Plant Operations - July 9, 2001
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON REACTOR SAFEGUARDS
PLANT OPERATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE
July 9, 2001
The Subcommittee met at the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, Two White Flint North, Room T2B3, 11545
Rockville Pile, at 9:30 a.m., John D. Sieber,
JOHN D. SIEBER Subcommittee Chairman
GEORGE APOSTOLAKIS ACRS Chairman
MARIO V. BONACA
F. PETER FORD
THOMAS S. KRESS
GRAHAM M. LEITCH
WILLIAM J. SHACK
ROBERT E. UHRIG
GRAHAM B. WALLIS
J. Sieber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
ROP ACTION MATRIX
NRC Staff Presentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Good morning. The
meeting will now come to order.
This is a meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee
on Plant Operations. I'm John Sieber, Chairman of the
ACRS members in attendance are Dr. George
Apostolakis, Dr. Mario Bonaca, Dr. Peter Ford, Dr.
Thomas Kress, Mr. Graham Leitch, Mr. Stephen Rosen,
Dr. William Shack, Dr. Graham Wallis and Dr. Robert
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss
the reactor oversight process, which today will
include the action matrix.
We had our last Subcommittee meeting with
the staff on the oversight process on May 9, 2001. At
that time we discussed the significance determination
process, performance indicators and some crosscutting
issues. The Committee will follow up with a summary
of the reactor oversight process at the September ACRS
Ms. Maggalean W. Weston is the cognizant
ACRS staff engineer for this meeting.
The rules for participation in today's
meeting have been announced as part of the notice of
this meeting published in the Federal Register on June
A transcript of the meeting is being kept
and will be made available as stated in the Federal
It is requested that speakers use one of
the microphones, identify themselves and speak with
sufficient clarity and volume so that they may be
We have received no written comments from
members of the public regarding today's meeting.
So now we'll proceed with the meeting, and
I'd like to introduce Mike Johnson of NRR who'll
introduce the topic and the presenters.
MR. JOHNSON: Good morning. My name is
Michael Johnson from the Inspection Program branch,
and I'm joined by Bob Pascarelli. Bob is the branch's
person who has lead responsibility for the assessment
process. And, in fact, the major part of that, as you
well know, is the action matrix, and so Bob is going
to be doing the majority of the presentation.
I'm joined at the table by Mark Satorius,
who is the chief of the -- the Performance Assessment
section in the Special Program branch.
We're also joined by Chris Nolan from the
Office of Enforcement. You may remember the last time
we were here talking there were topics that related to
the Office of Enforcement and the enforcement role in
the assessment process, and so we asked for a
representative to be along to assist us in case those
topics came up.
By way of introduction, let me just say
that as was pointed out, this really is a continuation
in a number of topics that we've had with the ACRS
spanning way back from the early days in development
up through a status update last year and continuing.
We today hope to provide just a brief overview of the
assessment process and then we really are going to
spend most of our time focusing on the action matrix.
And then finally, if you're interested, we'll talk a
little bit about the lessons learned from the first
year of initial implementation.
I did look at the agenda, and I note that
you've allotted time going through 11:30. I'll be
honest with you, I'm hard pressed to figure out we're
going to talk about the action matrix between now --
to fill that full block of time. But if we finish
early, I trust that'll be the right thing to do.
Again, as we've pointed out, this is
really the third in a series of these recent meetings
that we've had. We spent quite a bit of time last
meeting talking about, running through examples of the
significance determination process and the performance
indicators. And we talked about crosscutting issues
and thresholds, and all those things. And I hope
we've been able to answer your questions on those
areas because, I'll tell you, I didn't bring those
folks along. You'll see a different cast of folks.
I've got the assessment folks in the room today. So,
if there are more question, in depth discussion that
you want to do on that, we'll have to entertain it at
our next gathering.
We're getting ready for -- I understand
that there is a full committee meeting that we'll be
participating in just briefly in September in support
of your letter writing on the ROP in response to see
the SRM that you have from the Commission.
Let me just by way of status tell you that
we've completed, as you're well aware, the first year
of initial implementation. We've completed now the
end of cycle meetings where the regions review the
performance of all of the plants within their regions.
We've completed the agency action review meeting where
we discuss the performance of those plants that were
in the multiple repetitive degraded cornerstone column
of the action matrix, and we'll show you in a minute.
And we also talked about DC Cook. DC Cook
was in a special status this year. You may remember
that when we entered the ROP, we didn't do it with DC
Cook, because DC Cook was under the inspection manual
chapter 0350 process. That was, they were in an
extended shutdown and we held them out of the ROP to
allow them to be able to finish up those activities
under the LD50 process. They've now transitioned into
the reactor oversight process, and we discussed them
at the Agency Action Review Meeting.
The Agency Action Review Meeting does a couple
of other things that we may, I guess, talk about a
little bit -- or will we?
MR. PASCARELLI: We don't have it on the--
MR. JOHNSON: We don't have it, so I'll
tell you now.
The Agency Action Review Meeting also
talks about we've developed a trending program. We
look at the overall trends of the industry on an
annual basis and we provide those at the Agency Action
Review Meeting and talk about what actions we have
planned or we've already implemented in response to
And also as an ongoing part of the Agency
Action Review Meeting, a continuing part of these
meetings is to go forward, we'll talk about the self-
assessment activities that we've had and results of
that self-assessment. And we did that at this most
recent Agency Action Review Meeting. In fact, on the
preparation for this meeting I hope we sent over a
copy of that Commission paper that documents for you
the lessons learned.
So, that's what I would say in way of
background, and I'll turn it over to Bob to provide an
overview and a discussion of the assessment process in
the action matrix.
MR. LEITCH: Just before you start, a
quick question about that trend report that you were
referring to. I noticed that some of that, some of
those trends related to information previously
collected by AEOD or since then, I guess, RES. And
I'm just wondering is that part of the trend report?
I know it's not exactly this part of the presentation,
but that trend report are those previous AEOD trends
going to disappear in lieu of the new performance
MR. JOHNSON: That's a good question. We
actually in terms of this trending process will use
those old, the ex-AEOD indicators. And they actually
form that long term trend that we're looking for. So
we're transitioning. We're keeping those, we're
adding on the ROP PIs, we'll add them on as we get
more experienced with them. But, no, we're not going
to lose that information in terms of providing trends
for the industry.
MR. LEITCH: But there's some subtle
differences, though, between the two trends. I guess
what you would see as perhaps a bump in the data
explained by the fact that the data is now within a
slightly different. Is that what you would expect to
MR. JOHNSON: Yes, that's right. For
example, there's a difference --
MR. LEITCH: However, I think the scrams,
for example, are pretty eager in one case.
MR. JOHNSON: Yes.
MR. LEITCH: And per 7000 atoms in another
MR. JOHNSON: Yes. Tom, do you -- it just
so happens I do have a trends person in the room.
Tom, would you come to the microphone and
talk a little bit, a couple of minutes, about the
transition from the old AEOD through the trends
MR. BOYCE: Hi. This is Tom Boyce of the
Inspection Program branch.
To flush Mike's answer, we're going to use
the AEOD PIs as like a baseline for several years
until we can establish that enough data in the new ROP
PIs that we think we could then transition away from
the AEOD PIs.
There are subtle differences, at least as
far as the scrams PI.
One is per hour. The AEOD PIs are per
year. In other words, you had 3.5 scrams per plant
per year. The ROP PIs do it per 7000 hours, that's a
rate. In that case, in a couple of years once we have
established the overlap, we would probably go with the
per 7000 hours as a rate. The reason is is because
the plant specific PIs are done as a rate. So in
order for people to mentally make that jump from plant
specific to industry level, we wanted to have
commonality. So in that particular indicator, we'd
probably go with the rate.
The difference for those -- it isn't much
of a difference. Plants with their current
availability are running about 90 percent, meaning 90
percent critical. And so you're only looking at a 10
percent difference between the AEOD PIs and the ROP
So, I guess the short answer is we're
going to retain the AEOD PIs until we've got enough
confidence and enough data in the ROP PIs.
MR. LEITCH: So five years out into the
future you might see the old data,you know,
historically and then sort of a new curve where the
ROP PIs come in and maybe there'd be some overlap
between the two?
MR. BOYCE: As far as that specific
indicator, we would probably go back and adjust the
AEOD data to take out that 10 percent difference.
MR. LEITCH: Okay.
MR. BOYCE: Because the data is still
valid data, it's just the difference is critical hours
versus shutdown hours and the denominator. So in that
case we'd probably just pull the shutdown hours of the
denominator of the AEOD PIs and be able to retain the
long term view of how scrams have changed over the
MR. LEITCH: Okay. Thank you.
MR. JOHNSON: Okay. Bob?
MR. PASCARELLI: Thanks, Mike. Again, as
Mike mentioned, by name is Bob Pascarelli. I work in
the Inspection Program branch, and I'm going to run
you through the rest of the presentation on the
The first bullet here is fairly obvious,
but part of the assessment -- the assessment process
is part of the ROP. And I have a couple of slides
that I'll show in a moment, and that'll show you
integration of the assessment program with the other
programs within the ROP.
A big plus in this program is that you've
improved the consistency and predictability of the
agency actions based on overall licensee performance.
And we do that by way of the action matrix.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It's interesting that we
keep using the word "improve." Would you say it is
consistent now or are we just improving the
consistency? It's very cautious the way you stated.
MR. PASCARELLI: The objective truly was
to -- I'm not sure this was your question. But the
objective truly was to improve the consistency and
predictability. We really did want to improve.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Without claiming that
you are now completely predictable and consistent,
MR. PASCARELLI: Oh, yes. Yes, our goal
was to make progress.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think that's fine, but
it's very impressive of how cautious you are.
MR. PASCARELLI: Okay. Good.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I do agree, actually.
MR. PASCARELLI: Our guidance for the
assessment program is in Inspection Manual Chapter
0305. We do have some other guidance which is
Management Directive 8.14 which deals with the Agency
Action Review Meeting, which Mike just talked about,
which has replaced the old senior management meeting.
Deviations from the action matrix. As
we've said here, our actions are more predictable and
more objective, so therefore we expect very few
deviations from the action matrix. And in one of the
SRMs from the Commission of the staff they had said
that we should get preapproval for any deviations from
the EDO if we were going to do that.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Now what exactly does
the word "deviations" mean here?
MR. PASCARELLI: It means a deviation from
the action matrix.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, but I mean in real
terms what would that be?
MR. PASCARELLI: In real terms it would be
something like if we wanted to either increase or
decrease the level of supplemental inspection for a
plant that was -- for a plant that was not consistent
with the action matrix. For example, the plant was in
degraded cornerstone column of the action matrix, that
calls for a 95002 inspection. If we wanted to do more
or less than that, use another procedure, then we
would request a deviation.
If, for example, we wanted to take
additional regulatory actions that are listed in the
multiple/repetitive degraded cornerstone column of the
action matrix, and in any other column, say in the
degraded cornerstone column, then we'd have to get
Commission approval -- excuse me, EDO approval for
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I understand that once
you've entered the action matrix you may decide that
you want to do something, not what the matrix predicts
or dictates. But there is another possibility or may
be there's a possibility, it may be a possibility --
is it possible that you will find you will have
findings such that it will not be obvious where you
enter the matrix, or is that a nonsensical question?
I mean, the matrix says, you know, if you have one
white or two greens or yellows and so on, is it
possible or is it complete that way or is it possible-
MR. PASCARELLI: It is --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It is complete?
MR. JOHNSON: You mean is there some input
that would not have been --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Predicted or it's not
obvious where you go to enter the matrix? Have you
found that situation?
MR. JOHNSON: We've not. We've not found
that. And, I mean I don't know. I hadn't -- without
having thought about it a lot, I'm not -- I wouldn't
rule it out totally, although I mean we really do
envision that if it's important to look at, we look at
it. If it's important to be able to judge its
significance, we can through either the SDP or through
the PIs, and those are the entering arguments. And
having said that there is one exception, and that
exception is -- there are a couple of exceptions,
One is things that we deal with in terms
of traditional enforcement, and so we talk about how
you handle traditional enforcement items. And the way
that we handle those is you figure out where you are
in the action matrix and then you look at the range of
actions and then that enforcement can help you make
decisions about whether you go towards the high end of
the range of actions in the column or to the low end.
