge about the length
     and the breadth of it than I am able to assimilate.
         MS. McKENNA:  Yes, I think that is fair.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  You have been living with it, and I
     haven't -- although I sometimes feel like I have been.
         MS. McKENNA:  Yes.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  But I do think it deserves to pull out of
     this exercise that you are going through lessons that might be
     applicable to going to risk informing, because I have a feeling that
     people who are thinking about that may not have been living that either,
     and they may not be down in the details of knowing what constrains you
     and what constraints you want to carry forward and what you would like a
     risk-informed 50.59 to get rid of.
         I am sure you have run across constraints and said, yes, it
     exists.  It's because of the way people put the words together in the
     past, and if we had to do it all over again we would never have written
     the words that way.
         I think the risk-informed is essentially a chance to rewrite
     the words.
         DR. BONACA:  Although of course this is, what I want to
     point out is a tremendous benefit to the industry that finally there is
     a convergence of agreement.  This is like, you know, this game has been
     played in the field for 40 years and the referees have used rules which
     are different from ones of the players.  That is the fundamental
     problem, so the players believe that they can do something.  They make
     some motion there and they get bolted for it.  They get penalties -- and
     this is the first time there is an agreement among referees and players
     on what rules to play, so in and of itself it is tremendous progress,
     the fact that finally they can speak the same language.
         The reason why I am bringing this up, mostly to know when is
     this going to be done?  When is it going to be finished?  I am sure that
     the industry is pretty anxious to see it done.
         MS. McKENNA:  I'm sure they are.  We certainly are too.  As
     I think I indicated, we are working to get these issues that I mentioned
     that we are still discussing settled in some fashion to be able to put
     the draft Reg Guide on the street.  We're looking I'll say in the April
     timeframe to do that and have a public comment process, then we resolve
     and consider the comments and then kind of take it back through, as a
     final Reg Guide, to the Commission for their approval, which would then
     start the 90-day clock on the rule, so I think we are kind of looking
     realistically, if we go out, say, in April and public comment ends some
     time in June, get a package back together, it's probably towards the end
     of the summer before it is back with the Commission and then however
     long it takes from that point in time.
         DR. BONACA:  In the year 2000?
         MS. McKENNA:  It will probably be end of the year 2000 or
     early 2001 at our current estimate, yes.
         DR. WALLIS:  Are you going to move to the next slide?
         MR. SIEBER:  I'm pretty sure that we have all had an
     opportunity and have read 96-07.  Maybe we could just move through that
         DR. WALLIS:  I would like to go to the next slide, because I
     a very specific question about the next viewgraph.
         MR. BELL:  I was going to suggest that, you know, some of
     this does smack as implementation detail of key issues that have been --
         DR. WALLIS:  I have a fundamental question, which is not
     just implementation.
         MS. McKENNA:  Let's have your question.
         MR. SIEBER:  We'll put the next slide up and then we can --
         DR. WALLIS:  Next slide and page 37.  This is a question of
     determining whether or not there is a minimal increase -- the next one
     -- whether or not there -- minimal permeates this whole document.
         MR. BELL:  Yes, that's right.
         DR. WALLIS:  And when I look on page 37, this is how you
     determine whether or not you have a minimal increase in frequency of
     occurrence, it says, "Normally the determination of a frequency increase
     is based upon a qualitative assessment using engineering evaluations,
     however the plant-specific frequency in PRA may be used."
         Now this seems to me to be going the wrong way altogether.
     It ought to --
         DR. SEALE:  Backwards.
         DR. WALLIS:  It ought to say normally PRA is the best method
     of determining whether or not the frequency has been increased within
     allowable limits.  Occasionally it may be possible to make a qualitative
     assessment which is acceptable.
         But to put qualitative assessment as the norm seems to me
     very strange.  You can waffle about it -- that is the norm, the easy way
     -- who is going to ever want to do the proper assessment involving a
         It's backwards.  Does the Staff really approve this
         MS. McKENNA:  I'm sorry, go ahead.
         DR. SEALE:  As a matter of fact, if I were asked to
     characterize the relationship, I would say that a quantitative document
     like a PRA to the extent that it is would be associated with frequency.
     A qualitative assessment would be related to likelihood.
         DR. WALLIS:  It's the same thing.
         DR. SEALE:  Well, except likelihood is lesser degree of
         DR. WALLIS:  Qualitative is associated more with estimate or
         DR. SEALE:  Yes, right.
         DR. WALLIS:  And likelihood has a real meaning, like
     probability.  I am really concerned with putting this back to the sort
     of wishy-washy language as the primary approach.  Qualitatively is sort
     of to be preferred and surely, if possible, you should use a
     quantitative method.
         MR. BELL:  Well, you are not misreading the intent.  The
     intent is to keep with longstanding practice and the utilities feel this
     way, too, because they are very comfortable with the way they have done
     this in the past, to use PRA in a support mode, not as the primary so
     there are a number of considerations of a qualitative nature.
         DR. WALLIS:  Then how do you accept -- I don't understand
     that acceptance criteria for a qualitative assessment.  We're very
     specific here about PRAs and a change of 10 percent and -- I understand
     those, but qualitative seems to leave it all up to argument and
     personality and persuasiveness.
         MR. SIEBER:  I think it is even worse than that, Dr. Wallis,
     because the whole idea of going through this was to take the zero sum
     game out of it and to be able to use a quantitative measure so that you
     could have some leeway above zero change, because the old rule with the
     three criteria really said no change.
         MS. McKENNA:  Right, may be increased.
         MR. SIEBER:  You had to get better or zero.  You could not
     tolerate any change, no matter how minimal it was, so this change in the
     rule was to get us beyond that and we ought to be using that tool.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Remember, I'm thinking about the old rule,
     when they said zero they meant really indistinguishable from zero and at
     the time when the resolution was by decades, what happened is we perhaps
     had fooled ourselves or perhaps because of improved technology, now we
     don't think that three times 10 to the minus four is the same as 10 to
     the minus five because we have much higher resolution in risk and
     suddenly what before were so small as to be essentially zero change now
     became pretty substantial changes, actually.
         They are no longer indistinguishable from zero and the
     difficulty a lot of people had was that zero to them did mean
     indistinguishable from zero and these numbers that we have now weren't.
         DR. WALLIS:  If this were risk-informed then PRA would be
     the way to go, and then there might be another way, which would be
     qualitative.  The language sort of puts down PRA, makes it more
     difficult, favors the qualitative approach and so you are moving away
     from risk-informed.
         MR. BELL:  I think -- again, I think that is the intent.  I
     think it is recognized that if we want to make that lead to the more
     effective tool that the time to do that would be when this rule is
     risk-informed, as we talked earlier.
         This is not the risk-informing of 50.59 and so the emphasis
     on qualitative assessment you still see here.
         DR. WALLIS:  So why would a utility ever use anything other
     than qualitative assessment?
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  That has been my problem too.  If I were a
     manager, I would never touch a PRA, especially if they have a comment
     that Dr. Bonaca brought to my attention, Section 4.3.1 -- "It should be
     emphasized that PRAs are just one of the tools for evaluating the impact
     of proposed activities and their use is not required."
         It used to be just a tool.  Now it is just one of the tools.
     It is a level lower.
         MR. SIEBER:  It's equal to intuition.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I come back to my earlier --
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Haven't we crossed this debate once
         MS. McKENNA:  I think we have in terms of --
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  When we said that if we try to go
     risk-informed now we simply delay a process, that it really is quite
     important --
         MS. McKENNA:  Yes.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  -- urgent I would say, to get some
     stability in the field on this and although we cannot achieve perhaps
     the quintessence of perfection, we can get something that is functional,
     was functional, and will be functional in the future.
         This has not been an area of abuse by anyone.
         MS. McKENNA:  Right, and I think the other point is that we
     have to consider the wide spectrum of changes that a licensee may be
     making, and some of them are going to be more amenable to a quantitative
     assessment than others, and so I think that there's a lot of those kinds
     of procedural things or I am doing something --
         DR. WALLIS:  But then you should say -- excuse me -- if it
     is amenable to qualitative assessment then it is encouraged that they
     use it, you know?
         MS. McKENNA:  That may be a fair comment.
         DR. WALLIS:  There may be some cases where qualitative is
     more appropriate.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Which is related to my comment earlier.  I
     mean if there is a frequency for the failure rate in the common PRAs, it
     seems to me it should be a requirement to look at it.  Yes, you can
     argue qualitatively that it doesn't affect it much, but I just don't see
     how a reviewer can ignore that.  It can't be an option.  That makes the
     document much cleaner than it is now.
         It is the same thing power uprate.  The licensee did not
     choose to go the risk-informed approach.  Five seconds into the
     presentation Dr. Kress -- "What did that do to the CDF?"  The licensee,
     "We'll tell you what it did. We did it."  They had the answer because
     they knew the question was coming and it will be the same thing here.
         I mean you can't ignore reality that there are PRAs out
         DR. KRESS:  Unless, George, the qualitative assessments have
     already been looked at and said we know that if we meet those if we look
     at a typical PRA it's not going to affect it much.
         MS. McKENNA:  Right.
         DR. KRESS:  But I don't know that that has been done but I
     think in essence that was in the thinking.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But it is not in the document.
         DR. KRESS:  It's not.  It's not explicit, that's right.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  When I say look at the PRA, that is what I
     expect 99 percent of the arguments are going to be of that nature.
         DR. KRESS:  Yes.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I don't expect that one would do
     calculations because I know these changes are not really the kinds of
     changes that you quantify.
         MR. BELL:  Right.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But you may argue a little bit, you know,
     and look at the distribution if there is a distribution.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  How many PRAs do you know that have
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Well, you see, that's another thing.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I didn't expect an answer.
         DR. BONACA:  One comment we made in our review, which
     relates to this point is that so many of the decision points on
     probabilities are hard-wired on defense-in-depth concepts.
         For example, if you change something which affects the
     diversity, it's by definition an increase in probability of a
         MS. McKENNA:  Right.
         DR. BONACA:  Therefore, you have that process that, you
     know, almost pushes by definition the use of judgment rather than PRA
     and it is all over the place.
         I mean in my experience, and I have seen literally thousands
     of safety evaluations -- literally -- most of these judgments are based
     on that kind of cause, and most of them are hard-wired to criteria that
     you have in the general design criteria or somewhere else that tells
     you, yes, this is an increasing probability whether it is or not.
         The other thing is I think the founding fathers when they
     wrote 50.59 were thinking really about the fact that you put accidents
     into four different categories, and I believe still today that all they
     were worried about was that an increasing probability that shifted an
     accident from one category to the next, because you have different
     expectations for that.
         Then with time we have taken probability to mean any
     increase in probability and that is how we go into this bind, but again,
     I mean, you know, the engineering judgment, it is so entrenched into the
     use of 50.59 that it will be a big shift to go to a frequency category
     -- PRA.
         DR. WALLIS:  You mentioned the term frequency category?
     What is a frequency category?  I don't understand that.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Page 46.
         MS. McKENNA:  There you go.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  At the time of the original 50.59 there
     was a categorization of accidents in which they did talk about risk.
     They did talk about accident frequencies, but the frequencies were
     basically, if my memory serves me, expected at a facility every year,
     expected in the lifetime of the facility, unlikely to occur, in the
     lifetime of the facility, and extremely unlikely to occur -- and they
     basically corresponded to something between a frequency of one in 100,
     between 10 to the three and 10 to the four, and between 10 to the five
     and 10 to the sixth.
         DR. BONACA:  And then for each of them you had different
     acceptance criteria.
         MS. McKENNA:  Correct, yes.
         DR. BONACA:  You could not have fuel failures if there were
     highly probable or expected during the life, or you could have some fuel
     damage if they were infrequent and you could have specifically, you
     know, for LOCA you could have some amount of fuel damage, so they were
     important for a reason.  You didn't want to shift because you had
     different expectations of the frequencies, but again the judgment was so
     vague that judgment was sufficient for that perspective.
         MR. SIEBER:  Let me ask a question just to make sure I
         When the rulemaking for 50.59 was initiated, was it intended
     to make the new 50.59 risk-informed?
         MR. BARTON:  No.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  It was explicitly stated no.
         MR. SIEBER:  Okay, and therefore the guidance probably
     shouldn't be risk-informed either, right?
         MS. McKENNA:  I think the guidance can't be more
     risk-informed than the rule is is the way I would characterize it.e
         MR. SIEBER:  The question is when you set about to
     risk-inform Part 50, all of the Part 50, will 50.59 be included in that?
         MS. McKENNA:  It is one of the rules that is under
     consideration.  I don't know -- I wasn't that involved in the specifics
     of how it might be done.
         MR. SIEBER:  So today the issue of whether this is
     risk-informed or not risk-informed or tends toward deterministic and
     qualitative as opposed to quantitative is consistent with the intention
     that the rule was formulated in the first place?