And the other thing that we've been
struggling with is these things that are called no
color findings. And we talked about no color findings
a little bit last time. And no color findings are
things that are more than minor, but you can't run
through an SDP and so how do you treat them. And right
now we're documenting those actually as no color
findings and we're working to a resolution to be able
to treat all of those things in the process and in our
resolution that we're planning to move forward with
respect to those no color findings. Again, that
specific subset of things that are more than minor but
they don't have an SDP for.
Actually, I should also say and that don't
get treatment under the traditional enforcement
program. We're going to call those things, we believe
-- we're going to make those things green and treat
them as green issues.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But let's say, as I
remember the threshold between green and white in the
unplanned scrams was three. So let's say now that
consistently, you know, for the last several years you
find that that indicator is two every year. So it
doesn't quite make it to white, but it's a 2; it's
just below the threshold. Would that lead to anything
or say no it's green?
MR. JOHNSON: It's green, it's in the
licensee response band.
It's interesting you would ask that. I
was just sharing with my guys this morning in email
that we had about a plant that actually has something
that is exactly three, three scrams for 7000 critical
hours. And the question is --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Three is in green?
MR. JOHNSON: And three is green. It's
greater than three scrams for 7000 critical hours.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Oh, I see what you're
MR. JOHNSON: So that's plant in the
licensing response band. Now, you know, we'll see
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: What if you have four,
five performance indicators all at the threshold?
It's still green?
MR. JOHNSON: Just under the threshold,
but right at the right threshold?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, I mean they're just
green. Barely make it.
MR. JOHNSON: They're in the licensee
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Huh. That's very
interesting. That's what objectivity does to you,
DR. SHACK: Isn't there some thought to
look at this notion of concurrent deficient -- you
know, at least we heard something about that in the
risk informed matrix that people sort of realize that,
you know, pushing one is one thing but having a whole
slue of multiple not quite but not so good --
MR. JOHNSON: Yes, there is. There is.
And I guess a couple of things come to mind. One is if
we have a plant that is just along the threshold for
multiple indicators and manages that way, I mean I
actually believe that that's an example of a plant
that's not going to be just along the thresholds.
That plant is eventually going to end up in another
columns of the action matrix.
In fact, the example I'm talking about is
an example of a plant that's not in the licensee
response band. They actually are in the licensing
response band with respect to that indicator, but
they've got some other problems in some other areas
that would tell you that there are more pervasive
things going on that are reflecting other indicators
that are crossing thresholds.
So, the concept that you would have a
plant that was truly marginal in all of the areas is
one that you won't be truly marginal for very long.
We have had a number of discussions in the
area of the SDP with respect to what -- let's suppose
you have an issue that is a green -- let's suppose you
have an issue that by itself is a green or perhaps by
itself is a white and then you have a second issue
that is by itself a white. And if you look at those
issues in a point of time, the combination of those
issues would be a yellow or a red. So you should be
somewhere else in the action matrix.
And we've actually had some discussions
about how we ought to treat those concurrent issues
with respect to the reactor oversight process. And
we're actually revising the guidance to address that
particular concern. And where we're going is to say
that if there is some nexus, if there is some
underlying performance issue that results in those
particular -- that you can link those two issues
together, then we should treat the combined risk
associated with those in the action matrix and the
actions that we go over.
If there isn't that nexus, then we ought to
treat them as independent issues and allow the action
matrix to roll up and decide what actions we take.
So that's sort of how we're dealing with
it, but it's not to address the green issues in the
green band. You know, from early on we decided that
the licensee's performance in the green band, no
matter what shade of green it is, but it's in the
licensee response band, it truly is in the licensee
DR. KRESS: What makes you think that
there has to be a nexus between them? For example, if
we viewed them as some increment in, say, SDP, just as
a way to view them, it doesn't matter whether they're
independent or not. If you have two of them, you've
got twice as much change in SDP whether there's a
nexus or not. And so it seems like there ought to be
some consideration of multiple ones independent of
whether there's a nexus.
MR. JOHNSON: Well, and that's what the
action matrix does is the action matrix says if you
have -- without regard to consideration of whether
there's some nexus; if you have two on a cornerstone,
you know, it's more significant in one --
DR. KRESS: Oh, you already do that?
MR. JOHNSON: Right, we do that in the
action matrix. Right.
DR. BONACA: I just was wondering, you
know, since you are looking for consistency and
predictability, are you are comparing, you know, when
you look at degraded performance what you get from
different regions just to get a sense in percent
whether or not your process is really as consistent
and predictable as you would like it to be? I mean,
we'd expect to have same performance in the 44
MR. JOHNSON: Yes, that's another good
question. With respect to the assessment process, it
really is easy to do that kind of look and there
really is a high degree of consistency. But if you
think about it, we've made it easy. We've taken out--
under the old senior management meeting it was this
regional meeting where the judgment had to happen with
respect to the performance of the plants and so you
could get a situation where when you boil it all down
from one plant and one region and you boil it all down
for another plant in another region, even though the
plants may be similar, you would get a different
Well, right now we have with this process,
we have objective thresholds for PIs. We've got an
SDP or a structured process to develop and determine
the significance of individual issues. And all the
assessment process does is look at -- you know, in the
action matrix as you'll see simply just looks at
what's there and then assigns actions that need to be
taken and a deviation from those actions are.
And Bob talked about a couple. But for
example if the action matrix says that the RA attends
the annual performance meeting, what we really mean is
the RA attends the annual performance meeting. A
deviation would be the division director attending or
a branch chief conducting the annual performance
meeting rather than the regional administrator.
So, it's an easier task now to get
consistency, because we've build objectivity into
other parts of the program.
DR. BONACA: But you have still
inspections and so you have judgment coming in. I
mean, I would expect that if you found that all plants
in the regulatory response column were in region 2, I
mean you would have some -- you know, that would tell
you something, maybe. I don't know what it would tell
you, but something we would want to know what it's
telling you. And so you would want to see on a region
basis if in fact the process is automatically, I mean
by itself coming up with indications of consistency
and probability, and you have an opportunity because
you have different regions so you can look at it that
MR. JOHNSON: Yes. And the second part of
what I should have said in my answer was to talk about
the fact that now the inputs, particularly this input
with respect to the inspection program, is where you
find opportunity for variations between the regions.
And, yes, we are looking at that.
DR. SHACK: And that's one of the
criticisms you have here, you don't have adequate
basis for determining that significance.
MR. JOHNSON: Right.
DR. SHACK: And that seemed to be a fairly
strong feeling from internally and externally.
But there is a significance determination
process associated with the inspection, right? And
that process --
MR. JOHNSON: Oh, yes, absolutely.
DR. SHACK: But that documentation by
itself isn't transparent in a sense?
MR. JOHNSON: Yes. In fact, the criticism
that we get is -- the major criticism with respect to
the inspection issues and how the SDP, the significant
determination process works isn't that people don't
think we end up at the right spot. There's general
agreement that we end up with the right spot at the
end of the date with respect to the significance call.
But the criticisms are that it takes us a long time to
get there; that the tools that we use to get there
are, in some inspectors' perspective, difficult to
use, not easy to use. In fact, we haven't done all
that many of them, so we're still dealing with the
people in putting through some of these issues.
And then there's the criticism that
external stakeholders, some external stakeholders have
raised -- and I'm thinking about the state of New
Jersey, for example, who said -- who have said to us
"You know, we do this SDP. We then meet with the
licensee to discuss to get any additional insights.
And then we end up changing our view based on the
input that we have from the licensee. At the same
time there's not a lot on the docket or there's not
enough on the docket to explain the initial rational,
to explain the final decision. And so it's this
business that we're sort of doing things behind closed
doors with respect to interactions of licensees on
determining the significance of issues." That is a
criticism that we've been working on.
DR. SHACK: You're doing this level three
exchange kind of thing --
MR. JOHNSON: Right. Right.
Now, I ought to point out those meetings
are public, but having said that, I mean we have made
I think great strides in terms of trying to be open
with respect to providing the documentation. We've
strengthened the requirements for documentation. And
we've monitor -- and we monitor -- we sample reports
and audit, for example, whether we believe from a
headquarter's perspective the regions are doing a job
with respect to documenting the basis for the
significance determination and inspection reports. And
based on those audits we recognize we need to do a
better job. Okay?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So do you have any
doubts now that we'll the time until 11:30?
MR. JOHNSON: I'm losing them.
MR. PASCARELLI: Okay. The next slide is
the first of two slides that I want to show on the
Before I start on this slide right here,
this slide reflects -- well, it reflects an assessment
cycle of four quarters. And right now we're currently
in the process of an assessment cycle with three
quarters because we're in a transition cycle.
One of the things that we have with
respect to the ROP, is we really have three different
types of years. Of course, you have the calendar
year, you've got the fiscal year, you've got the ROP
year; all of which start on different time frames. So
what we've done -- and more importantly what we've
done, the reason we've done this is more to more
evenly distribute the workload amongst the regions.
And we're in the process of transitioning right now,
but when all is said and done, we'll have the ROP
assessment cycle will be lined up with the calendar
year. So that will begin on January 1st will be the
third ROP cycle will begin then.
And going on to this slide, as you can
see, we've got two inputs into the assessment process;
the first being the ongoing inspection results, which
have a final color and have gone through the SDP in
combination with the PIs, which are submittal
quarterly by licensees.
And then --
DR. SHACK: Just a question.
MR. PASCARELLI: Yes.
DR. SHACK: What is the time frame in
coming to that SDP resolution? What are we typically
looking at here?
MR. JOHNSON: Actually, Chris, you
probably have those numbers at your fingertips better
than I do.
MR. NOLAN: I'm Chris Nolan, Enforcement
Specialists with the Office of Enforcement.
Right now with our greater than green
findings we're trending, you know, the average time
limits of those. And if you use the exit date of the
inspection as the start date for our assessment
period, the average time is similar between 90 and 100
days for all cases. So, that's the short answer.
MR. PASCARELLI: Okay. And the inspection
results and the PIs, they are combined in the action
matrix independent of any nexus between the issues,
they're combined in the action matrix. And as a
result of that, we have certain review meetings and
certain correspondence that goes along with that.
During the first and third ROP quarters of
the annual assessment cycle we do quarterly meeting.
And if any assessment inputs or any thresholds are
tripped by PIs or inspection findings, we send out an
assessment follow up letter. Again, a majority of
plants have not been getting these quarterly letters.
Half way through the cycle we do the mid-
cycle review. And we sent out a mid-cycle letter
within 3 weeks of the end of the meetings. And that
has an inspection plan which overlaps with the next
assessment letter that every plant will get, such that
the licensee will always have a current inspection
And, again, every year we do an end cycle
review. And also in concert with the end of cycle
review, we do an end of cycle summary meeting in which
senior agency management talks with senior regional
management. And they talk about the performance of
certain plants. And the criteria was basically it had
to be in the greater cornerstone column of the action
matrix or to the right or they had to have this
substantive crosscutting issues, ongoing substantive
crosscutting issues concern by the regions and we
discussed that if they met that criteria.
And, again, just like the mid-cycle
review, we send out a letter with an inspection plan
that will overlap with the mid-cycle review, the next
And every year every plant gets a public
meeting in the vicinity of the site with the licensee.
And we have varying levels of public participation in
this meeting, but each plant gets a public meeting.
And right now the regions have been conducting them,
and they are probably close to finishing all the
And then of course, as Mike had talked
about, we have Agency Action Review Meeting and then
we have a Commission brief on the Agency Action Review
Meeting. And this year we have a brief not only in
the Agency Action Review Meeting but on the ROP on the
19th and 20th of July.
DR. SHACK: And when do the website
results get updated? That's right after the SDP is
MR. JOHNSON: The website gets updated --
and I'm looking around for my IT guy whose going to
yell at me if I get this wrong.
We update the website -- licensees report
their PIs three weeks after the end of the quarter.
And I'm told that by the second Thursday following
that time, we update the website with the PI result.
At that time we also update, do the regular update of
any of the inspection findings that have occurred
since the last time we did the update.
Now, with respect to a SDP result that
happens between the quarter, do we do that at the same
time, Ron? We do that at the same time. We make the
update at the time that it occurs.
RON: Anytime a threshold is crossed, we
update the website.
MR. JOHNSON: Okay. Ron is not on a
microphone. So the answer is that we do the update
anytime a threshold -- any time we get that final
result, we won't wait for the end of quarter, we'll do
it real time.
MR. PASCARELLI: Right. What happens is
the regions notifies our branch, they go in and they
update the PIM, and then we rerun the web page such
that it'll show that color on the web page. And also
we update the action matrix summary to reflect any
changes in that plant's performance, whether it moves
a column or not, as necessary.
Moving on to the next slide, again as you
can see if you look down here, this is a little more
detailed than the previous slide. But, again as you
can see, we start with inspection findings and PIs
again. And combine them again in the action matrix to
determine overall licensee performance. And then we
have two thing that come out of that; agency response
And I want to throw this slide up here.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: We have four inputs into
the SDP, right? The risk informed baseline
inspections are what is done routinely, correct?
MR. PASCARELLI: Right.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And these are done how
often again? Every quarter?
MR. PASCARELLI: How often are the
baseline inspection procedures done?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, that is continuous?
MR. PASCARELLI: They're done
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Continuously. Then I
understand that you can have supplemental inspections
if you find something?
MR. PASCARELLI: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And then if something
big happens, you have a response. The generic safety
inspections, where did they come from?
MR. PASCARELLI: The generic safety
inspections are things that we inspect. They typically
have a temporary instruction number associated with
them. We don't do it all that often, it turns out,
but when we do them they are to give the agency some
generic look at some performance issue or some
potential issue. It could be like a maintenance rule
inspection. We did that with a TI. It was the Y2K,
we had a TI for Y2K, for example.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Oh, I see.
MR. PASCARELLI: Those kinds of
inspections. It turns out we don't do a lot of them.
We haven't recently done a lot of those kind of
inspections. But where we did and they result in
performance issues, those would get fed into the
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Now all these are input
to the assessment process and there is some output,
there are assessment reports and so on. Why isn't
there a feedback loop that says from the assessment
process, going all the way back down to these -- not
far, but maybe the risk informed baseline inspection
box and says because everything has been so rosy the
last X years, we are not going to do this and this and
that in the next cycle. Would that be a reasonable
thing to do?
Because one of the things that we got from
the stakeholders is that the amount of inspections in
some of the plants is higher. I mean, the number of
hours, higher than before because these were good
performers and my understanding is that in the past
good performance would get less inspections, whereas
the new scheme doesn't allow that. And I wonder why
it does not.
MR. JOHNSON: Okay. Let me --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Is it too soon? I mean,
you guys had too many things to deal with and you just
didn't think about it, or --
MR. JOHNSON: Oh, no, we thought it.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Oh, you thought about
MR. JOHNSON: Actually, there is another
process that is not on this viewgraph that is a major
part of what it is we do, and it's the self-assessment
process. And part of that self-assessment process has
metrics. And, for example, we look at how well the
inspection program is performing, how well various
aspects of the assessment program is performing, the
SDP. And it's through that kind of program, that
self-assessment activity, that we go back and make
adjustments to the inspection procedures.
For example, one of the areas that we got
feedback on based on internal stakeholders' input and
external stakeholders' input, based on our look at the
hours that were being charged, for example, and the
results that were being found is the maintenance rule
inspection that we had a part of the baseline. And
we're making some significant changes to the
maintenance rule inspection procedure.
In turns out what we do now is actually --
at least the programmatic pieces of that, are not risk
informed. We looked more at licensee implementation
on the maintenance than maintenance effectiveness.
And so we're revising that procedure to sharpen up its
focus and to, in fact, adjust the hours to what we
think are more appropriate.
And so there is, separate from this there
is this self-assessment of the ROP process that is
ongoing that informs the various areas.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Have you reduced the
number of inspections anywhere yet because they are
good performance? Because we haven't heard any like
MR. JOHNSON: We are making adjustments to
the program, like the maintenance rule inspections,
based on the kinds of insights that I described. And
we're doing that in other areas, too.
The second part of your question deals
with the fact that we have a baseline for everybody.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes.
MR. JOHNSON: And the good performers who
now get more than they used to get and are we trying
to do more with, I guess, returning to the old way
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: In other words, you do
have an extra box that says supplemental inspections
for people who are not doing very well in the baseline
inspections. Why isn't there another box that says
MR. JOHNSON: Supplemental reductions.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Or supplemental
MR. JOHNSON: The program as it's designed
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And then it will be
really performance based, will it not?
MR. JOHNSON: Yes. The underlying concept
was with respect to licensing response band, we're
going to allow licensees to respond to management
within that response band. We're not going to do more
in that response band, but we're certainly going to do
what is necessary with respect to the baseline, with
respect to the PIs that we choose to get the
Now, we've had some talk about, you know,
if you were going to look at crosscutting issues, for
example, well crosscutting issues may be a way to
where you have a plant that is in the green band that
has a super PI&R program to find some additional
reductions. We've not developed that idea. Right now
what we have a baseline and one size fits all, and
that's in the near term --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, that's something
to think about, maybe perhaps for the future.
MS. WESTON: Mike, I assume that this
additional information you're talking about is in the
SECY paper that the members have?
MR. JOHNSON: Yes. Yes.
MS. WESTON: Okay. Just wanted them to
MR. LEITCH: Is the baseline inspection
primarily the resident inspection? Inspection by the
MR. JOHNSON: There is inspection by the
residents that makes up a large percentage of the
baseline, but there is also a region based inspection.
MR. LEITCH: That are part of the baseline
MR. JOHNSON: As a part of the baseline.
Some of in the operation procedures that the residents
do, but also the specialist areas; the health physics
and emergency preparedness, you know, physical
protection, those are region based inspections
MR. LEITCH: Now, what about inspection of
the licensee's corrective action program, is that a
MR. JOHNSON: That is also a baseline
inspection. And the regions can choose how they staff
it. The current program, the program that we
implemented during the first year had an annual PI&R
team inspection. They were typically made up of
resident inspectors or region based inspectors. But we
tried to get away from folks who are at the site doing
that team inspection for that site.
And we're making some adjustments in that
procedure to make it more effective also. And
there'll be a slight reduction in the number hours.
But, yes, it really is sort of a mixture of inspectors
region based and resident inspectors.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Now, again, and maybe
I'm missing something, but something the box
enforcement be after the assessment process? You will
enforce something without assessing the significance
of the findings?
MR. JOHNSON: We actually talked maybe a
year and a half ago about where to put that box. And
then we stopped showing this graph -- this chart, and
I'd sort of forgotten what we talked about, to be
honest. But Chris will help I'm sure.
You know, we certainly do the significance
and we don't take enforcement until we determine the
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: What is that?
MR. JOHNSON: I apologize. We don't do
enforcement until after we've decided the significance
of an issue.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Excuse me, what did you
say? You don't --
MR. JOHNSON: We do not do enforcement
until we determine the significance of the issue. And
so, for example --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But then you don't go to
the action matrix?
MR. JOHNSON: And those issues do go to
the action matrix, it's just that you may end up
taking enforcement even though you have an issue that,
for example -- suppose you have an issue that is
subject to traditional enforcement. Let's suppose you
have an issue where a willful violation, and that
willful violation also results in something that has
some real impact on the plant that you can run through
the SDP and assign a color to. Well, that issue in
terms of the impact to the plant would go through the
assessment process and you'd treat that in terms of
figuring out what actions you would take. But also
you would end up also taking some actions, traditional
enforcement action, with respect to that issue.
And so -- and that was sort of the
discussion, was do we put this enforcement in the
assessment process, do we make it as an agency
response? It certainly, however, doesn't happen until
you determine the significance of the issue.
Chris, do you have anything to add to
that? Did I set --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I must say it's not very
clear to me why the --
DR. SHACK: Yes, it certainly seems like
it ought to be in the agency response box.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Which is -- which is --
what is it? Sure. Yes. Yes. It seems to me, yes,
that's where it belongs.
MR. JOHNSON: Sure, it could be there.
And it certainly is an agency response.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But this way, you know--
okay. Go ahead.
MR. NOLAN: Why don't I just elaborate on
what Enforcement's view of the situation is, is when
we get an issue at a plant there's two things that we
need to determine. And the first thing is what is the
significance of the issue, and that's what the SDP
process does. That tells us how important that issue
was to the performance of the plant and the protection
of the health and safety of -- the second thing is
whether or not a violation of regulatory requirements
And so when we go through the process,
those are the two things that we determine. We give
it a color; green, white, yellow or red and then we
determine whether or not a regulation has been
violated. And then we'll give an NCV if it's green or
an NOV if it's greater than green.
The role of the NOV is ensuring that the
licensees take corrective action and restore
The role of the colors communicating what
the significance is.
Assessment occurs after those two things
have been completed. Because what assessment does is
it's what is the agency's reaction to that finding
after it's been fully characterized. And so you may
be confusing significance with assessment. We
characterize the significance before we take an
enforcement action. Assessment is what follow up
inspections and what follow out interactions between
the NRC and the licensee occur as a result.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And I thought the whole
point of the action matrix was to inject rationality
into the agency response, which includes enforcement?
MR. JOHNSON: Yes, it does. And Chris
reminds me of a point that I maybe have forgotten; and
that is, you know, the assessment process is looking
at the overall performance of the plant over that four
quarter rolling period.
The enforcement process is focused on each
So you may have an issue that we determine
the significance of, it's an entering argument to the
assessment process. We'll take enforcement on it by
some rules that we've established, some traditional
enforcement or either enforcement, you know, because
we've been able to assign a color and so it's an NCV
or it's a violation. But in terms of taking -- what
the assessment process does is it looks at that issue,
but it also looks at all of the other issues that are
ongoing at the same time.
And so that's the difference.
George, to be honest, I could see this box
being as a part of the agency response and I could do
it that way also.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I would be much happier
if you did that because it would show that, yes,
everything is done in a rational way.
MR. JOHNSON: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And also, of course, if
you actually did it that way, too, not just moving the
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: I guess I see it a
little bit differently though, because all the inputs
to significance determination process and the
performance indicators relate to the plant and its
risk to the public. You could have enforceable things
like whistleblower issues that would never show up
through significance determinations in terms of CDF
and LERF or performance indicators. So you need to
have an additional place where you can do enforcement
outside of the action matrix as I see it.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But then what you're
saying, Jack, is that I don't even need to go through
the SDP for those things, right?
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Well, if you --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's what you're
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: If you go through the
SDP for a whistleblower thing, how do you evaluate
DR. BONACA: We have a number of expect
violations which have no significance.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No, the whole point of
the matrix is to make the agency's response
commensurate with the significance.
DR. BONACA: I agree.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And the other thing is,
you see, I guess you don't take any enforcement
actions if the performance indicators are funny. You
see, the arrow doesn't include those.
MR. JOHNSON: That's right. That's right.
There's no enforcement you would take if you had
scrams, 3.1 scrams.
DR. BONACA: But I think that I was trying
to say is that there is a need still for compliance.
For example, you could have a number of cases in each
violated aspect and it is not significant. Well, and
what I'm saying if you saw a trend, for example, and
you have four events like that, then that would -- if
you do not have enforcement --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, no, I didn't say
don't have it.
DR. BONACA: No, I'm saying --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I said put it somewhere
DR. BONACA: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: There's a difference.
There's still a need to adherence to whatever
the requirements may be, even if some of them turn out
to be --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And that can be a proper
response under the box agency response. Because
you're still evaluate the safety significance of these
violations. I mean, you're not going to shut them
down, for example, if it's not very significant.
MR. JOHNSON: Right. We have a process.
We actually have this laid out I think fairly well in
a couple of places. One is NO 610 STAR, which is the
documentation direction guidance for our inspectors.