         DR. WALLIS:  I find that entirely incongruous though, that
     at a time when we are trying to move toward risk-informed regulation and
     this is the propaganda, that there is a conscious effort to go away from
     it in this particular change.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  The rule has been approved though.
         DR. WALLIS:  I know, it's all right.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  This is just the Regulatory Guide.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I mean the decision was made consciously
     that there was such a step going to have to be made to go to a
     risk-informed 50.59 and not the least was the concern that a
     standardization of PRA techniques would have to be in place, that it
     would cause an unwarranted delay in the process and so this is viewed as
     an interim measure, and I think that was not a bad decision.
         I think we did not anticipate it would take this much to get
     where we are now, but that is probably because we did not recognize how
     pervasive the use of the 50.59 process is, even though we all said it
     was pervasive, nor did we understand how intertwined the language is
     with itself in the process and so you have to be very careful about
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  In many respects though -- first of all,
     this is not risk-informed.  The fact that you are just referring to
     frequencies of malfunctions doesn't make it risk-informed.
         MS. McKENNA:  Right.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Okay.  We are not using any risk insights,
     but I think the use of this is very similar, the issue that is being
     raised is very similar to this two-tier system that I mentioned earlier.
         The fact that there is a PRA out there forces you to do
     certain things regardless of the regulatory system.
         In this particular instance the fact that there are
     distributions for the failure rates for certain equipment is a fact of
     life and you can't -- what if the reviewer says I would like -- it's
     boring -- for this pump I have --
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  George, let's make very clear who the
     reviewer is in this case.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Whoever goes to inspect the records.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  This is something that occurs on a perhaps
     annual basis.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  So the probability of having this is low,
     you are saying?
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  It happens once in awhile.  I mean it does
     happen once in awhile.
         MS. McKENNA:  You are talking about the inspection?
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I mean a 50.59 determination is not
     trotted in to the NRC Staff and they say here is what we did, did we do
     it right?  That is not done.  A review is done at the plant.
         MR. BARTON:  An annual review of safety evaluations might
     pick one of these things up.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  So the PSA group at the plant may not
     raise this question, you don't think?
         MR. SIEBER:  You probably will do three or four or five of
     these a day.  I mean you do them.  That's the way of life.
         DR. BONACA:  You probably have 1000 or hundred per plant and
     they have maybe three, four thousand issues they are screened for.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  That's right.
         MR. GILLESPIE:  Right.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  That is not to say they do not get
     reviewed.  When you do one, it gets reviewed at the plant.
         MR. SIEBER:  It is at the plant that it gets reviewed.
         DR. WALLIS:  It's a management decision when the PSA group
     comes up and says actually we have an increase which is more than 10
     percent, and yet the qualitative determination people say it's fine.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  And I will tell you something else.  In
     Section 4.3.1, the sentence I read before, it really should be deleted
     because PRA is not a tool for evaluating the impact of proposed
     activities.  We just agreed that this is not risk-informed.  It's a
     gratuitous statement.
         MS. McKENNA:  The point was that when you are looking at,
     the licensee is looking at the change and trying to decide whether that
     is a good change to make or what are the ramifications of the change
     that it may be helpful to them to understand exactly what you were
     talking about and does it change their PRA in any sense, but that is I
     think the intent.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  It doesn't make sense --
         DR. BONACA:  Well, let me just say, it allows at least for
     it to be considered.  We get to the point where we used to use PRA to
     make, disclose a probability, and every time we did, we got in trouble,
     because if you make a qualitative call there's no problem.  No one
     questions it.  If you have a quantitative evaluation, everybody
     questions it and then there is very much insight -- are you affecting a
     defense-in-depth issue?
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But I am not allowed to argue on the basis
     of risk insights.  If I go to the criteria later, it says deleting or
     modifying system protection features or equipment protection features.
     Can I come back and say, yes, I deleted these protection features, but
     look, this component has a risk importance of 10 to the minus 100?  I am
     not allowed to say that.
         What I have to do is argue that the probability of
     malfunction of this component regardless of how important it is
     negligible -- is minimal, so there is no PRA at all.  Just because you
     use a failure rate, you can't say -- so it seems to me that PRAs are not
     in fact invited to participate in this, so why -- I mean that's a fact.
     All the criteria you have later have nothing to do with risk insight.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I think the discussion has gone to the
     minutiae here.  Can we progress ahead?
         MR. BELL:  And I suggest I give it back to Eileen.
         MS. McKENNA:  Yes, we are running short on time. Yes, go
         DR. BONACA:  I have one specific question regarding
     something we communicated to the Staff and it has been misinterpreted.
         MS. McKENNA:  Okay.
         DR. BONACA:  And that is on the second slide from NEI
     regarding fission product barriers exceeded or altered and I believe
     that the ACRS for the specific case made an example that you have a
     design change.  The design limit hasn't been changed.
         MS. McKENNA:  Right.
         DR. BONACA:  What you have done, you have diminished the
     capability of the barrier because you have put ruptured disk right above
     the design limit, and so you can -- in fact, it can alter the capability
     of the barrier without affecting its design limit from inside pressure,
     and here the guideline uses the word "altered" in a different sense.  It
     doesn't address that and I just wanted to point that out.  It has
     defined a new definition, which is interesting -- because we wrote it
     down and the word was taken and it was altered.  The word "altered" was
         DR. BONACA:  I don't think it is a major issue, just simply
     that a point that we made we think has some merit because at the design
     level you must still have a clad that you design to have a certain
     capability of withstanding internal pressures, but you may decide to
     have it do certain things and you are essentially reducing the margin
     that you have in the barrier.
         I mean all I am talking about is the margin.  I don't think
     that the margin should be reduced in any way or form without NRC review.
         MR. SIEBER:  Well, you know the example that it gave, which
     is corrosion of a containment liner, you know the 50.59 screening would
     say that has to be reviewed by the Commission, okay, because now you
     have basically lowered the design strength and the capability and we
     know about cladding.  They change cladding from one form of zircaloy to
     another throughout the years and every one of those you had to go back
     and get a license amendment for it, so neither one of those -- all those
     cases would screen through 50.59, either the old rule or the new rule,
     to go to the Commission and get a license amendment.
         DR. BONACA:  And the word "alter" really meant to control
     that capability of barriers, realizing that for example in containment
     we are counting on 130 psi rate because although it is not in the design
     basis, we have by now taken credit for it in severe accident and we like
     to have that margin, and so, you know, this in the guideline has really
     misinterpreted what we meant.
         MS. McKENNA:  Okay.
         MR. SIEBER:  What I would like to do, we are past our normal
     time, but I would like to get an opportunity to look at what are the
     outstanding items right now.
         MS. McKENNA:  Okay.  I did have it in the packet and I think
     we have touched on a number of these through the discussion.
         The first one, in a way it is similar to some of the
     discussion on maintenance, where the question of changes to fire
     protection programs, which are programs that are in the FSAR or
     referenced in the FSAR, and the proposal was that most plants have this
     license condition and the proposal is evaluate against the license
     condition, not against 50.59.
         This is again one of these where the question of whether
     there is truly complete overlap versus there is a partial overlap is
     what we are looking at.  I think our view is that it is not a complete
     overlap between what the license condition provides and 50.59, but that
     is one of those kind of regulatory process questions as well.
         MR. SIEBER:  Okay.  You are worried more about the records
     and the bases upon which you would do it rather than the fact that it is
     being reviewed properly or not, right?
         MS. McKENNA:  Well, I mean, yes, kind of what is the --
     because the license condition says you can make changes as long as you
     don't adversely affect the capability of safe shutdown.
         MR. SIEBER:  So there is no record of it other than the
     change itself.
         MS. McKENNA:  Right.  There is no requirement for that
     record and I think 50.59 would say if you are making a change to the
     FSAR, keep records and explain why it is okay and keep the records and
     all that kind of stuff, so there are issues with that.
         MR. SIEBER:  Okay.
         MS. McKENNA:  I think I have mentioned already the question
     on methods.  The second one is kind of the plant-specific versus the
     generic.  The first one is just in terms of how if you are looking at
     changes to pieces of the method and one of the other things is that as
     long as your answers come out about the same, you haven't really changed
     anything, but again just kind of one of the things we are looking at is
     it's not necessarily did your peak number come out the same, but that
     you have kind of the same shape and response, and that is one of the
     clarifications I think we are looking to make with the guidance.
         One of the issues that we are looking at is whether for
     instance for fuel one of the things that is in there, typically we look
     at something like a DNBR as to how you would judge your performance of
     the fuel and what was proposed in there as the design basis limit was
     basically the 95/95 confidence level.
         I think the Staff's view is that it should be the particular
     value for that fuel that is the limit, not the confidence level.  We
     didn't really get into the screening question.  You may have seen in the
     document some discussion about screening with respect to whether you are
     affecting functions.  We are looking at this and part of that, there is
     some guidance definition, if you will, of what is meant by design
     functions, and we are looking at that as to whether is sufficiently
     comprehensive at the screening level to make sure that changes move
     forward for evaluation.
         MR. SIEBER:  Could we go back to the third bullet there?
         MS. McKENNA:  Yes.
         MR. SIEBER:  Why isn't the Staff comfortable with the 95/95
         MS. McKENNA:  I think I would have to call on one of our
     reactor systems staff who I think we have in the audience to -- Chris,
     do you feel comfortable answering that?  Would you come to the mike?
         MR. SIEBER:  Go to the microphone, please.
         MR. JACKSON:  I am a little bit uncomfortable here.
         The limit for fission product departure from nucleate
     boiling is the ratio at which you would lose confidence so that you
     might experience a department from nucleate boiling.  The 95/95 is the
     acceptance criteria.  That is just 95 percent probability with 95
     percent confidence, so we would see that as the confidence bounds of the
     acceptance criteria for whatever limit you came up with, so that is the
     only --
         MR. SIEBER:  So you are satisfied with that or not?  You
     want a specific number?
         MR. JACKSON:  I want the value, the ratio.
         MR. SIEBER:  That would just give you more information --
     how confident you are that that number is a good number?
         MR. JACKSON:  The value that they come up with would be NRC
     reviewed and approved.
         MR. SIEBER:  Right.
         MR. JACKSON:  And they would demonstrate through analysis
     that they have achieved the 95/95, but the limit is the ratio -- is the
     critical heat flux.  I mean that is the value that they would use to
     calculate at the plant.
         MS. McKENNA:  That is Chris Jackson, Reactor Systems Branch.
         We have just one more slide, just a couple more, actually I
     think the other slide, we talked the numerical values.  I think in
     general we are comfortable, with some clarifications we were interested
     in.  I think the committee indicated some clarifications that we might
     want to consider with respect to the numerical values that we see in
         The last one was this maintenance rule assessment I think
     that we have already talked about, so those are the areas where we still
     have some questions and we will be sending that letter in the very near
         MR. SIEBER:  Okay.  Let me ask a final question.
         Does either the Staff or NEI feel that any one of these
     issues is unresolvable in a reasonable amount of time?
         MS. McKENNA:  No.
         MR. BELL:  No.
         MS. McKENNA:  As I said, I think the nature of the
     resolution may vary.  NEI may agree to make some adjustments.  We may
     agree that we are just going to disagree and we'll take exception to
     certain things but I think we can resolve them.  It's just what kind of
     resolution we come to on the particular issues we are dealing with.
         MR. SIEBER:  Thank you.  Does anybody else have any
     questions that they would like to ask at this time?
         DR. SEALE:  When is this industry workshop that you are
     going to have?
         MR. BELL:  April 10th and 11th, the Clearwater Beach Hilton,
     Florida, good place.
         MR. SIEBER:  Any other questions?
         [No response.]
         MR. SIEBER:  If there are no other questions, Mr. Chairman,
     I return the meeting to you.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Thank you, John.  I think we need to
     struggle internally to come up with a strategy on this, to minimize any
     impediments the Staff has in moving forward.  I will articulate my own
     feelings here that we have a low level of value added at this point of
     getting to the implementation.
         I think our time might be better spent on discussing the
     generation going to risk-inform 50.59 rather than rehashing old issues,
     but I certainly think we need to discuss it with the committee and get
     information back to the Staff as quickly as possible, so they can set
     their own schedules in this regard.
         With that, Chairman's privilege, I will recess us till five
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Let's come back to into session.  Our
     final presentation today deals with a topic that can't possibly have any
     controversy associated with it.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  And I am sure the presentation will go
     very smoothly since there will probably not be a single question.  Most
     of the questions we find have procreated dramatically.
         Dr. Kress, I think you are going to lead us through this
         DR. KRESS:  I don't know if that is the proper words or not.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Maybe introduce it.
         DR. KRESS:  Introduce it maybe -- yes.  This is the session
     on proposed and potential revisions to the Commission's Safety Goal
     Policy Statement.