But also the enforcement policy, they're written to be
in conjunction -- to work in conjunction with each
But the process is if an inspector has a
finding and that finding can be -- can -- may or may
not be a violation of some regulatory requirement, you
know, you enter those 062 STAR which has -- one set of
questions called the group -- and we refer to them as
the group 1 questions. And that helps us answer
whether the issue is more than minor. If you the
issue is more than minor, then you advance. If it's
not, then we don't even document it even if it's a
violation of regulatory requirement.
If it's more than minor, then we ask
ourselves -- we've got some questions that basically
are intended to help us get to the fact that whether
there's an SDP to address it. If there's an SDP, you
ought to run it through that SDP and figure out its
significance and colorize it. And then we've got
rules with how you deal with it if it's actually also
a violation of some regulatory requirement so it fits.
If it's not, it's greater than minor and
if you can't run it through an SDP, then we look --
there are a third group of questions which are some
exceptions. And that's where, you know, I started off
early on in the talk I talked about these no color
findings. And we find out that you get some issues
like that where perhaps you had someone who didn't
follow a procedure, so it's greater than minor, but
actually didn't have any impact. The equipment still
worked. The tests, you know, the post-maintenance
test was conducted and the equipment worked fine or
something. So you got this group three question
that's out there that's a violation of regulatory
requirement and what do you do with it? And so that's
the no color findings.
But actually I guess the point I'm trying
to make is that we treat all of these issues,
regardless of whether they are a violation of some
regulatory requirements or not, through this process
and they bounce out at various points. And where they
end up really depends on whether you've been able to
colorize them and take them into the assessment
process or whether in fact they were subject to some
traditional enforcement, perhaps, but they didn't have
an impact that would have gotten you to a point where
you would have had some result that would have been
greater than green, for example. You'd still end up
taking enforcement on those items. That's the
We simply use this as a presentation tool.
And we use it a management directive -- a draft
management directive that we have written at the high
level to try to explain the process. We really do,
though, we treat this as an action, a response like we
treat those other --
MR. ROSEN: George, what's come up here is
interesting to me, because we're talking about things
that effect safety at the plant but don't show up in
CDF or LERF, and that's because it's not in the PRA.
And to me, you know, some of the things that were
mentioned here like whistleblower issues or tech spec
violations, and things like that go into the safety
culture at the plant, and they certainly effect the
safety. But that's not in the PRA, so it's not CDF or
LERF, so it doesn't show up in the significance
So you need to have a vehicle to reflect
that, because that's really important to the safety of
the plant because it builds into the safety culture.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And I agree.
DR. KRESS: But I think George's point was
why does the arrow for that come out of the
significant determination box.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes. What you just said
argues for the arrow being removed.
DR. KRESS: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And going somewhere
MR. LEITCH: Well, isn't it true that this
chart is accurate but perhaps not complete? Aren't
there other ways to get to the box that says
enforcement that are not depicted on this chart?
MR. JOHNSON: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes. It seems to me that
all the -- I mean, the box that says agency response
should have all the responses from the agency. And
what leads to that may be different things. Like
cultural issues, SDP results, PI results. But right
now it's not clear to me why this arrow from the SDP
to the enforcement box is meaningful. I mean, from
the discussion I would move enforcement under agency
response, and then I would make sure that maybe some
of the arrows from the four boxes at the bottom go
directly to the agency response. I don't know. They
don't go through the assessment process. I don't know.
MR. JOHNSON: No. Well, actually --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Although actually
theoretically all of them should go through the
MR. JOHNSON: Yes. Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Because that's the whole
point of the revised oversight process.
MR. JOHNSON: Right. That's right.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: To --
MR. JOHNSON: So what you don't want is
our inputs, you know, other things that we're
considering in this agency response that are outside
of the assessment process that have, in fact --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's right.
MR. JOHNSON: -- having gone through some
look at the threshold for significance as an input to
the assessment process.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So maybe some of them
don't go through the SDP?
MR. JOHNSON: Well --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I mean, cultural issues.
MR. JOHNSON: Well, let me talk about
cultural issues. I was actually hoping we would get
further along in the presentation before we had to
talk about safety culture or safety conscious work
But you'll remember, because we've talked
about this in previous discussions with ACRS, that the
way we treat the crosscutting issues is that the
evidence that a plant has problems with respect to
their crosscutting issues is that they will reflect
themselves in issues, individual issues that end up,
you know, crossing thresholds or in significance that
is greater than green as an input to the assessment
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And this is what the
ACRS has done many times in untested hypotheses.
MR. JOHNSON: Right. So -- oh, yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: You remember those
MR. JOHNSON: But it's that -- and so it's
the collection of issues that end up in the assessment
process, we believe, that points to a problem with
respect to these things that are crosscutting issues.
And so that's why you don't see an arrow that says
crosscutting issues here. The crosscutting issues are
reflected here, not up here.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I understand.
MR. JOHNSON: Okay.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Time to move on,
MR. JOHNSON: Okay. Good.
MR. PASCARELLI: Moving on out of the
assessment process into the agency response block, we
have management conference, which consists of a few
different things, that being regulatory performance
meetings. And the regulatory performance meetings are
talked about in the action matrix, which we'll get to
in a few minutes, but basically it consists of a
discussion with the licensee after the supplemental
inspection procedure has been completed and ensure
that the licensee and the agency has a calm
understanding of the causes of that performance
deficiency. And that may or may not be a public
meeting based upon overall licensee performance. And
we talk about that in special chapter 0305.
Also again we talked about before as we
have an annual public meeting at every plant,
regardless of licensee performance. We just changed
the level of regional manager that conducts that
meeting or chairs that meeting based again, upon
overall licensee performance. And I'll show that in
the action matrix when we get to that.
NRC inspections, you see there's a
feedback loop again to supplemental inspections. And
additional regulatory actions, which as you'll see in
the action matrix, consists of things that are for
plants that are in the multiple/repetitive degraded
On the other side coming out of the action
matrix, as you can see, we've got a communications
block. And we have press releases. And, you know,
press releases announce regulatory conferences. For
example, if we have an issue that's going to be --
that would preliminarily be determined to be greater
than green, we will ask the licensee if they want to
hold a regulatory conference. And we'll do that by a
choice letter, what we call a choice letter. And we'll
have a press release announcing that regulatory
conference if the licensee chooses to have that.
And the rest of the communications are
only to show -- you threw out the web page, and I know
you've all seen this before, but I want to show you
where the different links are that show how you can
get this other information.
Throw this up here. Don't want to go too
high here. You can see it at the top. That's our
link from the action matrix summary, it links right on
to here. And what'll it say is the most current
performance plan, this is the column that they're in.
Thanks for the finger, Mike. Right at the
That will show that, and we'll update that
at least every quarter. And, you know, as we have
inspection findings that come in and finalize if they
change the column, we'll update the action matrix
summary and this will automatically update.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Is any other industry
MR. JOHNSON: In terms of performance on
the external web, for example?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I mean, if I go to the
FAA website, am I going to find out what the 757s
of United Airlines are doing so I would know what
flights to take? Are we unique in this way publishing
everything? Does anybody know whether any other
industry is doing this? It's incredible. Anyway,
let's go on.
MR. JOHNSON: I don't know.
MR. PASCARELLI: As you can see, you know,
we've got performance indicators and if you click on
the performance indicators, you know, you click on it,
you can see the graph that shows where they are for
the last year, and any comments that the licensee had
in reporting those performance indicators.
Again, underneath most significant
inspection findings, and that's the key word is "most
significant," because underneath some of these they
may have green findings underneath there or here, but
it's that most significant inspection finding for that
quarter and that cornerstone.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: See this is another
thing now. I mean, this is a well thought out process
and so on. And then we have things like green means
one thing for performance indicators and another for
the inspection. Why? Why don't we use another color,
like you do here? And say no findings is grey and
green means something else, right?
Because it does mean different things,
MR. JOHNSON: Well, it's basically --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: For performance
indicator it means that you are fine. But for the
other, for the inspections --
DR. BONACA: It's not as good.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It's not as good,
exactly. It's not as good. Yes. If you find nothing,
then they say no finding. They don't say green.
Green means that they find something, but it was not
bad. Green was not important. Not important. And
why should one color mean two different things in the
same process? Change it. Make any difference?
MR. JOHNSON: Well, we have -- actually we
have -- we have periodic meetings, counterpart
meetings with the regional division directors that are
from the division of reactor safety and the division
of reactor projects. And interestingly enough one of
the topics that we had for our last meeting with them
was exactly this issue, George. It was to talk about
how we define each of the colors. Because there is
something going -- different going on with respect to
a green PI then perhaps with respect to a green
inspection finding in that green is as good as you get
with respect to performance indicators.
In other words, if you have zero scrams
per 7000 critical hours, you have -- you're not going
to get any better than a green. Now if you have a
green inspection finding, that's the evidence of an
issue, even though it may be a very low risk
significance that we expect the licensee to put in a
corrective action program and to do something with.
And so it's trying to explain that
difference in sort of a common way that is the
challenge. And we continue to work on it.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But it does take you to
the same entry of the action matrix.
MR. JOHNSON: It takes you to the same
entry in the action matrix.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And that shouldn't be
MR. JOHNSON: Basically they all end up --
but they're all in the licensing response band, and
that's what we're trying to figure out. Whether a
licensee has zero scrams for 7000 critical hours or
three scrams for 7000 critical hours, whether we have
one green or ten greens, or 15 greens, they're still
in the licensing response band. That's what the
action matrix is built on.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So you don't think that
we should try to find a different color?
MR. JOHNSON: Right.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: You do have a different
color, Mike. Look at this slide.
MR. JOHNSON: We actually have four
colors. One is grey.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Then why don't you don't
use grey then?
MR. JOHNSON: And the grey color simply
reflects that we went out and did inspection and we
didn't have any findings.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I understand about it.
The action matrix doesn't allow for grays.
MR. JOHNSON: Well, grey is licensee
response band. That means we looked --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It doesn't show up on
MR. JOHNSON: We did a risk informed look
and we didn't find anything.
MR. PASCARELLI: And I would categorize
anything that we do as grey. That just happens to be
the color that we chose because we had to choose a
color to show on the web page here.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But you didn't use
green, see, that's the thing. It's what you didn't do
MR. JOHNSON: You're saying that we could
make those green --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Or you could use grey
and call it grey.
MR. JOHNSON: Okay. I understand. We are
thinking about this.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: What really makes -- I
mean, what the wrinkle is is to see whether the action
matrix is really different -- would have different
MR. JOHNSON: The action matrix I think
would be the same, you know. Regardless of whether
you're talking about an inspection, the situation
where you did a risk informed inspection and didn't
find anything --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Ah, but if your action
matrix included an item there that said reduce the
number of inspection next time, then the grey would
make a difference.
MR. JOHNSON: Ah, okay. I understand.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: The grey would make a
MR. JOHNSON: I understand.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But right now the action
matrix can only make things worse, so grey doesn't
Well, I guess this is why in the objective they
said improved consistency as opposed to achieved
MR. ROSEN: You could have a category of
gold for reduced inspections.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, instead of grey it
would be gold.
I don't see why it shouldn't be. I mean,
I really think you ought to have something like that
as part of the action. I mean, that's truly
performance based then, right?
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Well, if it gets too
complex, then it becomes harder for the public to
understand what's going on.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, the public's
already complaining anyway. I saw some people
complain that the communications is not
MR. PASCARELLI: We did quite a bit of
complaints about no color findings, and that's one of
the reasons that we took some actions in addressing no
color findings is the public just didn't know what it
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So what color are you
going to use for no color findings?
MR. PASCARELLI: Invisible.
MR. JOHNSON: Green. George, green.
We're looking at -- that was my earlier discussion to
say that we actually -- if you think about what a
green is with respect to a finding, a green is simply
a finding that the licensee ought to do something
with. It's in the licensee response band. So if it's
more than minor but it's not a white finding and we're
going to document it, that's something that meets the
definition of being in the licensee response band. So
we think we ought to call those green.
Now, we've gotten a fairly wide consensus
view from inside the agency that that's the right
thing to do. We in our next NRC industry working
group meeting we're going to talk about that with the
industry and get their perspective it. We talked
about it a little bit at the external workshop.
The reason why this issue might be an
issue of interest to the industry is, as you know,
plants don't just care about -- licensees don't just
care about the number of whites, they also care about
the number of greens. And there is a perspective that
says that even though we're not doing anything with
the action matrix with respect to greens, the more
greens you have the worse it is. And so there really
is an effort on the part of some licensees to even
have not just zero whites, but to have zero greens.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: This licensee here is
not doing very well when it comes to mitigating
systems, right? It's all green. Four boxes of green.
See, that's the thing. It's not doing
MR. JOHNSON: That plant's doing fine.
That plant is in the licensee response band with
respect to mitigating systems.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I know.
MR. JOHNSON: Which is as good as you get
with respect to --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But if I look at the
picture now, you know, I'm wondering why they have
four greens and they're mitigating and everywhere else
they have grays. See, that's the problem with this.
MR. PASCARELLI: Part of the reason is the
majority of our inspection is in the mitigating
systems area, so there's more of an opportunity to
So if you look at plants, unaware of any
plant, the majority of their inspection findings would
be in mitigating systems in most cases.
MR. JOHNSON: Okay.
MR. PASCARELLI: Okay. And we also wanted
to show here -- I can't see it that well with the
glare here. But assessment reports with inspection
plans, as you'll see right here, starting being the
ROP, the first quarter of the ROP was second quarter
2000. And for plants that had thresholds that were
tripped, you'd see an assessment fall off underneath
Third quarter 2000 is where we did the
mid-cycle review and every plant would have an
assessment letter there.
Fourth quarter is like just second
quarter, again. You'd have a fall off letter if
thresholds were crossed. And for every plant in first
quarter 2001, which is our most current assessment of
licensee performance for all plants, you'd have the
annual assessment letter.
And there's another way here to get to the
inspectional report. You can click on inspectional
reports, you'll have the inspection report numbers
just listed in numerical order. That's one way to get
If, for example, another way to get there
if you're interested in what was this finding, say
this white finding right here, you click on this and
it would show up. And basically what would be there
would be the PIM entry, somewhat mildly modified PIM
entry. And we discuss he issue at the bottom that
would have the inspection report associated with that
finding, and you'd click right on there. So if you
wanted to get right to this issue, the inspection
report, it was captured and you could do that this
Again, PI summary, that's just a summary.
It's a matrix of forms indicators in plants, the most
current color that they have on those performance
Inspection finding summary is the same
thing, except it's inspection findings.
The action matrix summary is a listing of
the column that plants are in, whatever action matrix
column they're in referenced to each plant.
And plant assessment results, I'm not sure
what that goes to. The top page, the front page, the
opening page which lists -- so you can go back from
here and click back and you'd be where you could look
to another plant, for example.
Okay. Moving on the action matrix, which
we've talked about several times, but here it is. As
you can see, you start over here. We have a name for
each one of these calls. As you can see, we got the
licensee response call, which means that they have no
greater than green anywhere performance indicators or
Regulatory response calls, which is that
they have one or two assessment inputs. When I
assessment inputs, I mean PIs for inspection findings.
And if they have two, they can't be in the same
The middle column here is security
cornerstone column, and that is if they have two
whites or a yellow in any cornerstone or if they have
three whites in a strategic performance area. And the
only way that three whites in a strategic performance
area would come into play would be in a reactor safety
area because they have greater than two cornerstones.
The other strategic performance areas you'd degrade a
cornerstone with two whites. Usually with three
whites you would certainly degrade a cornerstone.
And then over here we have
multiple/repetitive degraded cornerstone column, and
that's again multiple yellows, a red or greater than
1 degraded cornerstone at the same time, or what we
call a repetitive degraded cornerstone, which is where
a licensee has a cornerstone that is currently has
been degraded for 5 or more quarters and represents
more than one singular issue. For example, they have
mitigating system, they keep having problems, they're
in this column, they have new issues that come in and
they overlap, and just carries on and on. If that is
for 5 quarters, then they end up in this column, if
they're not already there.
The unacceptable performance column is a
column we don't have any criteria to get into, but --
so the licensees can't get into that unacceptable
performance column by themself. That is a decision
making process made by agency management when the
plant gets over here to multiple/repetitive degraded
cornerstone column in the action matrix, the decision
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But even in the
MR. PASCARELLI: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: -- they must be doing
something wrong or the agency's doing something wrong
under degraded cornerstone column, right? Because you
have to do -- you have to go to that to get to the
multiple degraded cornerstone, don't you? How can you
go directly to multiple/repetitive degraded
cornerstone column without going through the degraded
MR. PASCARELLI: You could if you had a
red finding, like in the example of IP 2, they had
other issues, but you go with one single red issue
right to from licensee response --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Just with one red you do
MR. PASCARELLI: One red.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But with the whites and
the yellows, you probably have to go through the other
one first, right?
MR. PASCARELLI: Most -- most likely.
MR. JOHNSON: Generally if you're talking
about whites or yellows, there's sort of a progression
that you would expect to see.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes.
MR. JOHNSON: Although Bob is right, you
MR. PASCARELLI: If the reds and yellows
come in the same quarter and they're over here.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Now, let's look at the
hypothetical situation. Suppose you had a safety
monitor that was without any uncertainty state of
knowledge or epistemic uncertainly. When it says core
damage frequency is three ten to the minus five,
everybody believes it. Okay?
If I had that, I wouldn't need this
matrix, would I? Because then the moment you find
something, you go to the monitor, you run it through
and you see what happens to CDF and LERF, or the
cornerstone. If you like the cornerstones, you do
that, too. It does that, too.
So my actions would depend then on some
delta CDF, delta LERF, delta initiating events, I
would have a different matrix, would I not?
MR. JOHNSON: Just from a hypothetical
standpoint, I mean I think you're right.
You know, the other thing the action
matrix does, though, is remember when we had those
other cornerstones. We've got physical protection
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, reactor safety.
MR. JOHNSON: Yes. So you're talking
about reactor safety.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Reactor safety.
DR. KRESS: And some of it based upon
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No, but the point is now
that if that is the case, then given the fact that my
PRA is not as perfect as I just described it, I'm
beginning to back off from using the results of the
safety monitor to take action and I'm going back to
something like this. But shouldn't I still want to
see, though, some connection between the ultimate risk
matrix and the action matrix. In other words, why --
why are two white inputs or one yellow equivalent to
one yellow input?
DR. KRESS: This is the whole issue ahead,
George, of shouldn't the plant specific values enter
into this somewhere. And that's a way you could enter
them into it, because you're looking at the actual
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: At the actual plant.
But those who look at the degraded cornerstone column,
it says in parenthesis "two white inputs or one
yellow." So somebody decided that the risk
perspective, those two are equivalent.
DR. KRESS: Yes, right. Which is a
judgment call, I think.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: At this point it's
DR. KRESS: Yes.
DR. SHACK: Well, no. The white and
yellow thresholds were set on risk.
DR. KRESS: They were intended to be --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No, but two -- two
whites are equivalent to one yellow?
MR. ROSEN: In every plant?
DR. KRESS: That's the point, and you
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes.
DR. KRESS: It ought to be plant specific,
yes. That's a course measure.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Again, I don't want to
criticize this. I mean, you know, I know this has
been a major effort to do thing, you know, in a short
period of time. But is that something that we want to
think about as part of the continual improvement of
the process. You know, maybe it's time to visit --
I'm sure this matrix has been debated among more
knowledgeable people and they said "Well, this is a
reasonable thing to do." But it seems to me that we
are gaining our experience, a lot of the main blocks
are in place, we should start thinking about these
things. You know, why are these things equivalent and
for all plants.
MR. ROSEN: In a plant with a safety
monitor where the safety monitor was showing values
that were unacceptable to management, they were going
down, it would be because many of the mitigating
systems were out of service for longer than they were
anticipated to be in the PRA or there were more
reliability problems with the safety equipment then
were in the PRA. And the management of that plant
that had a safety monitor would be taking action, and
would have been taking action for some time to correct
those indicators and they would be showing up in the
PIs dramatically and, hence, showing up in this
process quite clearly. So, there is a link.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Sure there's a link,
MR. JOHNSON: Yes. And, I mean, George,
you remember because I know we talked about how we set
thresholds and why we decided that one white and two
whites and a cornerstone was about -- or two whites
and a cornerstone was about equivalent to a yellow.
You know, we looked at white as 1E to the minus 6 and
yellow's 1E to minus 5. And, you know, if you have a
couple of whites and you assume some value as sort of
5E to the minus 6. We sort of did some rough stuff
and tried to figure where those -- how we would group
those issues together. And to be honest, I mean I
think -- I think actually from using those kinds of
high level judgments in a simplistic way, I think we
came out at the right spot.
There are some issues that I do worry
about, and we've talked about issues like these
concurrent performance issues that have some higher
result. You know, it turns out if you have a white
and the initiating event cornerstone and you have a
white in the mitigating system cornerstone, those
aren't the same in the action matrix as if you had
both of those whites in the mitigating system
cornerstone where you might get the same -- you could
combine those theoretically from a risk perspective
and get the same bottom line number.
And so there's some things like that going
on with the action matrix that I do think we ought to
look at as we go forward to continue to make sure that
we're coming out in the right spot. But I think this
really was a good first steps, and there are linkages.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, I never doubted
Now, coming to the earlier comment. When
you have in the first column licensee response column
all assessment inputs --
MR. JOHNSON: Green.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: The indicator's
cornerstone objectives fully met. Objectives fully
met. So there should be there instead of saying
regulatory performance meaning regulatory actions
none, you know, possibly reduction at baseline
inspections could be instead of saying none. Because,
again, it appears that the whole exercise can only
make things worse when, in fact, you should reward
good performance. And it's not unusual. I mean, we
used to do that.
MR. JOHNSON: Yes. And I do understand
your point. You know, the only difficultly that we
have is -- well, I mean, there are a couple of
difficulties with respect to consistency and being
able to look at doing less than a baseline for plants
in the licensee response column. And, you know,
they're sort of intuitive.
In fact, one of the reasons why we went
away from giving positive findings in the spectrum
reports was because it was so difficult to try to
factor those in in a consistent way.
It's really difficult for us to come up
with ways to talk about doing less for a plant that is
in the licensee response column, and that's why we've
started out where we are with this notion that we'll
do the baseline, we'll do the look at the baseline,
we'll look at the performance indicators and we'll
make that baseline have the right sides, if you will,
so that we don't an excessive sample at someone who is
really good. But in general, we want something that
can be implemented from a licensing agency.
MR. SATORIUS: Mike, if I could add to
that? Mark Satorius, Inspection Program branch.
The idea that we reduced inspections
previously for good performers, we never reduced it
beyond what was at that time called the core or the
core inspection. And the idea of putting together the
baseline was similar nature to the old core. In other
words, there's a certain amount of basic inspection
that has to be performed at every facility
irrespective of performance, and that was where we
came up with the baseline.
Essentially, it was a drawing forward of the
We never took away from core, even from
good performers in the past.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And I think that makes
sense, but I guess the input we are getting from some
of the licensees and the feedback we're getting is
that it's a little more than just the former core. So
that's all you need to do --
MR. SATORIUS: And we're looking at that.
That's squarely in front of us to take for action.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Sure. Sure.
DR. BONACA: Just a question I had was
about unacceptable performance. I mean, you said
there are no criteria for that or --
MR. JOHNSON: Yes. Actually I was going
DR. BONACA: Is it consistent with
predictability and consistency or --
MR. JOHNSON: I was going to embellish on
Bob's comment a little bit to say that it's not that
there are no criteria. What Bob really was saying was
there's no automatic way to turn the crank to get you
there. In other words, there's a recipe for getting
to degraded cornerstone column, and that is two whites
and a cornerstone. Well, there's no set number of
whites or yellows or reds that will automatically plot
you into the unacceptable performance column. The
DR. BONACA: But you'll have to exceed, I
guess, the results that you will have for
multiple/repetitive degraded cornerstone by some
MR. JOHNSON: Yes.
DR. BONACA: And I can understand that.