         As you know, we have had meetings on this before and the
     Staff has told us, at least identified the issues they are looking at
     that might be part of a revised policy statement.  At this point I think
     we are going to get a kind of status report on where they stand on, what
     sort of position they are going to take on these various -- I think
     there was about eight -- issues that they are looking at and we
     commented before we thought these were a comprehensive set of issues and
     the right things to look at and see whether or not they ought to be in
     the policy statement.
         I think today we are going to hear what the Staff about each
     of these and with that, George, you have anything you want to say before
     we get started?
         I would like you guys to listen carefully on the Staff's
     positions on each of these issues, and then see what you think because
     we will be writing a letter, probably not this time, but at least at the
     next meeting, the March meeting, so with that I will turn the floor over
     to I guess Joe Murphy or -- Joe?  Okay.
         MR. MURPHY:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  As you said, we have
     discussed this subject with the committee on several occasions over the
     last several years.  I would like to back up in the history a little bit
     more than is indicated on the slide and just remind you that the policy
     statement itself was issued by the Commission in 1986.
         There was a very important Staff Requirements Memorandum
     that was issued June 15, 1990, which I will reference, that I think
     explains the policy statement significantly, and one of the things we
     are doing is trying to incorporate some of the messages from that SRM
     into the policy statement.
         Finally, I want to point out that the Commission in its
     initial SRM that authorizes us to go forward with considering this in
     the SRM on SECY 98-101 stated that the safety goal should remain a high
     level document describing the principles consistent with the
     Commission's views on how safe is safe enough, and then told us the
     Staff should be mindful not to include too many quantitative guidelines
     which would make it overly prescriptive.  I think that guidance is
         With that, I will go to what I have up here.  In SECY 99-191
     we informed the Commission of the progress in developing recommendations
     and we made a recommendation for a study of the feasibility of
     overarching safety principles.  As you are aware the related SRM told us
     to proceed with the recommendation to modify the policy statement but
     disapproved the study of the feasibility of the overarching safety
     principles and of course that is reflected in this presentation.
         I know that time is short, but I would like to run through
     just briefly the relationship between the safety goals and the
     regulations so you can see where this fits in the whole picture.
         Basically the regulations establish the requirements that
     enable us to do our job.  The policy statements provide a high level
     expression of the safety philosophy of the Commission and the
     expectations of the Agency.
         DR. KRESS:  How does that influence what you do in the --
         MR. MURPHY:  Well, I'll give you an example.  After the
     Safety Goal Policy Statement was issued in '86 or as it was being
     issued, being developed, we issued the regulatory analysis guidelines,
     the thoughts in terms of what is acceptable and what isn't in terms of
     limits on core damage frequency and large early release and this sort of
     thing, translated into the regulatory analysis guidelines which gave us
     an indication of how far we should go in looking for regulations.
         DR. KRESS:  Do you think now -- that was one area where it
     did influence it, and I'll agree, it was a big influence.  Do you think
     now in -- I'll call it the era of risk-informed regulation the Safety
     Goal Policy Statement would influence the direction that would go in?
         MR. MURPHY:  I think if we -- yes and no, and the reason
     it's such an answer is right now a lot of what is going on in
     risk-informing Part 50 draws on the principle of Reg Guide 1.174.  One
     of the things I am talking about is taking much of what is in that
     document, which is addressed towards changes in licensing design basis,
     and is in the form of a Regulatory Guide, and putting it up into a
     Commission policy statement.
         Once that information is in the policy statement, yes, then
     the policy statement will affect what is going on.  Right now this is
     going on in parallel. We are bringing the Safety Goal Policy Statement
     up to the current practice at the same time we are going forward in
     other areas.
         DR. KRESS:  Would you proceed to risk inform the regulations
     in the same way, even whether or not the policy on safety goal policy
     was changed or not?  Is it necessary to have a policy statement?
         MR. MURPHY:  It's not necessary to have a policy statement.
     The policy statement does provide better guidance to the Staff in terms
     of high level philosophical guidance.
         DR. KRESS:  The reason I am asking those questions, I have
     some very distinct opinions on things that are needed, that are
     policy-like things to properly risk inform the regulations.  I just
     don't know whether they need to be in the policy statement or not or
     whether you could proceed with them, as long as they are not too
     inconsistent with the statement as it now exists.
         MR. MURPHY:  I think the policy statement should remain a
     high level document, so it covers basic philosophy, if you will, of
     safety, as opposed to getting into great specifics.
         A lot of the things that take the guidance the Commission
     has given in the statement and put it into regulation, there has to be a
     lot of flexibility in doing that, and I think that is what the
     Commission meant when they gave us the warning that we had --
         DR. KRESS:  About not being too quantitative?
         MR. MURPHY:  Yes.
         DR. WALLIS:  Well, Joe, the policy statement could serve the
     role of sort of a constitution to which you appeal when you have to make
     a decision and it is difficult to decide which way to go on some
     regulatory matters and you go back and appeal to certain items in the
     policy statement in order to make a rational decision based upon some
     larger principle or assertion.
         I haven't seen that happen.  The Safety Goal Policy
     Statement seems to be out here somewhere, where we are always down in
     the details and very rarely does anyone say we can resolve our
     controversy by appealing to the policy statement.
         DR. KRESS:  Tom has a point, Tom King from the Staff.
         MR. KING:  That is not totally true.  When we put together
     1.174 we went back to the policy statement to find the words that were
     in there about assessing total risk, about using mean values, about
     defense-in-depth, treatment of uncertainties.  We went back and used the
     policy statement and I think as we go forward in risk-informing Part 50
     we may come back there again and see what does it say about certain
     issues, so it has been useful.
         DR. WALLIS:  1.174 is often cited as being a successful
     story and I am glad to see it's done that here, but it doesn't seem to
     happen in other contexts very much.
         MR. HOLAHAN:  This is Gary Holahan of the Staff.
         I would use a little bit different analogy.  It seems to me
     the safety goals are more like the Declaration of Independence, which is
     an expression of desires and expectations but in fact has no legal
     status at all, and I think that is what the safety goal is.  It is not
     the Atomic Energy Act.  It is not the regulations.  But it gives you
     some idea about what you are trying to achieve.
         DR. WALLIS:  Well, the Declaration of Independence was an
     excuse for performing an illegal act at the time.
         MR. HOLAHAN:  I believe that matter has been settled.
         DR. SEALE:  Somehow I knew that was going to come up.
         MR. MURPHY:  The point I wanted to make, I think, Gary said
     very well, and that was the safety goal is not a legal requirement but
     they are guidance for the Staff as to how to develop regulations.
         As to the Safety Goal Policy Statement being used in all our
     regulations, it would clearly not because many of them, most of them
     were developed before the policy statement.
         Has it influenced those that have been developed since the
     policy statement was issued?  It has through the regulatory analysis
     guidelines primarily.  One of the reasons for putting everything in one
     place is to have this high level guidance for when we go forward with
     risk-informing the rest of the regulations and have it in a place that
     expresses Commission policy, perhaps in a more logical way or more
     visible way than buried in a Regulatory Guide, but we have the
     Regulatory Guide.  We are going forward.
         This is not stopping our progress in going forward, so it is
         In terms of the changes to reflect current policy, I have
     already talked about some of these.  The five principles in Reg Guide
     1.174 give us the principles for integrated risk-informed
     decision-making.  We think they should be generalized, and I will show
     you those in a minute, to reflect the broader usage, rather than just
     for design basis changes.
         And put into the implementation of the policy statement --
         DR. WALLIS:  Let me ask you something:  Are these goals
     being met today?  Is there a measure of how well the safety goals are
     met today?
         MR. MURPHY:  We have been -- the policy statement, as it
     applies right now, applies to the industry as a whole, rather than
     individual plants.
         We have results of all the IPEs, which we can compare
     against at least the subsidiary on core damage frequency.  Some meet it;
     some are a little bit above it, based on the analyses that were done
     some time ago.
         DR. WALLIS:  But understand --
         MR. MURPHY:  But understand that the purpose of the goal --
     and it is an important message out of the 1990 SRM -- that is, the goal
     is something you strive to meet.
         DR. WALLIS:  Yes, but then --
         MR. MURPHY:  In striving to meet it, you use cost/benefit
         DR. WALLIS:  But it is the primary statement about how safe
     is safe enough.  Then you ought to have an unequivocal answer as to how
     well are we doing on this measure.
         MR. KING:  This is Tom King again.  After the safety goal
     implementing guidance came out in the early 90s, there was a request
     from the Commission for the staff to go assess how well plants stack up
     against the safety goals.
         To do that right required not only risk assessment at full
     power, but at shutdown and external events, maybe not for every plant,
     but certainly representative of the types of plants that are out there.

         And we put together the price tag of doing that.  It never
     made it through the budget process to really get funded.
         So the best we have now is, we took the IPE results.  As Joe
     said, there is a section in the IPE insights report on -- I forget the
     official title, but it is basically a comparison against safety goals.
         And it takes the CDF measures that were reported in all the
     IPEs, and it tries to, based upon NUREG 1150 results, extrapolate those
     to what they mean in terms of the QHOs.
         And it says basically that given that information, most of
     the plants meet the safety goals.  There are probably a dozen or so that
     you could argue are questionable, but we didn't carry it any further to
     do any specific calculations to say definitely yes or no for that dozen
     or so.
         And that's about as far as we've gone so far.
         DR. KRESS:  Clearly, the NUREG 1150 plants meet it.
         MR. KING:  Yes.
         DR. KRESS:  But they're not --
         MR. KING:  Again, that NUREG 1150 analysis is limited, too.
     It's not a shutdown risk.
         DR. SHACK:  Again, though, if this is a statement of how
     safe is safe enough, how does this jibe with the expectation you have
     for the new reactors, where, for example, the core damage frequency
     would be a factor much, much lower?
         DR. KRESS:  Ten lower, a factor of ten lower.
         DR. SHACK:  Well, I guess that was the expectation.  I'm not
     even sure that if you walked in with a 10(-5) that you would have been
     told to go back and look at that again.
         MR. KING:  That question was put before the Commission back
     in 1990 when we proposed implementing guidance for the safety goals.
         And the question was, should future plants have a 10(-5)th
     CDF versus current plants' 10(-4)th.  The Commission said no; 10(-4)th for
         And even though advanced plant designers are coming in,
     EPRI, through their utility requirements document, the ALWRs having
     their own goals that exceed what the safety goals put forth, that's not
     a requirement.
         DR. SHACK:  Isn't there an expectation statement, though?
         MR. KING:  Yes, there is an advanced reactor policy
     statement that was issued back in '86 also that said we, the Commission,
     expects future plants to do better.
         But they didn't say what "do better" means.  They just said,
     we expect you to do better.
         DR. SHACK:  So, although they're safe enough, you expect
     them to be a factor of ten safety?
         MR. KING:  They didn't say a factor of ten; they said, you
     know, consider passive safety features, and, you know, others.  Less
     reliance on human actions and other things that would improve safety,
     but they didn't say a factor of ten.
         MR. HOLAHAN:  But I think in implementing that later on in
     the process, a factor of ten was, in fact, used as a way of judging
     whether those expectations were being met.
         DR. WALLIS:  I have a problem as a member of the public,
     understanding why safety enough is something you strive for.  I would
     think that safe enough is the minimal standard, and more safe than safe
     enough --
         DR. KRESS:  Well, safe enough has Joe's qualifying phrase on
     the end of it; safe enough in the sense that to get there, you have to
     use cost/benefit.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yes.
         DR. KRESS:  That's a qualifier.
         MR. MURPHY:  Perhaps in terms of this, later on in the
     discussion, there is a discussion of the structure of the safety goals
     that derives from comments that the Committee made.
         They deal with the question of a three-region approach that
     has an area where you -- the risk is too high and you must do something;
     an area where you employ cost/benefit to decide whether you do
     something; and then an area where you have reached the level low enough
     where the risk is low enough, and you would not enforce any more
         I'll get to that in a minute.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But let me understand this, though.  We
     apply now, cost/benefit analysis, even to plants that have a core damage
     frequency and LERF below the goal; is that true?
         MR. MURPHY:  We apply cost/benefit analysis most times in
     terms of the more generic things, in terms of doing rulemaking.  In
     terms of plant-specific backfits, I have to ask Gary, but I don't
     believe we've had many in the last few years that have been justified on
     the basis of the backfit rule and the cost/benefit analysis.
         MR. HOLAHAN:  Well, we have not had many, and I think that
     the judgment about how to do it wouldn't be based on whether they were
     above or below 10(-4).
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  My point then is that it's really -- I
     mean, when you say it's safe enough, that means something specific here.
     It's not safe enough so that the regulatory agency does not concern
     itself with this plant anymore.
         MR. HOLAHAN:  No.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Because in the three-region approach, the
     way the British have published it, it's show the bottom region -- my
     understanding is they would not even consider cost/benefit analysis.
     It's so low that we would just leave it alone.
         Cost/benefit is between -- in the middle region.  So if
     something is safe enough, why would you do cost/benefit analysis?
         DR. SHACK:  I don't think you would here.
         MR. MURPHY:  No, you wouldn't.  Let me -- remember, these
     things are structured more --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Even generically, though.  This always
     comes back to the issue of plant-specific goals.
         MR. MURPHY:  Now, the structure that was mentioned is very
     similar to what's in the backfit rule.  Backfit requires the necessary
     to achieve adequate protection.
         Backfits are allowed if there is a substantial increase in
     the overall protection, and the costs are justified by the degree of
     protection afforded.
         And then finally, backfits are not allowed if they can't
     pass the backfit rule.  The backfit rule essentially establishes the
     three-region area.
         The safety goals help us define the bottom line.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  What would the safety goals be in that?
         MR. MURPHY:  The safety goals are here.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  There?
         MR. MURPHY:  At the bottom, yes.
         DR. KRESS:  The safety goals are lower in adequate
     protection and that defines your three regions.
         MR. MURPHY:  You have an area of adequate protection.
     Between, underneath that, we must comply with.  Below that, you have an
     area in which the backfit rule controls and you do it if it's
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But right now, we really have not
     specified the boundary between the first and second regions?
         MR. MURPHY:  No.
         MR. HOLAHAN:  Let's also be careful.  The Commission has not
     defined that adequate protection equals some numerical value.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yes, I agree, I agree.
         MR. HOLAHAN:  So it's hard to --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  My thesis is that the safety goals, as
     they are interpreted today, would not define any of the boundaries.  But
     they are not defined in any boundary.
         DR. WALLIS:  That's the problem I have.  When you talk about
     -- when it says the risk to the population should not exceed .1 percent
     or something, that's a pretty clear thing, and it says should not
     exceed.  It's a clear one boundary.  It's not two regions, three
     regions; it's one criterion.
         And you should be above it.  I mean, you should not cross
     this threshold.  It's not a goal to be aimed at; to me, it's a statement
     of acceptability.
         DR. KRESS:  It doesn't say "must not."
         DR. WALLIS:  It's equivocation to say that it's not.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But that boundary, though, is not there.
     That's another point.  It is not there at all.
         DR. WALLIS:  Well, that's what I have a problem with.  When
     you say here's this fundamental statement of philosophy, but it really
     doesn't matter, because we interpret it some other way.
         MR. MURPHY:  I think the way you interpret it at the bottom
     boundary is -- the way decisions are made is in terms of the rules.  The
     backfit rule was developed using the safety goal as the basis for
     establishing where the breakpoint was cost/benefit analysis.
         And to that extent, the safety goal has affected that bottom
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  How has it affected that?
         MR. MURPHY:  In the developing of a 2,000 per person rem and
     how the whole thing was put together.  There is in the regulatory
     analysis guidelines, there is a plot, a graph, a matrix, that shows you
     the relationship between core damage frequency and large early release
     frequency that gives you an indication of whether or not there is a
     substantial increase in safety involved in what you're proposing, one of
     the requirements of the backfit rule.
         So it enters in through that mechanism of getting into it.
     The safety goals themselves are not part of the regulations, but it
     focuses in on that bottom area.
         Now, in the top area, I think there is a -- I'm losing my
     viewgraphs here -- a very good statement that came out of the SECY
     99-246.  And that was that risk estimates are important, but they're not
     the whole body of things that are considered as you get into this
     question of whether or not there's reasonable assurance of adequate
         DR. KRESS:  Let me ask you a question about that, Joe.  I
     agree with you on the statement.
         But we have in 1.174, a line that represents the upper
     boundary and that if the lower boundary is the safety goal, you have a
     line that represents the upper boundary.
         Is it inconceivable to think that that upper boundary line
     could not be incorporated into an enhanced definition of adequate
     protection that includes all these things also?  Is that beyond the
         MR. MURPHY:  No, and I think, as you know, we had proposed
     looking for such a thing in the overarching safety principles.
         And the Commission's guidance came back and said it's
     premature at this time.  You need to get more experience with what you
     are doing.
         And the way I interpreted their SRM, without reading it
     literally, you need to get more experience, and you --
         DR. KRESS:  But your point assumes that there is a
     three-region concept that ought to be policy, and there is some line up
     there that we're searching for, and whatever the value ought to be,
     whether it's the 1.174 value or not, it seems to me like it would be
     appropriate to incorporate that as an addition to the definition of
     adequate protection, not the sole definition, but in addition to it.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yes.  See, I think what we can say is that that
     structure -- we have a structure similar to what the Committee talked
     about.  We have that already in the backfit rule.
         We need to include the position, and perhaps we need to word
     it a little differently.  Assume the 6/15/90 that basically says the
     safety goal is to find the bottom demarkation line between cost/benefit
     space and no change necessary.
         DR. KRESS:  I think we agree on that.
         MR. MURPHY:  And then finally is to take what the guidance
     is that we have from the Commission.  As we get more experience, it may
     well be appropriate to consider the degree to which we can use risk
     analyses and defense-in-depth to better -- to provide a better
     definition of the upper limits.
         And whether you want to call that upper limit adequate
     protection, or you want to say adequate protection is broader than this
     upper limit, but we can define the upper limit in a different way, which
     is --
         DR. KRESS:  I would certainly say something broader that
     includes that.
         MR. MURPHY:  I think I would agree with that.  I think the
     Commission has given guidance to get more experience with what we're
     doing, and to then come back and try to do that.
         DR. KRESS:  Do you might say eventually you might get there,
     but you're just not ready yet?
         MR. MURPHY:  Yes, I think that was the direction we have --
         DR. KRESS:  You need to define that upper limit.
         MR. MURPHY:  At this point --
         DR. KRESS:  But how can you -- the question I would have is,
     how can you proceed to mis-conform the regulations without that upper
     limit unless you use some ad hoc value, which I am presuming is going to
     be 1.174, because that's the only thing that's around right now.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Why are you using 1.174?
         DR. KRESS:  That's 10(-3), basically, CDF, and then a LERF of
     10(-4), I think.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  That's --
         DR. KRESS:  I think the line is drawn on one of your charts;
     isn't it?
         MR. HOLAHAN:  No.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  There is not.
         DR. KRESS:  There ought to be a line at --
         MR. MURPHY:  The line on the charts are 1.174.
         DR. WALLIS:  If I remember correctly, it doesn't go any
     further than that.
         DR. KRESS:  I thought that was a line.  It was just the top
     of the chart.
         MR. HOLAHAN:  I think it's falling off the end of the earth.
     The map just doesn't go further than that.
         MR. MURPHY:  The numbers are basically used for the
     demarcation line, 1.174, roughly akin to the safety goals.
         DR. KRESS:  There ought to be an upper line.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But I think it depends --
         DR. KRESS:  I think you have to have limits.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yes.
         DR. KRESS:  In order to do a proper, risk-informed
     regulatory process.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  And I think it is not inconsistent with
     what you're saying, Joe, to change the approach a little.
         Instead of agonizing over what is adequate protection,
     which, of course, is what he just showed us, what does that mean?
         Logically, it means, yes, risk insights, and
     defense-in-depth, and safety margins and whatever else you need.
         But by the very logical method, I can have definitions of
     inadequate protection.  If any of these Ns is above a certain limit,
     then I'm sure I don't have adequate protection.
         And if you think that way, then you are not inconsistent
     with the Commission's SRM; you've satisfied Dr. Kress because there is
     an unacceptable level of core damage frequency the way we calculate it
     now, for which, if you exceed -- I don't care what else you do --
     adequate protection is not there.
         And you can say the same thing about defense-in-depth.  We
     have been told many times that I don't care what the risk number is; if
     you don't have redundancy in this place, we're not going to accept it,
     and we try to justify that.
         DR. WALLIS:  You're talking to this community, and I think
     the first bullet up there really talks to the public.  You've got to be
     able to tell the people what kind of adequate protection they're
     getting, why you think it's adequate, and what assurance you have.
         Well, all our arguments here seem to be internal on how does
     sort of a bureaucracy make decisions. But, surely, the first question
     is, are you fulfilling your public trust to make number one happen.
         And if you can't provide a measure of it, how do they know
     you're doing your job?
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Again, these are two distinct questions,
     in my view.  And the center of -- or studies of what strategic and
     international studies also ask the NRC to define numerically, and what
     is adequate protection.
         I think it would be very difficult right now to define it
     numerically.  However, it will not be as difficult --
         DR. KRESS:  To do what I said.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  To define inadequate protection.
         DR. KRESS:  Yes.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Because that I can do in terms of each
     measure, not the combination.
         DR. KRESS:  Yes.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  And that will help me with risk-informing
     the regulations.
         Is the airline industry, for example, using as a sole
     criteria of adequate protection, the probability of death per passenger
     mile?  Probably not.  It's a collection of things they are doing to make
     sure that flying is safe.
         DR. KRESS:  Absolutely.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  So the lack of a numerical measure is not
     something unique to us.
         DR. WALLIS:  What do you tell them when they ask this
     straightforward question?  Tell us why you have reasonable assurance of
     adequate protection.
         DR. KRESS:  You tell them we do this --
         DR. WALLIS:  In two sentences.
         DR. KRESS:  You tell them we mean all these regulations, we
     do all this training.
         DR. WALLIS:  Yeah, but that is a circular argument.
         DR. KRESS:  I know, but then --
         DR. WALLIS:  Anything you do is okay.
         DR. KRESS:  Then you also tell them we keep the CDF below
     this number, and we keep the LERF below this number, and that is what I
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Other things, safety margins.  Then your
     criteria have nothing to do with the real failures, the design criteria.
     And all these things, you have multiple, successive barriers that a
     Commission --
         DR. KRESS:  You say all those things.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yeah.
         DR. KRESS:  It is all adequate protection.
         DR. WALLIS:  They are means to an end.  They are means to an
     end.  What is the end?
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Adequate protection.
         DR. WALLIS:  And how do you know you have got that?  You
     know what I mean.
         MR. MURPHY:  Our regulations are not geared to just being
     adequate protection, because virtually every regulation I can think of
     has been more than that.  It has been justified using the backfit rule
     and cost benefit range, which means it has been cost beneficial to take
     it further on down, if you will, in this three regions than just
     whatever that list limit that you were just talking about that might be
     part of an adequate protection definition.  So mostly we are below that.
         This really is an indication as to where to stop on the
     safety goal.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  See, if you follow, though, it just
     occurred to me, if you follow my line of thinking, then it seems to me
     you can define a limit above which --
         DR. KRESS:  Much closer to the macro.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Above which -- sorry -- there is
     inadequate protection, but you cannot use CDF and LERF to define how
     safe is safe enough.  Because the mere fact that the CDF is maybe 9 --
     10 to the minus 5 does not guarantee that this agency will say this is
     safe enough, because there are other things that the agency is looking
         DR. KRESS:  Well, you can define it as being a region below
     which you no longer have to do cost benefit.  No longer do I have to do
     the --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  If your CDF was all inclusive, right now
     we know it isn't, --
         DR. KRESS:  I would use CDF and LERF.  I would use CDF and
     LERF.  And I would also have in the policy statement that policy is to
     have a balance between those two, and I would actually have that as part
     of the policy statement.  You know, rather than as part of the
     subsidiary objective, I would actually incorporate both of those in
     there and say there is a policy that we will balance these.  Balance, of
     course, not being equal, it is being some value of each to meet the
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I think it is the value of the CDF and
     LERF, plus a whole host of other regulations.
         DR. KRESS:  The presumption is always there that you meet
     all the regulations.  That presumption is always in there, even with the
     safety goals, and that you do all the training and the inspection and
     all the other things.  You always have that, I have always that
     presumption in there.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I mean if --
         DR. KRESS:  If you don't meet those, why you are going to
     get -- you are going to get --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Right.  That doesn't help very much in the
     sense that if we have a policy statement that goes along the lines we
     are discussing, then the staff would want to use the statement.
         DR. KRESS:  Oh, I would have no objection to having those
     statements in.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But if the other regulations are part of
     the statement, a cyclical argument again.  You are not supposed to touch
     those.  And if you want to eliminate some of them, --
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah, I think that does give you a problem,
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  That gives you --
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  It seems to me that inadequate protection
     in terms of individual metrics would be easier to define.
         DR. KRESS:  It would certainly help process a lot.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  And it would help in risk-informing the
         DR. WALLIS:  Who is getting the assurance?  The assurance is
     being given to whoever is being protected.  So it seems to me that that
     person has to have some say in what is reasonable.
         MR. MURPHY:  Well, as this is used, this is the legal
     requirement, the finding that is made when we license a plant, that
     there is reasonable assurance, there is no undue risk to the health and
     safety of the public.  But the reasonable assurance here is by the
     person in the NRC making the decision to take a licensing or regulatory
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  We, ourselves, wrote a letter agreeing
     with the certification of AP600.  We had reasonable assurance, I
     suppose.  We had better.  In fact, --
         DR. WALLIS:  Well, it is also a moving target.  I mean as
     society gets safer, as the other accidents become less likely.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  That's right.