And then --
MR. JOHNSON: And, in fact, we worked long
and hard with the industry to try to come up with some
criteria that would automatically put you in that
column. And we agreed. We had hide agreement between
us and the stakeholders that it shouldn't happen
We do have some criteria, some things that
we'll rely on in terms of enabling us to make a
judgment with respect to whether a plant is
Bob, do you have your --
MR. PASCARELLI: Yes, I do. If you want
to me read, we've got three criteria here. And this
was some criteria that we used --
MS. WESTON: What's the page, Bob?
MR. PASCARELLI: What's that?
MS. WESTON: You have the implementation
plan? The package on your desk, yes, you have it.
DR. BONACA: Oh, this big thing?
MS. WESTON: Yes.
DR. BONACA: SECY 01 --
MS. WESTON: Yes.
MR. JOHNSON: This is actually not in the
SECY. Bob's actually reading from inspection manual
chapter 0305, and it's on page 14 of 0305.
MR. PASCARELLI: And these are examples
that we -- these are examples of unacceptable
performance that the agency would look at. And we do
this on at least a quarterly basis or as new
information becomes available when a plane is in the
multiple/repetitive degraded cornerstone column of the
action matrix, we say the couple we should be looking
Does the licensee deserve to be --
deserve. Should the licensee be put in the
unacceptable performance column because their
performance is deemed to be unacceptable. And I'll
read that criteria here in a second.
And the second thing is should the
licensee be put in the inspection manual chapter 0350
process and shut down. And we've got some examples
and how that should be done in an 0305 here.
But the criteria for example of examples
of unacceptable performance are as follows:
Multiple significant violations of the
facility's license, technical specifications,
regulations or orders. Loss of confidence in the
licensee's ability to maintain and operate the
facility in accordance with the design basis or a
patent or failure of licensee management controls to
effective address previous significant concerns to
prevent their reoccurrence.
And, again, those are somewhat subjective,
but that's the starting point for licensee management
to start seeing whether this licensee should be put in
that column of the action matrix.
MR. JOHNSON: Now the way we got that is
we went back and read the Peach Bottom order, for
example. If you go back and read some of the orders
the agency's issued with respect to plants that have
gotten to the -- have pushed us with respect to making
a decision about their -- whether they were
unacceptable and whether they ought to be shut down,
for example; those are the kinds of words that you see
in those kinds of orders.
And so we recognize, and the industry I
think, and other external stakeholders recognize that
if you've got a plant in this column of the action
matrix, we ought to be looking to make sure that
they're not in this column of the action matrix and
the kind of things that we'll think about are the
kinds of things that Bob read to you.
DR. BONACA: I guess what I was going is
that you would want to see some progression or some --
so you wouldn't go from the first column, the licensee
response column to unacceptable performance. I mean,
you would have some exceeding -- you know, those
criteria that you hold -- to some degree under
multiple/repetitive degraded cornerstone column. And
I think it would be appropriate to have some
definition that says you have to be beyond that point
in a measurable way, otherwise the words you just read
there are, again, vague and they allow a lot of
latitude to make a decision, you know, that is not
objective. And we're talking about objectivity here.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I have one comment here.
You know, one of the most -- it's just a comment, not
When one applies traditional decision in
all this, it's one of the most difficult parts is if
you have multiple attribute decision problem, like you
know one attribute is dollars, the other is life lost
or injuries. One of the most difficult parts is to do
the sanity check. In other words, when you say a
utility point .7 in deaths and .7 in dollars, then
you're indifferent within the two. And then you may
find out, you know, that your value of life is $3
million or something like that. And then you stop and
think is that something I want to say.
This is a very difficult problem in
decision analysis, because you're making these
equivalence statements. Here you have done all this
but it's very down there somewhere because you're
saying that a violation in physical security of this
type is equivalent to finding unavailability of
mitigating system of this volume.
And I wonder whether anyone has really
gone deeper than that and say "Well, gee, does this
really make sense?" That would be a good thesis,
actually, for somebody.
But these are the kinds of things. I
mean, you have really --
DR. KRESS: You'd have to have a pretty
good PRA, because that's the only common --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But for physical
security you don't have PRA.
DR. KRESS: I know, that's the problem.
So you can't reduce it to the common measurement.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No. Exactly. So how
would you do that? But that would be really
fascinating to see why they consider when -- because
I'm sure these guys come from experience and say well
gee, we think --
MR. JOHNSON: Yes, that's exactly how we
get them, it's based on experience. This feels like
the action that we would have taken, should take at
this level and this is appropriate.
MR. ROSEN: One of the key difficulties in
the process you describe, which is so very difficult,
is that it reveals differences in values.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Exactly.
MR. ROSEN: Between the regulated
community and the regulator.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's exactly right.
But even within the regulated community or within the
regulator, after you point out that you are really
treating this and that as being equivalent, they might
say we'll maybe I don't want to do that. And that's
a value of an explicit analysis. But I'm not saying
you should do it, but it's really at the heart of
decision on multiple --
DR. KRESS: If you really wanted to get
consistency, you'd have to do something --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Exactly. Exactly.
DR. KRESS: It would be a good objective
for somebody to be working towards --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes. Yes.
MR. JOHNSON: And we've actually committed
to in our thinking about making sure that at the back
end that the actions that we take are -- do appear to
be equivalent, for example, based on the level of
degradation of performance in these various
cornerstones. But it's one that we've done that will
take on -- if we look at it in an ongoing basis, you
know, sort of without the more rigorous PRA tool, you
know, it really is more based on our experience, based
on the insights that we're able to gain based -- as we
do these supplemental inspections, for example, to
enable us to know whether we've engaged at the right
The other point I wanted to make is -- and
it goes to the point regarding the predictability of
the action matrix. You know, we really did want one
of the major thrusts of revising the assessment
process to be that we improve the predictability of
the process. And, you know, we were really sensitive
to external stakeholders' licensees who said, you
know, I could go from on one hand being a pretty good
performer to on the other hand being a watchlist plant
and having to unbury myself from intense public
scrutiny and this onerous burden of the regulator, and
it's not clear how I got there.
Well, by the time a plant gets to the
unacceptable performance column the engagement that
has had to have occurred -- in fact, if you think
about it before we would issue an order, we're talking
about the RA -- first of all, we're -- in almost all
cases we're talking about a single red issue, we're
talking about a plant that is in the
multiple/repetitive degraded cornerstone or, you know,
we're talking about plants that are in that area of
the action matrix. But we're also talking about us
being able to make the case in accordance with the way
in which we issue orders and satisfying OGC and so on
and so forth, having the involvement of the EDO,
having the involvement of the regional administrator,
having the buy-in of the Commission with respect to
the fact that that plant is unsatisfactory.
Because unlike the old process where we
would issue a watchlist -- put a plant on the
watchlist, if a plant ends up on the unacceptable
performance column we're saying that we're not going
to allow that plant to operate. And we've decided
that that plant's performance is so egregious that
we're going to orders them down and we're going to
make sure that they stay down until they've adjusted
So, I really do think we've gone a ways,
a long ways towards making sure that the process is
more predictable now.
You're right, you could actually have
theoretic -- I mean, I haven't thought this through,
but theoretically you could end up with the kind of
situation like we found at Peach Bottom where you
thought the plant was in the licensee response column,
maybe they were to the far left of the action matrix,
but they end up through something that just is so
egregious to us as a regulator that we really think
that they need to be shut down to address it --
theoretically I suppose you could have that. Although
I think in most cases, for a vast majority of cases,
you'll have plants progress through the action matrix
to get there.
DR. BONACA: Yes, that's the point I
wanted to make is that there has to be some
progression there or some compatibility, otherwise the
whole assumption of predictability in each one of
these categories is just, you know, just disappears.
MR. LEITCH: Could you help me through
this a little bit, thinking about the Oconee CRDM
cracking issue. And I guess what I'm trying to
understand in my own mind is this reactor oversight
process looking at safety or looking at regulatory
For example, on the Oconee situation,
there'd be nothing in the performance indicators that
would have given any indication of the cracking issue.
I don't know that they violated any regulations. How
would that be dealt with the action -- yet, it seems
to me that there is safety significance to that issue.
MR. JOHNSON: Let me just say, I don't
have a lot of detailed information about the CRDM
MR. LEITCH: Yes.
MR. JOHNSON: But philosophically what the
action matrix does and the way the assessment process
works is it works -- it really drives towards
performance problems. That is, if it is true, if the
CRDM cracking issue was something that happened at
Oconee that, and there isn't some tie to some
performance issues, something that the licensee did or
should have known about --
MR. LEITCH: And for this discussion let's
just assume that was the case. I'm not sure whether
that is or not.
MR. JOHNSON: If that is the case and
we're talking about an issue that doesn't -- that is
not going to play out in terms of an action that we
would end up engaging at some increased level based on
the assessment process, because the assessment process
really is focused on performance issues that the
licensee has some responsibility -- some ability to
You know, the Diablo Canyon, you know
lightening struck Diablo Canyon. If you have some
external event that occurs and could end up in a risk
result that is significant, you know, on the orders of
an issue that would it be a performance issue, would
it be a red if there is no performance issue
associated with that; we have an event follow up that
we'll do based on the CCDP result. We'll go out and
we'll look at the issue, we'll make sure that the
plant's doing the right thing with respect to dealing
with that issue. But in terms of the performance, the
assessment result which really look at performance,
performance deficiencies, they'll not show up to that
extent in the action matrix.
MR. ROSEN: Graham, I'm glad you said it
was a hypothetically risk significant situation at
Oconee. I don't think we've concluded that.
MR. LEITCH: No. I'm just using that as an
example to try to understand how that would fit into
this process. And I guess what I'm hearing is that
would not, really. That's something that's handled
outside of this process.
DR. BONACA: Going into the significant
determination process you do have events. And you
could call an event the results of an inspection. I
think that certain things happen. So that would be --
so an inspection is done as it should, they're
effective in identifying the leakage, so these are all
good positive actions. But there is a certain
significance to the finding of circumfrential crack
and assume that the significance was high, I guess in
the assessment process -- that's another question. I
mean, safety versus the regulatory focus. The event
would go through the assessment process or would it go
-- I --
MR. JOHNSON: Well, yes, let me just talk
about that, and then I went to come back to this CRDM
cracking issue because there's at least one other
thing I needed to tell you about that.
If we have an event at a plant, we've got
an inspection procedure 71153 that basically the
resident does some immediate follow up and gathers
insights with respect to that particular event to
enable us to enter management directive 8.3, which is
the incident investigation management directive. And
basically what that management directive does is it
has us at look at where we can to try to determine the
CCDP result, and based on some CCDP result we've got
actually a scale that says if you're here, you do a
special inspection; if you're here, you'll consider an
AIT. If you're here, you do an ITT.
So the agency will respond to events based
in a risk informed way, and there are also some
deterministic criteria, but in a risk informed way
we'll respond to events.
Now, when we go out and do that
investigation, if we find performance issues then it's
the performance issue that ends up in the assessment
process in the action matrix that we'll take action
to. Because we want to make sure that those
performance issues get addressed in the appropriate
way. And we may do some supplemental inspection based
on thresholds that are crossed.
There is not a hold with respect to our
treatment of CRDM. Now, if -- again, admitting up
front, and I don't know the specifics of the Oconee
MR. LEITCH: Yes, I understand. Right.
MR. JOHNSON: Let's suppose the CRDM issue
is one that is significant, but there's not a
performance issue associated with it. Cracking, you
know some other mechanism other than performance. The
licensee could not have known about it, would not have
known about it.
MR. LEITCH: Yes.
MR. JOHNSON: It won't be treated in the
ROP, wouldn't be treated in the assessment process,
but is treated in the generic issues process where we
look at is there something about this issue that ought
to be treated generically from a regulatory
And so it's just -- again, it's in the
process, it's in a process, it's just not in the
assessment process because there weren't performance
results, performance related aspects.
MR. LEITCH: Now again, assuming -- and
we're assuming this just for purposes of example, that
there's no performance issues related to this Oconee.
So I would look at the web page, for example, and see
all green on the performance indicators and see all no
color on the inspection findings.
MR. JOHNSON: You'll look at an inspection
report, you'll see a lengthy discussion -- again, in
this hypothetical issue. You'll see what we did with
respect to trying to determine the significance and
you'll see a description that says even though the
CCDP result, hypothetical, was here, there were no
performance issues associated with that. And with
respect to the assessment process here's how we're
treating that issue.