         DR. WALLIS:  It is generally happening.  Aircraft are safer
     and so on, then maybe this is a moving goal.
         MR. MURPHY:  The safety goal policy statement stated that in
     a qualitative term that there should be minimum impact on life and
     health, I think.  That is interpreted as a tenth of a percent.
         DR. KRESS:  Unfortunately, that tenth of a percent is a
     moving target because both the accident rates are changing and the
     cancer rates are changing.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  See, I just remembered something.  We are
     arguing here in terms of the three regions, Joe, thinking about having
     in mind CDF and LERF and so on.  Maybe that is not the right context,
     because now I remember when the U.K. Health & Safety Executive published
     their report last year, which I don't know whether it has been adopted,
     they gave three regions for a quantity that was independent of the
         They said the individual risk from any hazardous activity in
     the United Kingdom should be, if it is greater than 10 to the minus 4
     for the general public, for a member of the general public, it is
     unacceptable.  And if it is less than 10 to the minus 6, it is in a
     region where it is broadly acceptable, and in between you have this cost
     benefit region.
         So if you define now the high level goals like individual
     probability of death or some societal measure, I think they use 50 or
     more deaths, you free yourself from issues of adequate protection is the
     combination of all the regulations we have, plus core damage frequency
     and so on, because this is now a very high level policy statement, it
     refers to individual risk.
         DR. KRESS:  I think we have that already in the qualitative.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But it is, again, a goal.  It is a goal
     and a single value.  It doesn't tell you what is acceptable or
     unacceptable, clearly unacceptable.
         DR. KRESS:  Well, we have it as a goal, we don't have it as
     a limit yet.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But I think we are downplaying that
     because we are not really -- we are going in a direction that does not
     utilize the health effects.  We are using CDF and LERF.
         DR. KRESS:  Well, I think -- you and I disagree a little
     there.  I think LERF is a good surrogate for health effects.  I have no
     problem with that as a surrogate.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Any kind of health effects?
         DR. KRESS:  The one we have is a good surrogate for early
     fatalities.  It is not a good surrogate yet for land contamination.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Right.
         DR. KRESS:  It is not a good surrogate for -- it can be, but
     just have a different value.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  That's right.
         DR. KRESS:  So it is a good surrogate, and I have no problem
     using -- in fact, I think it is a good thing to use because it focuses
     on design issues as opposed to siting issues, which you can deal with
     elsewhere, and then emergency response issues.  But I do --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But LERF can be a policy statement, can't
         DR. KRESS:  I think a policy statement --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  A surrogate.
         DR. KRESS:  I have no problem with using the high level
     goals as they are, and then, as a subsidiary, saying that these high
     level goals can be achieved by a proper balance between LERF and CDF,
     where LERF is a surrogate for them.  I have no problem with doing that
     way, as long as it is in there somewhere as guidance.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But when you say appropriate balance, then
     how would you define the three regions -- the two values?
         DR. KRESS:  I would have three regions on LERF and three
     regions on CDF, each of them -- each of them would have a policy
     objective associated with it.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  So each one would have an unacceptable
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah, and they would be consistent.  You start
     with LERF, CDF is incorporated in LERF.  You put three regions on LERF
     and then you say, what balance do I want to have now between CDF and
     LERF?  And you start with one and then you make the other regions
     consistent with it.  But it is perfectly reasonable to do it that way.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I understand.  At least we can try.
         DR. KRESS:  And, in fact, you would tie that then to your --
     this is, in essence, a definition of defense-in-depth with respect to
     quantifiable uncertainty.  And I like the way they presented, I think
     Tom King presented a look at this balance, plus looking at individual
     sequences to see if there was a balance there.  And that, to me, ought
     to be a regulatory policy, a regulatory objective, and it ought to be
     part of the policy statement.  Then you have something to work to.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Well, maybe that is what Joe means over
     there, as experience is gained.  Maybe after the initial --
         DR. KRESS:  That may be.  Yeah, I am assuming that is what
     that means.  So I don't know whether the time is ripe now, or they need
     to think about it some more and do it later or not.
         MR. MURPHY:  I think the point that Dr. Apostolakis made is
     very good, that by recognizing that adequate protection or reasonable
     assurance and adequate protection has many more things to be considered
     that just quantitative risk analysis.  Can we use our experience, as we
     try to risk-inform things, as we look at the past analyses that have
     been done, can we use this in some way to come to a better definition of
     at least a portion of what contributes to that big thing called
     reasonable assurance of adequate protection?  I can see some merit in
     doing something like that.
         I have a feeling this presentation is getting away from me.
         DR. KRESS:  Sorry about that.
         MR. MURPHY:  What I had on a slide that I don't want to talk
     about where somebody says something fast is generalized versions of the
     five principles.  I think they flow -- no, they don't flow very --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Generalized versions means wordsmithing
     it, too.
         MR. MURPHY:  I mean these words.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Okay.  Good.  So we may want to change
     some of the words.  Now, plant performance should be monitored.  Is that
     what the oversight process is supposed to do?
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Do you have any opinion as to what the
     objective of this oversight process is that we are monitoring?  What are
     we trying to preserve?
         MR. MURPHY:  Trying to preserve?  I think you are trying to
     find out what is happening.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I mean why are we --
         MR. MURPHY:  I think you are trying to find out what is
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  What is happening meaning?
         MR. MURPHY:  When you go to use -- what this says is that if
     it is possible to come up with a rule and make this a part of the safety
     goal policy statement, that if you state something, you are going to use
     this policy statement to develop a regulation, to handle an area, you
     would prefer to have it such that there is a way of tracking performance
     against that rule.  It is performance-based regulation.
         DR. WALLIS:  It is a reality check.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah.  It is just a call for performance-based
         MR. HOLAHAN:  I think the other thing that we sort of
     skipped of is these are generalized principles, you know, from the
     versions expressed in Reg. Guide 1.174.  In the Reg. Guide the call for
     performance monitoring is for the licensee to do the monitoring.  Okay.
     The purpose of the licensee doing the monitoring is to assure that the
     assumptions made in the analysis are still, you know, verified to the
     extent that you can.  And then the staff's oversight process is to see,
     in fact, that those things are taking place.
         But most of the monitoring that we think about is the things
     that the licensee does, not the things that the staff does.
         DR. KRESS:  I don't -- yeah, I don't see Principle Number 4
     as being the same animal as the other principles.  It is a different
         MR. MURPHY:  No.  It is.
         DR. KRESS:  And I wouldn't have it in my principles.  I
     would have something like an acceptable level of risk will be
     maintained, and an acceptable balance will be maintained between
     prevention and mitigation.  Those are principles that, you know, I would
         MR. MURPHY:  That is a good suggestion.
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah, and I get rid of Number 4.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  These are principles for changes.
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah.
         MR. HOLAHAN:  It is a principle for change.  As a matter of
     fact, in Reg. Guide 1.174, part of the argument about why we should
     control, you know, the size of changes is that you want to maintain
     some, you know, some balance, that you don't want the whole 99 percent
     of the risk to be associated with one kind of issue.
         DR. KRESS:  And I would have something -- words in there.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah, I think that is a good suggestion.
         DR. WALLIS:  You have principles and you have regulations,
     so that they should be enforced, that is -- this doesn't have to be a
     principle, it is just --
         MR. MURPHY:  No, again, these are principles in a policy
     statement that is intended to set up --
         DR. WALLIS:  You don't have to have a surrogate to say we
     will have regulations and we will make sure they are enforced, that is
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But this tells you, though, Graham, that
     you have no defense-in-depth, for instance.
         DR. WALLIS:  Well, that is all right.  But this other thing
     about the balance between regulations and the last one is that you check
     that they really do it, that is so obvious.  Otherwise, that is
     implementation of a principle, it is not a principle.
         DR. KRESS:  These are principles of appropriate regulation
     or something.  I don't know what the title.
         DR. WALLIS:  It is something else.
         DR. KRESS:  What these principles are.
         DR. WALLIS:  It is way far from a safety goal.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I understand the staff is revising 1.174.
     Are you revising, updating 1.174?
         MR. HOLAHAN:  There are a couple of areas in which we have
     committed to update 1.174, but they are not major changes.  Although, I
     can see you are tempted to wordsmith the document.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  No, but the first --
         MR. HOLAHAN:  Can I quote you on that?
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  The first principle, though, Gary, I sort
     of agree with Dr. Wallis, it is kind of an obvious to say it is my
     principle that the licensees will comply with the regulation.
         MR. HOLAHAN:  Well, if you quote the whole principle as it
     is in 1.174, what it says is you either meet the regulation or you use a
     process --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yeah, right.
         MR. HOLAHAN:  -- like the exemption process or a proposed
     rule change in order to assure that wherever you are going, you will
     continue to meet the regulations.
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah, but that doesn't --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  That is sort of --
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah, that doesn't translate well to the
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  We discussed that in the past.
         MR. MURPHY:  Well, let me get to what I thought was going to
     be the controversial part.
         DR. KRESS:  It probably will be.
         MR. MURPHY:  The treatment of core damage frequency is a
     fundamental goal.  In your May 11, '98 letter, the ACRS recommended that
     -- I thought you had recommended that core damage frequency be elevated
     as a fundamental goal, but when I went back and read your letter
     carefully, I found that your recommendation --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Good idea.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yes, it is.  Was that the elevation as a
     fundamental goal be scrutinized.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  You know how many hours we spend here over
     each word?
         MR. MURPHY:  Yes.  And I think the difference between those
     words is significant.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  You should come here on Saturday.
         MR. MURPHY:  So I think we have scrutinized it.  We also
     have done something else that I would recommend, and let's go back and
     read the '86 policy statement.  It is an excellent piece of work.  It
     has a lot of things in it.  It is very forward-thinking for its time,
     amazingly so when you look back at it from this standpoint.
         It has the following statement in it in terms of core damage
     frequency, that the Commission has as its objective providing reasonable
     assurance while giving appropriate consideration to the uncertainties
     involved that a severe core damage accident will not occur at a U.S.
     nuclear power plant.
         Rather than try to raise a frequency as a fundamental goal,
     I think it would be better to take this word, with some editing to get
     the words so that they fit into the body of the text better, but get
     this thought as a qualitative goal, and retain the 10 to the minus 4 CDF
     as a subsidiary objective.
         DR. KRESS:  I wouldn't object to that, except I still think
     you need, in a risk-informed world, limits.  And when it becomes a goal,
     it is a type of limit, but it is not the type of limit I think you need.
         MR. MURPHY:  No, I --
         DR. KRESS:  So I think you need to say 10 to the minus 4 is
     the goal.  The limit is, even as a subsidiary, I don't mind where it
     shows up, as long as it shows up somewhere, as a limit you have some
     other number which --
         MR. MURPHY:  My feeling is -- we don't disagree in
     principle.  My feeling is that we need the goal right now, the lower
     line, if you will.  Do we need a limit?  Yes.  But I personally think it
     is premature to do it.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But what you are saying, I thought, Joe,
     was that you don't want the number to be in the policy statement.  Can
     we accommodate what Dr. Kress wants by putting it in a lower level
         DR. KRESS:  Reg. Guide or something?  In a Reg. Guide.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yeah.  Because then you can change that
         DR. KRESS:  That is why I was asking you about the influence
     of policy statements before.  I think as long as it has the force of
     guiding the regulations, I don't care whether it is a policy statement
     or not.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yeah.  But I tend to agree with you.  I
     don't -- I think you miscalculated, this is not a controversial issue.
     I mean if the Commission has a statement, which I must admit I don't
     remember, maybe changing a few words would probably satisfy the original
     intent.  But we can also state some -- give some numbers somewhere else.
         DR. KRESS:  But that statement is not in there as a primary
     goal, it is still a subsidiary, even the qualitative one.
         MR. MURPHY:  Well, as it is in the goal now, it is a
     paragraph, in the writing it is not called a goal or anything,
     basically, all it does is elevate that.
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah, these guys are proposing to elevate that
     statement, which would -- to me, is probably a good source.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I think it is fine.
         MR. MURPHY:  And then keep the 10 to minus 4 as a --
         DR. KRESS:  As a subsidiary.
         MR. MURPHY:  As I will get to later, to do this, I believe
     that it has to be coupled with a subsidiary goal in LERF.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yes.
         MR. MURPHY:  And I will get to that in a minute.
         DR. WALLIS:  I rather like this qualitative goal, too.  It
     goes back to what Gary was saying, you know, I don't think the question
     of independence is quite right, but you can make statements which are
     qualitative, which then have to be interpreted, and that interpretation
     may vary from year to year as you know more.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yes.
         DR. WALLIS:  So you can change the lower level stuff.  But
     you are still meeting your goal because it is still valid.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah.  The treatment of uncertainties.
     Uncertainties are right now discussed at some length in the policy
     statement.  It is more than most of us remember, I think, where we
     thought that it was a discussion that said use mean values and that was
     it.  In fact, there is much more than that in the policy statement, but
     I think it needs to be updated to include the discussion of
     uncertainties that are in the guidance there provided in Reg. Guide
     1.174, effectively bring the discussion of uncertainties up to the state
     of the art.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Now, an interesting question here is when
     the Commission selected this approach of 1/10th of 1 percent, why did
     they do that?  Did they do it -- first of all, I think that is true that
     they wanted the contribution to risk from nuclear power to be small, but
     small may mean, you know, 1/10th, not necessarily 1/10th of 1 percent.
     Was the reason they chose that 1/10th of 1 percent, interesting enough,
     is a number that appears in the policy statement?  I thought we tried to
     avoid numbers, but this is a number.
         DR. KRESS:  That is the number in there, yeah.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But, anyway, is the reason why they chose
     such a small number, I guess 1/10th of 1 percent sounds better than
     one-thousandth, because they knew that there were a lot of uncertainties
     on the assessment side?
         This has nothing to do with our ability to estimate core
     damage frequency -- I mean how do we know that, is it stated somewhere?
         DR. SEALE:  It has to do with the fact that to one
     significant figure a person lives to be a hundred years old and then he
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yeah.
         DR. SEALE:  And that the risk from nuclear power should be
     about 10 percent of the cumulative risks from everything else.
         DR. WALLIS:  1/10th of a percent.
         DR. SEALE:  10 percent.
         DR. WALLIS:  Oh, you mean taking a hundred.  10 percent is a
         MR. MURPHY:  There was a study --
         DR. SEALE:  But 10 percent of --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Wait a minute, if it is 1/10th of 1
     percent per year, why is it more for a hundred years?
         DR. WALLIS:  No, that is a bogus argument.  This is from
     accidents, too.  I mean you die from old age, that is not an accident.
         DR. SEALE:  I know, but it is essentially the risk of
     nuclear power is --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  1/10th of 1 percent.
         DR. SEALE:  1/10th of 1 percent.
         DR. WALLIS:  I think this is a political, I think OSHA does
     the same -- I think OSHA has a tenth of 1 percent.  It is a political
     thing.  OSHA has the same --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  When they selected that number, were they
         DR. WALLIS:  It is politically acceptable.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  -- going to allow for the fact that there
     are uncertainties in the assessment.
         DR. WALLIS:  No, it is politically acceptable is what it is.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  How do you know?
         MR. SIEBER:  I think there is some substance to that.  There
     was a paper written in the 1970s, a doctoral thesis at MIT, which you
     may be able to find, that establishes that number for risks incurred
     that come from outside forces where the participant can't see or
     anticipate it, it is one in a thousand.  But it is a good paper and it
     has some basis.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  From MIT and it is a good paper.
         MR. BARTON:  That is not an oxymoron.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I didn't say that.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  A very pleasant surprise to see that some
     people do read those papers.
         DR. KRESS:  But, basically, it was a consensus agreement
     that that is --
         DR. SEALE:  Yeah.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  You guys still don't understand -- answer
     my question.  I understand it is consensus.  But is it -- I mean if the
     Commission and the community were convinced that the estimates of health
     effects from PRAs were with high confidence, would they still choose
     1/10th of 1 percent?  This is critical.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  It is certainly my understanding that the
     health effects from PRAs are trips and falls, because of the large mass.
         DR. KRESS:  I am glad you showed up, Dana.
         DR. SEALE:  In principle, George, you don't want to start
     arguing about whether it is a factor of 3 or a factor of 2 or whatever,
     it is 10 percent or a factor of 10.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But the reason why -- I understand that.
     The reason why I am raising the issue because if -- is that if the
     1/10th of 1 percent was based simply on political reasons and did not
     include anything about the assessment, then the whole burden on
     quantifying uncertainties is on the assessor.
         DR. SEALE:  Sure.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Because the regulator, the policy maker
     has not given me any -- I don't know, relaxation there.
         DR. KRESS:  I think you have got a legitimate point there,
     George, and I think it is a good question.  My own personal opinion is
     they intended that to be a mean value given what they knew about the
     ability to assess the risk.  Now, that is an opinion.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Oh, that is a very different
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah, that is an opinion.
         MR. MURPHY:  Let me try to share a couple of thoughts with
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Okay, yeah.
         MR. MURPHY:  It derives from a statement that is in the
     policy statement, the real safety goal, the qualitative safe goal, the
     Commission's first qualitative safety goal is that the risk from nuclear
     power plant operation should not be a significant contributor to a
     person's risk of accidental death or injury.  I think that is a
     statement where uncertainty did not enter into it.
         DR. KRESS:  Well, you could think uncertainty there, and
     what you would do is just say, what is the uncertainty in the average --
     in the death rate, normal death rate?
         MR. MURPHY:  I think -- yeah, but I think when you came down
     -- that qualitative statement did not consider uncertainty.  When you
     pick a number to go with the quantitative health objective, and, yeah,
     uncertainty enters into that.  And remember that this policy statement
     was begun I believe around '76 -- it was '77.  It was published as a
     draft for comment in '83 and got issued in '86.
         There were many, many debates as to whether that meant 1
     percent, or a tenth of a percent.  I don't remember any other numbers
     being debated, but I remember those two numbers being debated at length.
         DR. KRESS:  On the treatment of uncertainty, your proposal
     is to update the discussion that is in 1.174 and make it --
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah, what the discussion says now is that it
     is important that you understand the uncertainties.  That is in the
     existing policy statement.  It says to use the mean value for a
     comparison, but you should calculate a distribution.  You should
     recognize there are things we have that are not in the distribution, and
     where you believe those things are important, you should do sensitivity
     studies to try to get some handle in your own mind as to what those
     importances are and factor this into the decision process.
         And that is, I think there are better ways of getting the
     message across now.  There is a nice discussion in 1.174 that can be
     converted at a high level and put into the policy statement.  But I
     don't think it will, you know, it is not anything fundamentally
     different than what you have heard before, it is just updates.  What is
     there is actually pretty good.
         I almost hate to put this one up.
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah, because -- okay, go ahead.
         MR. MURPHY:  Defense-in-depth.  The current policy
     statement, again, addresses this in some detail.  It talks about the
     mandate, and that is the word that is in the policy statement, of
     maintaining both prevention and mitigation.  It is, defense-in-depth is
     one of the five principles from Reg. Guide 1.174 that we have talked
     about earlier, so we are already talking about that.  And, of course,
     they note there are ongoing discussions on the subject.
         What I propose to do at this point, and this could change
     again, depending on whatever the ACRS does in its discussions on
     defense-in-depth, is to incorporate the statement on defense-in-depth
     that is in the Commission's White Paper into the policy statement or
     some, perhaps a shortened version of it.  And if you don't remember what
     is in the White Paper, that is it.
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah, I --
         MR. MURPHY:  This is a direct quote.
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah.
         DR. WALLIS:  I like this because it gives you much more of
     an idea of how much defense-in-depth you might have if you could
     evaluate it.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah.
         DR. WALLIS:  So you are beginning to evaluate it rather than
     just making it some kind of a principle.
         DR. KRESS:  I thought you were going to incorporate the
     definition of defense-in-depth that is in the White Paper also.
         MR. MURPHY:  The definition actually is a footnote.
         DR. KRESS:  I know, it was a footnote.
         MR. MURPHY:  I don't know how to make footnotes in
     viewgraphs.  I'm sorry, that is the problem.  But, yeah, I would take
     along with it the definition from the White Paper.
         DR. KRESS:  Okay.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Unlike the rest of the panel, I have no
     enthusiasm for this whatsoever, because I think it does not make clear
     in its presentation that a major thinking in the defense-in-depth is
     addressing the questions of things that are not in the PRA, and the
     possibility that the PRA is itself completely incorrect.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Well, to the extent practicable it says.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  But, you see, if I am operating on the
     basis of I like defense-in-depth because it is a way of defending myself
     against the hubris that I might actually be able to calculate something
     real, and then justifying it based on the calculation is undoing me.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  And I take the opposite view.  I think
     this sides with you, because it starts with the premise that the
     structuralist approach is the one we take and then we use risk to
     evaluate some of the elements of the defense-in-depth, and go the other
         DR. KRESS:  I have a view that combines both your views.  I
     think there are two kinds of defense-in-depth.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  What kind?
         DR. KRESS:  There is the defense-in-depth that one does when
     one expresses a regulatory objective that I want balance between
     prevention and mitigation.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Right.
         DR. KRESS:  And balance in terms of the contribution to risk
     of the various sequences and balance to the uncertainties in various
     sequences.  We heard that with Tom King the other day.  That is one kind
     of defense-in-depth and it deals with what you can quantify with a PRA
     and it is quantifiable uncertainties and so forth.
         Then I think there is another kind of defense-in-depth which
     is called -- I don't know what the uncertainties are, or they are
     unquantifiable, or they are very -- or they are too big for -- too big
     to be acceptable.  Then I would put sufficient attention to preventing
     initiation, to intervention before things go too far, to providing
     diagnosis, and to mitigate the hazard vector, whatever it is.  That is
     another kind of -- you put attention on all those and that is where you
     can't quantify the uncertainty.  I think both of those are elements of
     defense-in-depth and they ought to be both be part incorporated in the
     policy statement, and it handles both your problems if you deal with it
     as two things instead of one.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  It sounds promising but I will have to
     think a little bit more about it.
         DR. WALLIS:  Well, it is difficult, though, because we
     always get the question, how much defense-in-depth is enough?
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  See, you don't get that question if you
     follow Dana's approach.
         DR. KRESS:  You don't get with the first part.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  There is no how much.
         DR. WALLIS:  I mean you have an infinite amount.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yes.
         DR. WALLIS:  You can't -- you have got to stop somewhere.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yes.
         MR. MURPHY:  Do we have enough on defense-in-depth or do you
     want to discuss it further?
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  No, I don't think we need to discuss it
         DR. KRESS:  That is a subject we are going to talk about
     more later.
         MR. MURPHY:  Okay.  Frequency of a large release of
     radioactive material.  In the policy statement, the '86 policy
     statement, there was a charge from the staff to consider a general
     performance guideline of 10 to the minus 6 per reactor year for a large
     early -- for a large release of radioactive material, and asked us to
     define what that large release was.
         We tried several definitions over time, and in 1993 we came
     to the conclusion that we were unable to develop an adequate definition
     that would fit with the 10 to the minus 6 guideline.
         At that time we requested permission from the Commission to
     terminate such activities and that permission was granted.  However, in
     looking at it, as I said, if you are going to have a subsidiary to go on
     core damage frequency, it seems that you need a subsidiary goal on LERF
     to balance, for defense-in-depth purposes to balance the two.  And as
     the ACRS has noted, a LERF of 10 to the minus 5 is consistent with the
     QHO.  It is also consistent with the regulatory analysis guidelines and
     with Reg. Guide 1.174.
         DR. WALLIS:  This is a QHO which is not site-specific, it is
     the same factors in the middle of a city or out in the prairie
         MR. MURPHY:  Well, it is individual risk of 5 times 10 to
     the minus 7.
         DR. WALLIS:  But if someone happens to be on the borders of
     the plant or something?
         DR. KRESS:  No.
         DR. WALLIS:  Plants have more people on the borders.
         MR. MURPHY:  It is the -- for the individual risk it is
     specified in the policy statement as being the average individual within
     one mile of the plant.
         DR. WALLIS:  One person?
         MR. MURPHY:  The average individual, yes.
         DR. WALLIS:  Does it say how many people are there?
         MR. MURPHY:  It does not talk about societal risk.  It is
     average, it is individual risk.
         DR. WALLIS:  Clearly, this is --
         DR. KRESS:  You calculate the total number of deaths within
     one mile and divide by the number of people living in one mile.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  You are not allowed to say that there are
     no people within one mile, so it is really individual risk.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  It is the same thing as assuming that
     there is a guy there all the time.
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah, absolutely.
         DR. WALLIS:  It is very different from the goal.
         DR. KRESS:  It is a little different than saying it is a guy
     there all the time.  It is saying there is a guy, part of him is here,
     and part of him is here, and part of him is here.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah.  It is said in terms of the --
         DR. KRESS:  It is true, because you would calculate it by
     the wind rows.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Is there a document where the way LERF is
     calculated is clearly described?
         DR. KRESS:  Yes.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Which one?
         DR. KRESS:  Gosh, I forget what the document was.  They had
     -- I think it was the Brookhaven document, where they calculate LERF.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Yeah, it is an appendix in 1.174.
         DR. KRESS:  An appendix.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Oh, it is an appendix.
         MR. KING:  No, it is a reference in 1.174, it is a
     reference.  There is a NUREG/CR on it.