And so, yes, you'd be able to figure out
how we were handling that issue.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: And there would be
nothing to prevent writing a confirmatory action
letter or something like that that would keep you
shutdown until you corrected the nonconforming
MR. JOHNSON: There would be nothing wrong
with us taking -- again, from a generic issue
perspective there could be actions that look very much
like these actions that we're talking about from the
assessment process to deal with these kinds of issues.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Right.
MR. JOHNSON: Generic perspectives.
DR. BONACA: Now these are more different,
for example, if you have a plant that does
inspections, which are required, finds nothing and
then shortly after has to go back in and check and
finds other stuff which questions the quality of the
previous inspection. Or in that case you would look
like, you know, is it an accident or is it an event.
Then truly -- but, again, because the focus really is
on the regulatory requirement, which is the one of
performing inspections which are effective. And
rather than purely on the safety issue of the event,
which -- okay.
MR. JOHNSON: Good.
MR. LEITCH: I'd like to basically share
with you an impression I have and get your reaction to
It seems to me that these categories that
are not included in the PRA have -- this process is
super sensitive to those; that is that it tends to put
more emphasis on those cornerstones than reactor
safety cornerstone, emergency preparedness,
occupational radiation, public radiation, physical
protection. And just as you look at the tabulation
here, there are 11 issues in those categories and 7
And I guess I don't know what all those
issues are, but I do happen to know that those
occupational radiation safety issues, those 5 issues
that are listed there, three of those are at one plant
where no doses were exceeded. As I understand it,
even the licensee's administrative limits were not
exceeded, but what was exceeded was his ALARA goal for
Now, I'm not dismissing that. Don't
misunderstand me there. Important issues. But I'm
saying in the whole year three of those 18 things in
the whole country, three of those 18 are due to
exceeding an ALARA goal, or maybe more precisely it's
the management of the ALARA program. I'm not trying to
minimize that, don't misunderstand me. I'm just trying
to say in my mind it seems as though those categories
are -- that is this process is super sensitive to
DR. BONACA: That's a very good point
you're making. Because, I mean, if you look at the
significance, you know, safety significance what
you're saying is that you're taxing -- I mean, even
that you're looking at -- like, you know, three scrams
as being in the green and the reason is that the
impact on CDF, it's nil. But also not exceeding your
ALARA goals it would be in the same band, it seems to
me. If I had to give it a certain significance.
So it may be I would guess for the old
fashioned criteria that you're using in the
evaluation, like emergency preparedness and
occupational radiation safety there is still a very
high -- there is very little flexibility while in the
other perimeters in reactor safety you do have more
flexibility based on CDF insights.
MR. JOHNSON: These are great questions.
To be honest, I don't have a good answer that's going
to satisfy you.
You know, in part I can claim that -- you
know, from a program officer perspective I don't have
the details -- hold on just a second, Bob. Let me do
I can claim that I don't have the details
that would enable me to understand what's going on
with respect to the occupational radiation safety and
the three or 11 findings that you talked about.
Although I do remember in some in depth conversations
with, for example, the region and the region actually
felt like those findings were reflective of a broad
problem with respect to the performance. And so they
thought they were very comfortable with it.
MR. LEITCH: And I agree. I'm not to
minimize those. I'm just saying --
MR. JOHNSON: The numbers, when you look
at the numbers --
MR. LEITCH: -- when you get a picture of
the whole country for a whole year, isn't that
disproportionate? For emergency preparedness test,
some of the people didn't show up at a drill in five
minutes or whatever --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, this is related to
my earlier comment of equivalence.
MR. LEITCH: Sure. Yes. Right.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's what it is.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: And, in fact, the
situation that you're discussing, Graham, has another
implication to it because the violation there, as I
understood it, was basically a pretty broad based one
which for which they wrote three white findings. And
that moves you over to degraded cornerstone.
MR. LEITCH: Yes. Yes.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Maybe you could do that
anyplace you want. and let's say, you know, you have
some function in your plant that's pretty run down,
let's enough findings until I move you over in the
matrix where I want you.
MR. LEITCH: I just want to emphasize I'm
not trying to downplay the importance of that. But
what I'm saying is aren't there other important things
in the area of reactor safety that perhaps we have
missed? Isn't there just an unbalanced situation
there? Because in these other categories we don't
have a PRA to look at, but if we did, would those
things really take on the same significance that
apparently they do in this process?
DR. BONACA: I think the problem is that
the areas where you have the ability to quantify
through CDR or LERF there was a relaxation of the
criteria. And we were surprised by that. I mean, we
were surprised about, you know, you mean 8 scrams is
not a disaster?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: If you have 8, you're in
DR. BONACA: I'm only saying that however
we all were surprised by the range --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Eight is not good.
DR. BONACA: No, it's not good. But it's
green. I mean, it's not --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Green?
DR. BONACA: I would have thought that --
no, green. I mean, it would be --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It's yellow.
DR. BONACA: -- yellow. No -- whatever
they were. Whatever.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Whatever.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But I'm saying there was
a significant relaxation, at least from the impression
that we had of what it should have been.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes.
DR. BONACA: But whatever PRA did not
help, we stayed with very stiff criteria, particularly
in EP and occupational radiation safety. That's my
MR. JOHNSON: Yes. I mean, I've got to
tell you with respect to EP, we're looking at -- we
have planning standards and we're looking at real
significant planning standards and then those adjust
the planning standards as a way to try to separate --
to dilute the significance of findings.
You should know that we're revising the
ALARA SDP I think as a result of the external on
workshop in a very good way that has us not looking at
collective dose, but us look at instances where an
ALARA program has resulted in unintended doses and
looking at how much of that unintended dose it is --
was received as a way of gauging the significance of
findings. So I think we're moving in the right
direction with the ALARA SDP.
I got to tell you that with respect to the
emergency preparedness area, you know, when we set the
emergency preparedness PIs and we looked at drill
participation and drill performance, two different PIs
that are linked, we really didn't anticipate that
there would be problems or a number of problems with
those performance indicators. But we found problems
with respect to those performance indicators and
they're problems that licensees recognized that exist
and licensees have improved their performance in the
EP area based on those performance indicators.
And so, we didn't along the PI table, and
I'd be interested in -- in fact, I've got a note for
myself to take a look at that also when I get back to
see how those stack up. But we found some stuff in the
EP area that we didn't anticipate.
We have an ANS reliability performance
indicator. And to be honest, we didn't anticipate.
I think if we would have asked people around the table
if they would have anticipated that you'd have a plant
with a yellow on that indicator, everyone would have
shook their heads no. But we found that to be the
And so I mean I hear what you're saying
and I think we do need to make sure that at the end of
the day we step back and look at what's there to make
sure that there is this equivalency with respect to
how we treat issues, but I think specifically with EP,
we really have -- area of performance.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That brings to my mind
something that Professor Wallis keeps bringing up all
the time. We don't seem to bring the community at
large into these things. I mean, some professor
somewhere in America should be able to have a graduate
student look at this thing and work on this. Why
doesn't this happen? I mean, these guys should be
doing these little details and yet it doesn't happen.
In other fields it does.
In the regulatory arena it's almost like
a closed society. Because these are a lot of little
details. I mean, you're talking about the technical
community, Graham, all the time, and it seems to this
is where a technical community would be helpful by
doing certain things to these things. You know,
somebody whose expertise is decision analysis, to look
at it from that perspective and do that.
But I don't have an answer myself, but I
mean it is true that we are really working on an
DR. FORD: I have a question. As
Graham's point is a very telling one, I think. I can
understand how the ROP is improving the effectiveness
and the perception of how you do your regulatory
process. But there's no way, as I understand it, that
you can predict what will happen in the next fuel
cycle or the next year, or whatever it might be, due
to environmental degradation, time dependent
environmental degradation. And that's going to be the
big bug-a-boo, I think, in the whole process.
Where in the NRC is this particular aspect
being addressed? I guess that it's bringing in a time
dependence into the PRA system, which again I
understand is not possible.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, it is possible.
Yes, it is possible. It's not being done, but it's
DR. FORD: Well, yes, shouldn't it be in
feedback? I mean, you're talking the CRD and hiding
things. You're talking about radiation cracking cause
for -- and these things will occur.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes.
DR. FORD: And so as I understand it the
way this system works, the first time it occurs then
it will be registered in the system. But what happens
if you have ten CRD inhousings occur in your next fuel
cycle, or a 100. If you take each cracking as one
event, doesn't that completely put your PRA system
into complete chaos?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, they have the
baseline inspection. I mean, not everything depends
on the PRA.
MR. JOHNSON: Yes. I mean I think it's
not that it's not occurring, it's just that I'm
telling you about it in the reactor oversight process
because the reactor oversight process you know, looks
at safety inspections, inspections that check the
licensee's conformance with our regulatory
requirements and then evaluates the significance. And
so what you're suggesting is, again, it almost sounds
like one of those generic concerns that we ought to be
worried about, that we ought to get out in front of to
make sure that either through -- that we readjusted
our requirements or we've built the baseline to focus
in on those areas on the front end so that on the back
DR. FORD: I guess my question arises, I
mean people like Bill and myself have been working in
this environmental degradation area for decades. As
a part of the industry, we recognize it's needed, but
nothing seems to be being done. And I guess that's my
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, did you go through
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Well, actually this is
not -- handling issues like that is not part of the
MR. JOHNSON: That's what I was trying to
DR. FORD: Jack, should it not be the
logical next thing to be covered?
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: I think it's covered a
different way already, which is the generic issues.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But they have a box
MR. JOHNSON: But that's the back end.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's a different
MR. JOHNSON: That's what happens when you
have the generic issue process say we need a temporary
instruction to go out and make sure that the licensee
is doing it this way for this system, this component.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Right.
DR. SHACK: That's part of the license
renewal process to look at aging management programs?
MR. JOHNSON: Yes. When we say
inspections, I mean there's the NDE inspection that
provides those to find the crack. The baseline
inspection we're talking about here is not that kind
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's right. Yes.
MR. JOHNSON: It's looking at the
utilities program to do the NDE inspections. It's a
different sort of beast.
DR. FORD: Yes, but if I understand you,
the way you're talking about is the license renewal
aging management programs are in the license renewal
process are completely separate from this ROP, and it
shouldn't be completely separate as a kind of
administrative process. They should all be jelled
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: They're two different
things, aren't they?
DR. FORD: I know, and I'm questioning
whether they should be different things.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think this process
assumes that the plant is licensable and then --
DR. FORD: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: -- monitors performance.
DR. FORD: It does.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: The other one, revisits
the issue of license. So they are different things.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Or design basis --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, the whole thing.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: -- or the ability of the
plant physically to meet the design basis.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Right. Right.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: That's different than
DR. FORD: I'm still getting use to all
the different aspects of what -- I'm addressing your
particular situation. Here an inspector comes along
and he gets a green, or a white, or whatever these
colors are, yet there's a certain category where it's
associated with degradation, time dependent
degradation, shouldn't that suddenly come out as a
great big red, a temporary red, say hey we'd better
resolve this problem or analyze this problem. And if
it is a really of one-off situation, okay, you're
dealing with it. But if it's beginning of the leader
of fleet aspect, that stays a red, a great big
DR. BONACA: Well, the example that I was
discussing before about, you know, having inspections
which are required and the effectiveness of those,
there may be in the judgment that this process will
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But that's not part of
event response and generic safety inspection.
DR. BONACA: What it will happen, I mean,
because what I mean is that because if you find that
those inspections were faulty or not that appropriate
as done as before, it would come to a review --
corrective action -- you would simply find that you
have that problem there. And then would be resulting
into an impact on the -- on the grades, wouldn't it?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: This is not intended to
look at generic issues.
MR. JOHNSON: It's not.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: This is plant specific.
MR. JOHNSON: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Generic issues are
handled elsewhere. This is saying why.
DR. KRESS: This might reveal generic
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's right, it might
lead you to it.
DR. KRESS: In fact, it might lead you to-
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Exactly. That's it
exactly. And vice versa --
MR. JOHNSON: It's also licensee
performance. I mean, it's not looking at design basis.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Exactly. It's just
MR. JOHNSON: Exactly.