         DR. KRESS:  I would not disagree with this position except I
     still think eventually you have got to have limits as well as goals for
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Well, the three region thing is up in the
     air, I don't think we agreed on it.
         DR. KRESS:  The three region, yeah.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah, and clearly all I am talking about right
     now is the lower boundary line.
         DR. KRESS:  The lower, yeah, right.
         MR. MURPHY:  And, yeah, I think we have talked about the
     upper warning, you know, how I feel about it.  I think it is a good
     idea, I still think it is premature, but we have beat that one to death.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  It is still not clear to me, Joe, that
     these goals are really the boundary, I mean the lower limit, the three
     region approach.  You may be right but I am not sure, I am convinced.
     But my specifying a goal, --
         DR. KRESS:  I think they certainly are the lower boundary.
     I am not sure we arrived at the appropriate and right values for the
     lower boundary because I don't --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Yeah, 10 to the minus 4 is too high.
         DR. KRESS:  It may be too high.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  It is too high.
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah, I mean, but that is what is in the safety
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I will tell you what the limit is, the
     upper limit is 10 to the minus 3 and the lower 10 to the minus 5.
         DR. KRESS:  It could very well be.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  For CDF.
         DR. KRESS:  I mean I think both of them are open to
     question, right.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  And they are not risk limits.
         MR. MURPHY:  Okay.  What we are relying on mostly is the
     guidance that came out of this June 15, 1990 SRM in terms of how we
     would define the use of the existing safety goals.  And we are just
     trying to take that guidance and put it back into them.
         DR. WALLIS:  It is interesting to me that all the numbers
     you have quoted throughout have always been rounded off to a factor of
         MR. MURPHY:  I think it is safe to say in most applications
     with PRA, my own view is you should --
         DR. WALLIS:  Also, there is .1 percent, all the numbers seem
     to be.
         MR. MURPHY:  All the things should be in the order of --
         DR. WALLIS:  If we had 11 fingers, it would be different.
         MR. MURPHY:  Why would that be?
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  I think the world would be different, so
     maybe --
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Actually, I believe that the virtues of
     the Babylonian system, a base 60 system, have been frequently cited.
         DR. WALLIS:  Binary, because then you could be much more
     accurate, precise.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I think the belief is the base 60 system
     is there are so many even divisors in it.
         DR. WALLIS:  I am not being facetious, it gives us an idea
     of the beast we are dealing with, and we are making decisions on a
     factor of 10.  That is a pretty gross type of factor.
         MR. MURPHY:  The uncertainties we have and our ability to do
     the risk analysis, I don't think a factor of 10 is --
         DR. WALLIS:  Ten miles, too.  I mean --
         DR. KRESS:  There is a technical basis for the 10 miles,
     believe or not, even though it is a rounded off number.
         MR. MURPHY:  Let me move on to societal risk.
         DR. WALLIS:  What happens if you go metric, does it become
     10 kilometers?
         MR. HOLAHAN:  6.23 kilometers, or is it 16 -- 16, I guess.
         MR. MURPHY:  The qualitative latent cancer safety goals and
     the QHOs are expressed in terms of a fractional impact.  It considers
     the population within 10 miles of the plant.  Initially, that started
     out as 50 miles and after public comment on the '83 version of the
     safety goals, it was changed to 10 miles.  The regulatory analysis
     guidelines, on the other hand, considered integrated dose up to 50
         The reason for the choice of the 10 miles was that it
     focuses attention on the area where the dose is usually the highest.  I
     am not a health physicist, but I think they use the phrase "critical
     population," and so I think this is appropriate.
         DR. WALLIS:  Well, 10 is really a surrogate for all the
     people who were irradiated within a thousand miles of Chernobyl.  It
     doesn't -- there is no implication that 10 miles is a limit, it is
     simply a surrogate for all distances.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah.  But, see, what we have done is, in
     studies like NUREG-1150, we have looked at the risk as a function of
     distance.  And there is a knee in the curve that starts at around 8
     miles and ends at around 12, if anyone would like --
         DR. KRESS:  That was a technical basis, I was told.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah.
         DR. SEALE:  And you have to get to 10 miles before you can
     effectively mount any kind of evacuation or before you can do anything.
         MR. MURPHY:  The regulatory analysis guidelines use 50
     miles, those results have a large uncertainty and we are required as
     part of the regulatory analysis to consider what the impact of that
     uncertainty is.
         I will talk more about this, but the main point I want to
     make is that I see no reason to change either one of these two
     documents, even though they are not totally consistent in the distance.
     The 10 mile zone seems to be appropriate for the safety goals.  The
     qualitative goal states that the societal risk to life and health should
     be no more than -- should not be a significant addition to other
     societal risk, so its percentage is roughly appropriate in terms of the
     QHO.  However, what is left out of that is an overall societal impact.
     And we need to consider --
         DR. KRESS:  Like total number of deaths, for example would
     be your measure of --
         MR. MURPHY:  Person-rem deaths.
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah, or person-rem.
         MR. MURPHY:  The overall impact is.  But that raises its own
     questions.  And what we find when we try to think of how to set a
     reasonable goal on that is that a significant proportion of the
     population dose is calculated, it comes not from cloud patches, but from
     ground shine and ingestion.
         DR. KRESS:  Assuming you don't evacuate.  Assuming you don't
         MR. MURPHY:  Well, that is assuming some portion of the
     population evacuates.  As I will get to, the calculations, and I am
     talking now specifically on NUREG-1150, are based on the EPA protective
     action guides.  They assume that a significant part of population
     evacuates, 99 percent, that those that evacuate, evacuate at a given
     speed.  It is based on analysis of other evacuations.  The 99 percent
     itself is based on an analysis of evacuations.
         DR. KRESS:  Now, those people, the dose to those is from --
         MR. MURPHY:  Primarily from cloud.
         DR. KRESS:  Is primarily cloud.
         MR. MURPHY:  Well, it depends on when they left and when
     they didn't.  Some of them are able to outrun the cloud and they don't
     get anything, if they evacuate early enough.
         DR. KRESS:  Then they don't get anything.
         MR. MURPHY:  Right.
         DR. KRESS:  All right.  But once again --
         MR. MURPHY:  In others, there is a distribution in terms of
     who leaves when.
         DR. KRESS:  It is if you come back.  It is if you come back
     and don't relocate that you get this ground shine.
         MR. MURPHY:  Right.  Now, in terms of relocation, the
     assumption is that if you get a dose, and this is based on the EPA
     protective action guidelines, if you get a dose -- if your first year
     dose would exceed 2 rem, or any succeeding year would exceed half a rem,
     that you would be relocated.  That was the assumption that was built in
     and that is the assumption in the protective action guidelines.
         The key thing about evacuation and relocation is they are
     both totally outside the control of the NRC.  Those are not NRC
     functions, they are functions primarily of the state governments in most
         We have an additional problem that the current level 3 PRA
     tools have significant weaknesses that limit their utility of
     predictions at significant distances from the plant.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  So now you are allowing the ability of the
     assessment tool to do something to have an impact on your goal.
         MR. MURPHY:  No.  I am saying --
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  Well, you are saying I can't calculate it,
     therefore I don't need a land contamination.
         MR. MURPHY:  That is not the conclusion I want you to draw.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  But why do have the third bullet then?
         MR. MURPHY:  I want you to understand that the present
     techniques are weak.  That does not mean do it or don't it.
         DR. APOSTOLAKIS:  That it the problem, the rule should be
     independent of that, should it not?
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah.  The safety goal, for instance, if you
     read the '86 statement, it is clear, as I interpret it, at least, it
     applies -- it applies to shutdown conditions.  It applies to all -- it
     just talks about overall risk.  Whether or not we could calculate it at
     the time or didn't, didn't matter.  It sets a limit.  It sets a goal
     that we should shoot for.
         The same thing in terms of land contamination, it also,
     whether we need it or not, should not be particularly affected by the
     fact that we -- weak tools.  But if we have weak tools, we need to do
     something about it, if we think this is important.  And so that reason
     it is here.
         DR. WALLIS:  Having weak tools is the biggest justification
     for doing research, because if you need those tools, you don't have
         MR. MURPHY:  You got it.  You look at the next viewgraph.
     What I want to do, we have considered how to handle this.  In light of
     the way the safety goal policy statement is structured, in light of the
     fact that we derive most of our authorization from the Atomic Energy
     Act, which really doesn't address the environment, we would like to add
     -- but there are other laws that, of course, do, that influence our
     various activities.
         We are recommending that we add a qualitative goal for
     protecting the environment.
         DR. KRESS:  Do you have any idea what that might be at the
         MR. MURPHY:  I haven't come up with words yet.  It would be
     not much more than that statement alone.  It would be at a very high
     level, something like what is in the strategic plan.
         DR. KRESS:  Now, one of our concerns about societal impact
     had to do with the fact that the two goals as they exist now are both
     individual risk goals.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah.
         DR. KRESS:  In the implementation.  We were concerned that
     there ought to be a goal on either total deaths or land contamination,
     one or the other of those.  And we considered whether or not total
     deaths were incorporated in the regulations anywhere, and they are, of
     course, in the siting rules, for one place.  The siting rules limit the
     population densities and things like that.
         But if that is a regulatory objective, and it does show up
     in our regulations in a number of places, limiting the total number of
     deaths, shouldn't it be in the policy statement as one of the
     Commission's policies, to limit the number of total deaths?  That could
     be a qualitative statement also.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah.
         DR. KRESS:  But, you know, I was of the feeling you might
     want to -- in terms of protecting the environment, that is one thing,
     that is a land -- to me, that is a land contamination.  I think you
     might want to think about a qualitative statement on total deaths also.
         MR. MURPHY:  I don't have any major objection to it.  What I
     am concerned about is, do I really want to get siting policy in a safety
     goal policy statement?
         DR. KRESS:  That is a legitimate question.
         MR. MURPHY:  And that is perhaps the thing that troubles me
     the most as I think about it.  But should I have -- you know, the
     overall impact is something worth considering.  As I say, I have a
     problem right now, I have a double problem.  One is the tools I have are
     very weak.  Those of you who are familiar with it, the assumption in
     NUREG-1150 was that when a puff release occurs, it goes in one direction
         DR. KRESS:  Absolutely.
         MR. MURPHY:  The overall impact of that is hard to discuss,
     but I know it doesn't represent reality.  I know that the wind
     persistence data from the United States indicates that there is almost
     no place in the United States where the wind persistence in one
     direction for six hours is greater than 50 percent.  And I know that in
     valley sites and river sites, and ocean sites, there tends to be a
     predominant flow either up and down a valley or in and out the sea.  And
     so the wind rows is very particularized in which way it goes.  So this
     may -- so the plume, instead of going long-way this way, may be going
     back and forth.  And what the overall effect of that is, whether there
     is conservative or non-conservative, quite frankly, I don't know.  But I
     do know it doesn't model reality.
         DR. KRESS:  It depends on the wind rows and the population
     distribution probably.
         MR. MURPHY:  So we need to do more analysis.  And what we
     are suggesting is that we do more analysis and we do develop improved
     tools, but that has to be done in consideration of the regular
     prioritization process we have in our planning and budgeting process.
         Beyond that, we can say that we have land contamination
     considered already in the regulatory analysis guidelines.  That is based
     on NUREG-1150, and, as I said, we think those things are -- they are the
     best we have, but they are weak.
         Overall societal impact, the only question you have is, do
     you want to limit it somewhere?  And I will give you an example of what
     I mean.  In NUREG-1150, we have two sets of numbers.  We have considered
     population dose person-rem out to 50 miles.  We have also considered it
     to 500 miles.  Now, with this meteorological model, I am not sure I
     believe anything with that 500 miles.  I think the weaknesses in that
     are extremely great.  But, in fact, half the dose came from greater than
     50 miles when you did that calculation.
         Now, what does this come from?
         DR. KRESS:  That dose is not a lot.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah, but what this came from was giving a
     large number of people extremely small doses.  And, you know, whether
     you should credit something like that, or even consider something like
     that is something that we need to decide.  I think it takes a little
     careful determination as to what an appropriate distance for
     consideration is, what the critical population is, what you should be
     worried about.  And so to the extent that you can, although I would
     agree with George, a societal question does not derive from the tools
     that calculated it, but when you try to set a limit, it seems you would
     want to set some -- or a goal, you ought to have a goal that you have
     some capability of trying to determine whether you meet it or not.
         DR. KRESS:  My view of that, Joe, is that NRC should ask
     itself the question, should I be concerned about giving a large number
     of people a small dose?  And small being enough to do some damage, but
     maybe not kill them.  Of course, they ought to be concerned with that.
     The question is, can you develop a LERF, for example, that deals with
     early fatalities that already incorporates that goal, how small it has
     to be and how many people?  Maybe you have already bounded it with the
     LERF you have.
         MR. MURPHY:  Okay.  You may need, without thinking this
     thing through, you may need, for want of a better word, an ERF.
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah, an ERF.
         MR. MURPHY:  Or, you know, at least get the "early" out of
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah.  And my feeling there --
         MR. MURPHY:  So can consider late releases.
         DR. KRESS:  My feeling there is in order to judge whether
     the LERF you have deals appropriately with things like early deaths,
     land contamination, total person-rem out to real far or not, you need
     some common metric to compare how much the regulatory agency values not
     having those things happen.
         You need a loss function for each of them expressed in
     dollars some way.  It is not easy to do.  And loss functions are
     generally very subjective things.  But you need some way to compare each
     of them and say, well, I value this land thing more than I do this,
     therefore, it ought to be our LERF goal.  Or I value this early
     fatalities more and it ought to be our LERF goal.
         I suspect when you did that, you would come up with a LERF
     on early fatalities as being the one that controls, but I don't know
     that because I have never seen the exercise done.
         MR. MURPHY:  The other thing that -- and we have not
     discussed this in-house, so it is a personal opinion, I would like to
     see the things we have expressed in things that are under the control of
     the NRC.  And when I get into all the emergency actions, protective
     actions, you know, I am getting beyond it, and that leads me back to the
     LERF or whatever, some sort of release guideline, so I tend to agree
     with you very much on that.
         DR. KRESS:  I would put it all in terms of LERF because it
     is under your control.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Can I ask you a question in another
     context?  NRC has suggested that doses, the cleanup of sites to dose
     levels on the order of 20 millirem, all pathways, all sources is
     adequate.  Can't that give you a good capping on how far out to carry to
     your dose dispersion calculations?
         MR. MURPHY:  I don't think I can't answer your question,
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  In another context, Commissioner Diaz has
     acquainted me with one of his own assessments and that is that at doses
     below 100 millirem, we simply can't distinguish the effects from natural
     effects, and that might give you even another capping on how far you
     disperse, you carry your dispersal calculations.
         MR. MURPHY:  So the calculations that we did in 1150 are
     based on EPA protective action guides which allow -- say, you would
     relocate if you would get less than 2 rem in the first year, and a half
     rem per year thereafter, or a half rem in any year thereafter.  These
     are quite different than the numbers you were just quoting.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Yes.
         MR. MURPHY:  What would actually happen --
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I think I am looking at a different
         MR. MURPHY:  I think you have a different question, but in
     terms of what, it would -- how it enters into this, I just had the one
     set of data that was calculated using one set of assumptions.  Now,
     obviously, it is like a yo-yo, you know, if I push down and get low
     dose, I get large land contamination.  If I get low land contamination,
     I get large dose.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I guess I didn't follow that at all.
         MR. MURPHY:  What I am saying is if I allow people in -- if
     I want to minimize the amount of land that is interdicted by setting a
     high goal for that, then I get a higher population dose.  If I get a
     lower population dose, then the amount of land will go up.  We have
     picked a point that is based on the EPA protective action guides as we
     did our calculation.  I don't know what would happen in a real accident.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Well, I think you are addressing a
     different question than I was --
         MR. MURPHY:  Okay, maybe I didn't understand your question.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  I was really coming to this, do we go out
     to 50 miles or 500 miles?  And when do we stop, and when do we quit
     giving large populations minuscule doses and then imputing from the
     linear hypothesis some health hazard?  And it seems to me that if you
     said I carry it out until I fall down to 25 millirem from all sources --
         DR. KRESS:  Which may be plant and site-specific.  Well,
     since it is a dose, it would be, depending on the wind rows and the
     calculation, --
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Percent always depends on that.
         DR. KRESS:  So it wouldn't be one fixed number, it would
     depend on the site.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  True.  I mean I think that -- certainly,
     if I lived next to a plant, I would be happiest if you took your
     analysis and considered my site and not somebody else's site, and
     whatnot.  And that is a way of capping it.
         DR. WALLIS:  The reality, it seems to me, if you look at the
     Chernobyl experience, you can get some evidence for what actually
     happened in terms of land contamination, and how many -- for how many
     years the sheep in Scotland could not be eaten and things like -- this
     is actually a matter of record, not hypothesis.  You might use this
     reality to get you some kind of a basis for decision making.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Well, unfortunately, what you have to do
     is go back and actually look at the contamination, because European
     countries have interdictions of the food supplies on a more restrictive
     basis than the NRC has ever considered.
         DR. WALLIS:  But you could probably translate to the United
     States standards.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  In which case, the sheep would never have
     been interdicted in Britain.
         DR. KRESS:  This would help you get the loss function I was
     talking about, you know, how much does it cost you?
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  Joe, can you complete this in the next
     three minutes?
         MR. MURPHY:  If I can complete it -- well, it depends how
     many questions I get, but --
         DR. KRESS:  Well, I have got at least one on this one.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah.  Temporary changes in risk, the existing
     safety goal.  This is out of the '86 policy.  The statement I quoted
     earlier, the Commission's first qualitative safety goal is the risk from
     nuclear power plant operation should not be a significant contributor to
     a person's risk of accidental death or injury.
         We raised a question earlier whether -- how we should
     consider temporary changes in risk, as changes from configuration
     control and that sort of thing.  I think, if we are looking at that
     qualitative statement, I think in principle the temporary risks are
     already covered.
         DR. KRESS:  In principle, but that principle doesn't
     translate into anything useful in this case.
         MR. MURPHY:  Now, taking it from there and trying to get
     that into an implementation is going to take some time.
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah.  And in order to do it, I think you need a
     cap on the temporary risk, and I will tell you why, even though you have
     a statement in there.  The total CDF, as you note, is an annualized
     average over the lifetime of the plant.
         A temporary change is a here and now thing that certainly
     adds into that, as you say, but you cannot account for it in your
     calculations as CDF because you don't know, it is never accounted for
     because you don't know how big it is going to be, how long it is going
     to be, or how many of these you are going to have.  And the idea would
     be, with a cap, is to say, well, I don't want -- I have a got a CDF
     calculation that doesn't include it, I don't want these things to add
     more than, say, 10 percent more to my CDF.  Pick out a number, 10
     percent would be a good guess.
         Then I look at historical records and maybe if I just look
     at how many shutdowns I have and say, I cannot have more than X number,
     N number of these temporary spikes because I have only two of them each
     shutdown or something.  This is just experience.  Therefore, I have a
     number for how many spikes I expect.  I have a CDF for the plant and I
     don't want these spikes to add more than 10 percent more to the CDF.
     That gives you an integral of the cap DT that you cannot exceed as a
     temporary risk, and it is a cap.  And I think that is a reasonable way
     to approach this, and I think you do need a cap on temporary risk in
     order to incorporate it properly into the risk-informed system.
         MR. MURPHY:  I suspect several of us have various reactions.
     Let me try one first and then ask Gary if he has one.
         When you do what you said, I don't disagree in principle
     with what you said, but recognize that all the spikes aren't up, some of
     the spikes are down.
         DR. KRESS:  I would ignore the down ones.
         MR. MURPHY:  I wouldn't.  I would take the integral and say
     if the day to day variation in risk, how well does that -- as actually
     happens by looking at the configuration controls, how does that compare
     with my average?  Then I would look at that and say, are any spikes high
     enough that they raise this question that the risk was a significant
     contributor to a person's risk as he goes about his daily life?  So this
     considers the variation of the risk at the plant.  The hardest part of
     it may be consideration that the individual's risk from other causes
     changes on a daily basis, too, and how you factor that kind of thing in.
         MR. HOLAHAN:  Yeah, I would like to say I agreed with some
     of what I heard, but I am not sure I agreed with any of it.  I am not
     very enthusiastic about having any sorts of limits or goals on temporary
     risks.  I think that the spikes, ups and downs, need to be included in
     the analysis.  Okay.  To a certain extent we do that now.  We include,
     you know, unreliability and unavailability of equipment, you know, it is
     averaged in the PRA.
         The difficulty I see is there is a temptation to take, you
     know, the highest spike and compare it to some goal.  But I think Joe
     said it correctly, you know, remember the safety goal is derived from,
     you know, 1/10th of 1 percent of accidents.  But the risks of accidents
     go up and down.  As a matter of fact, the accident risk is dominated by
     automobile accidents, automobile fatalities, and those definitely go up
     and down.
         As a matter of fact, right now, sitting on the fourth floor
     of this building, I suspect our automobile risk is exceedingly low.
     Okay.  But it snows sometimes and you go out on the road, obviously, the
     risks go up and down.  And if you want to control the peaks, you have
     got to compare peaks to peaks, okay, and not peaks to averages.  I think
     it is meaningless to say at one point in time the reactor risk peaked
     up, you know, by a factor of 10 and that it would be compared to
     something.  Well, should it be compared to drunk driving or driving
     while you are talking on the cell phone?  What do you compare it to?
         If you start comparing it to the averaged automobile
     fatalities, I think you have -- all of a sudden, you know, doing the
     wrong arithmetic.  So I think you should put it in the analysis,
     calculate the mean values and compare mean values to mean values.  And I
     think that is taking care of the arithmetic all right.
         MR. KING:  I kind of like the idea of a cap on risk, but I
     don't think you need to change the policy statement to implement such a
     thing in a Reg. Guide or anyplace else.  So I agree with Joe's.
         DR. KRESS:  Yeah.
         MR. KING:  And at that, I don't think we have settled
     internally exactly how we are going to deal with changes and risks, but
     I do agree, we don't need to do anything to the policy statement to let
     us do that.
         DR. KRESS:  I think this is an issue having to do with risk
     management in outages.  I think that is where it belongs, in some sort
     of rule there.  And I agree, it shouldn't -- it doesn't belong in a
     policy statement.
         MR. MURPHY:  Let me share one --
         MR. HOLAHAN:  I would like to correct my statement.  We are
     sitting on the second floor, but the automobile risk isn't any higher on
     the second floor than it was on the fourth.
         MR. MURPHY:  Let me just mention, at least three or four
     years ago OECD did a study of the use of, for want of a better word,
     risk meters, or that type of device in the U.K., and a report was
     published.  And as that report recalled the results of that,
     particularly for the Torness Plant in Scotland, they used a philosophy
     that basically said the instantaneous spike that you are talking about,
     and then comparing that to the width, that if the spike was a factor of
     3, you could stay there one-third of the year.  If the spike was a
     factor of 10, the maximum time you could stay there was 1/10th of a
     year, or 30 days.  And if the spike was a factor of a hundred, you could
     stay there for no more than three days and they set a limit on a spike
     of a hundred.
         DR. KRESS:  That is almost kind of like -- that is almost
     what I was saying.
         MR. MURPHY:  Yeah.  They also set a limit that said here is
     your instantaneous PRA -- I mean here is your average PRA, your annual
     average, and you take all the spikes, you record all the changes in the
     plant as you go along, as you run this device, and at the end you
     integrate it, and the integration has to be within a factor of 2 of the
     annual average, or a factor of 3 -- a factor of X, I forget the number.
     And that was the way that they used it is in terms of setting a goal for
     how you would use this system.
         And with that, I think I am done, Dana.
         DR. KRESS:  Well, we thank you, Joe.  Unless there are more
     questions, --
         DR. WALLIS:  I want to know what happens next.
         DR. KRESS:  Well, we -- our plans I think at this time are
     to possibly write a letter in March on this proposal and just basically
     tell them what we think about their positions on each one of these
     issues.  You know, we have expressed some opinions here.  We have to
     discuss it among ourselves and come to some committee.
         DR. WALLIS:  Is this something that goes to the Commission
     and the Commission will make a decision?
         DR. KRESS:  It is going to the Commission at the end of
     March, I understand.
         DR. WALLIS:  Does it go out to the public?
         MR. MURPHY:  We have to give the Commission a paper on
     modifications of the safety goal policy statement by the end of March.
         DR. WALLIS:  Does it go to the public?
         DR. KRESS:  No, it is going to the Commission.
         DR. SEALE:  Not at this time.
         DR. WALLIS:  The Commission will make a decision of what
     they think is in the public interest without consulting the public.
         MR. MURPHY:  We will get the Commission's advice.  What we
     are calling for is that after we get permission to go forward, we go
     change the policy statement.  And that draft then would circulate for
     public comment.
         DR. WALLIS:  It would?
         MR. MURPHY:  Yes.
         DR. SEALE:  It is in the Federal Register.
         DR. WALLIS:  I thought it was.
         MR. MURPHY:  I would think there would be more than the
     Federal Register, we would probably need to have a workshop or two on
     the subject.
         DR. SEALE:  The first decision is whether or not you want to
     open a can of worms.
         CHAIRMAN POWERS:  At this point I think I am going to bring
     this session to a close and we can go off the record.
         [Whereupon, at 4:37 p.m., the meeting was recessed to
     reconvene at 8:30 a.m., Friday, February 4, 2000.]


Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, July 12, 2016