DR. BONACA: It's looking at performance.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And I have two issues
that I want to raise before we run out of time. This
is a good time, Mr. Chairman?
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: In fact, maybe you could
give me a little bit of estimate of how much more time
it will take to finish.
MR. JOHNSON: I don't know. Bob was going
to -- I'm assuming that you don't have any additional
questions on the action matrix because we have talked
about it to quite an extent.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Right.
MR. JOHNSON: We were -- I was going to
talk about lessons learned with respect to the
assessment process, but you can read the slides and
we've talked about some of those issues -- 11:35.
MS. WESTON: So close to 12:30.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Well, actually, we have-
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It doesn't say it goes
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: We have this. What does
MS. WESTON: It goes to 12:30.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: 12:30. That includes
our own discussion.
DR. BONACA: I would like to hear about
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Well, let me suggest
this. George, why don't you ask your questions.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: And then we'll take a
break, because I think I need to pretty soon.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Why don't we take the
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: All right. Let's come
back at 20 to 12:00.
(Whereupon, at 11:25 a.m. off the record
until 11:42 p.m.)
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: I think we'll resume our
discussion here. Unfortunately, Dr. Apostolakis
hasn't arrived, but I expect him to.
MS. WESTON: He'll be on his way.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: What I suggest at this
point is go on with lessons learned.
MS. WESTON: Yes. Where is Dr. Bonaca,
because he's the one who admitted this. And,
actually, me because --
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: I guess if you wanted to
read more detail about this, we could look at the SECY
paper that was handed out.
MS. WESTON: Yes. I was going to say, you
have the SECY paper, the implementation results which
is what you're going to be using to address the issues
that the SRM requires. I gave you also a copy of the
SRM that tells you the kinds of things that the
Commission wants you to address, and a letter to the
Commission in September.
So, between the SRM and that SECY paper,
those are the two pieces you'll be using to write your
He's here and then Bill got lost looking
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: We still have a quorum,
so why don't we go on.
MR. PASCARELLI: Okay. All right. I'll
actually start improvement area, because I know that's
of most interest to the members here.
The first issue that we -- in these issues
here, at least the first two, we took the external
lessons learned workshop, discussed it with the
public. And we've committed to taking some sort of
actions, and I'll talk about that as we go through it.
But the first issue is historical
findings. And historical findings are those findings
where we went through the SDP and you come out with a
certain color. It goes through the action matrix and
we treat it right now as any other finding. However,
there's a possibility that some of these findings that
are historical where the risk still exists and that
the licensee may be taking the appropriate corrective
action. They may have already even found this issue
And where we've struggled a little bit
with this is that this actually may represent very
good licensee performance where they're going after
it, they're addressing it, they're collecting it and
then we come and inspect it and find it, and it's a
white/yellow, etcetera finding.
And one thing we don't want to do with
this process is discourage licensees from going out
and aggressively finding these types of problems. So
one of the things we're going to be looking at with
these historical issues is is there a certain class or
category or findings that maybe we could do something
different with, that we could somehow account for
that. And that's something that we'll be looking
forward to doing here in the near future. As a matter
of fact, that's a subject of one of our meetings with
NEI, it's a public meeting this Thursday.
No color findings. This is something
Mike's touched on a little bit, but some of the
problems with no color findings was that the public
and some of our other stakeholders have found that
these no color findings are difficult to understand.
They don't fit into the action matrix anywhere by
themselves. And they're difficult to understand.
We have betrayed them on the web initially
as blue, and people wanted to know does blue mean.
And so there's been a lot of questions revolving
around no color findings. And the problem is that the
existence of these no color findings may actually
undermine the process because of the lack of
understanding of these issues.
So, we have looked at a couple of
different possibilities of what we're going to do with
these no color findings, whether we want to modify the
way we handle these issues to make those issues green,
artificially green, or whether we want to minimize
these number of issues by auditing the findings that
we have. And that's something we're still working on.
Dwell time for inspection findings. Right
now we have inspection findings stay on the books
irregardless of their color; white, yellow, red, they
all stay on the books for four quarters from the time
in which the finding was found by the inspector,
documented inspection report. Run through the SDP
process and go back to the time that it was put in the
inspection report and we count it four quarters from
And early on, the basis for that, why we
picked four quarters, was we thought that that would
be somewhat consistent with the manner in which PIs
stay on the books for licensees, for the majority of
We talked about this at the internal
lessons workshop as to whether this was still
something that we should look at changing; should we
keep it at four quarters, should there be some graded
reset for inspection findings. And what we came up
was basically the consensus of the participants at the
internal workshop was that it's too early to tell. We
don't have enough findings for that, so we might as
well keep it as is for now. But that's certainly
something that we should look at for the future.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Now, in SECY-010114 you
have more as areas that require improvement, and why
is that not on these things here?
MR. JOHNSON: We just have --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Because some of these
are not insignificant. Inspectors concerned of the
threshold was too high for documenting findings that
could be precursors to more significant issues. They
were concerned with how crosscutting issues are
addressed in the ROP framework. And a significant
percentage of internal stakeholders continue to
express concern regarding their ROP's ability to
provide the proper identification of declining safety
performance in a timely manner. These are pretty
significant concerns, aren't they?
MR. JOHNSON: Yes. We could talk about,
actually, all of those if you'd like. We were simply
-- the ones that Bob is talking about are higher level
specific to assessment alone. And do you want to talk
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Did you read the letter
on the risk-based performance indicators?
MR. JOHNSON: I just read it this morning.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Because in that report
they do have some findings that are relevant to the
thresholds. So, if you read it this morning, that's
MR. JOHNSON: Right. I did.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: We don't have to discuss
it today. But that report, it seems to me, has a lot
of material that would be useful to you.
And speaking of that report, when we come
to the summary of results and actions of SECY on page
7 and 8 under performance indicators you are saying
that you have immediate actions, long actions and so
on. I was struck by the absence of mention of the
risk-based performance indicator program. Why is
MR. JOHNSON: Again, the way we built this
paper was, if you look at each of the attachments we
do we do sort of an exhaustive treatment of all of the
feedback and the results of our self-assessments. And
we put those in the attachments.
And then what we did for the Commission
paper was just sort of try to build an executive
summary that picks off the ones that either got the
most feedback or raised to the highest level based on
the self-assessment process. And so that's what you
see in the Commission paper.
And, again, we're not talking about the
exhaustive list of these issues. But, I mean, we can
talk some more. If you want to do it now or if you
want to do it --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I mean, I'm trying to
understand because I was a little confused when we had
the subcommittee meeting on the risk-based performance
indicators as to what the attitude of your group of
the guys who are actually running the revised
oversight process, what that attitude is towards the
risk-based performance indicators. And at that time I
thought that you would be happier if the whole project
MR. JOHNSON: No, I --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Now was that a wrong
impression? And why then isn't it mentioned here?
MR. JOHNSON: Yes, it was -- we tried to--
I remember that discussion that we had with the ACRS
on risk-based performance indicators. I guess I was
sitting at the side table or maybe in the back.
But we tried to explain that our
perspective with respect to risk-based performance
indicators and plant specific thresholds really is
that we think that we can improve with respect to both
of those. We're looking to -- and we talked a lot
about the process, we're adding new PIs.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes.
MR. JOHNSON: And I remember a discussion
about, you know, sort of a play off between PIs and
baseline inspections, and those kinds of things.
But, no, that is an issue that we're
continuing to work on.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: They have some very
interesting and challenging ideas there, especially
regarding the issue of multiple PIs being just green,
what do you do? You know, do you define them at the
train level or the system level to have more
meaningful PIs. All these are very challenging and
interesting questions that I think should be very
relevant to the ROP.
MR. JOHNSON: Right.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But some of the results
they have already there show very clearly that the use
of generic information to come up with the thresholds
for green/white is just not a wise thing to do. And
you do get complaints from other people who don't
understand the mathematics that the thresholds are a
bit too high. And yet I don't hear anybody say we're
going to do something about it.
I mean, all your thresholds are delta CDF
based except the green/white. And those now have been
shown analytically to be on the high side. And form
the practical point of view, your own inspectors are
saying "Well, gee, these are high."
MR. JOHNSON: With respect to the
inspectors, you know, the message -- you've got to
take the message that you hear from inspectors and
what we wrote in the paper in context a little bit.
You know, and what we really were talking
about in the way referring to what the inspectors told
us with respect to PIs and thresholds and the ability
of the PIs to verify declining trends, you know, we
did a survey in 1999 where we asked inspectors do you
believe that PIs and the program will be able to
identify declining trends. And I don't remember the
exact numbers, but I think around 24 percent of the
inspectors thought that the PIs and the program would
be able to identify declining trends. About 24
We did survey, this most recent inspector
survey, late last year and early this year. In fact,
the results are documented in this Commission paper.
And that percentage has doubled. Now more than half
of the inspectors believe that the PIs will be able to
identify declining trends of performance based on the
fact that they've seen PIs cross thresholds, they've
gone out and done supplemental inspections and found
underlying performance issues.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Is the same as saying
that they believe that they are leading indicators?
MR. JOHNSON: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay.
MR. JOHNSON: So what I'm telling you is
that you're right, there's still -- and that's one of
the areas that we're continuing to focus on with
respect to the staff's acceptance, if you will, or a
belief in this whole concept of thresholds being able
to do something based on those thresholds.
It's a good news/bad news story. The good
news is hey, we've gone up significantly. The bad
news is there -- if you call it bad news -- is that
we've got a ways to go.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, to what extent is
your group aware of what research is doing on risk-
based performance indicators?
MR. JOHNSON: Very much. We're very much
aware. In fact, the guy who I asked to come up to
talk, Tom Boyce, is my point of contact with research.
He, in fact, is preparing to put the research -- the
staff's response to the ACRS on the letter, on your
letter, on risk-based performance indicators.
We will be getting a handout on risk-based
performance indicators that represents research's
recommendations. So we're very tied in.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I mean, the original
thresholds, I understand you were doing everything
under tremendous pressure. This was one of many
things that you had to do something about. The action
matrix and this -- so, you know, you did what was
reasonable at the time.
MR. JOHNSON: Right.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But we have pointed out
in the past that there may be a problem there. Then
this report from research comes out with numbers that
shows that, you know, you really have to be very, very
careful when you use generic information. Then your
own inspectors say well gee the thresholds must be too
high. And yet when you talk about actions, you
completely ignore all that. And that's what perplexes
MR. JOHNSON: Okay.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Now, what you're saying
is different from what the report says. I am happy to
hear you. But at some point, it seems to me, we have
to revisit that. And I don't see why it's such a big
deal. In my mind it's not. I mean, we have
information and we can do it. Yes, it has to be plant
MR. JOHNSON: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Like everything else is
MR. JOHNSON: Yes. I was just going to
say, the report really is focused on the results and
the implementation and lessons learned from -- you're
talking about the external stakeholders and the
internal stakeholders and our self-assessment matrix.
And so based on that, these are the actions.
And you're right, I was just looking
through the attachment and it turns out we don't call
out this risk-based performance indicator development,
although it's a clearly a development activity that
was a major activity for us.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, it's a major
MR. JOHNSON: And we'll have to factor it
into the change process.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Now, one last question,
if I may. There is a mention of an NRC staff concern
regarding potential unintended consequences associated
with the unplanned power change of PI and there is
also a mention of an industry concern with potential
unintended consequences with the scram PIs. Would it
be worth spending two or three minutes explaining
MR. JOHNSON: Sure, I can talk to them.
The industry concern with respect to the
scram PIs is one that I think we've talked about in
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: We have discussed in the
past. It's this business of manual --
MR. JOHNSON: That's right. That's
exactly right. And it's sort of a longstanding
industry concern and it was one that came to the
forefront when we got ready to begin initial
implementation. And we actually worked with the
industry to develop a pilot replacement, a couple of
pilot replacements for those performance indicators.
We had a pilot program where we ran those performance
indicators. That pilot program ended in April.
We issued a regulatory issue summary,
which is how we communicated that pilot program to the
industry. And in that we had five criteria that we
were going to look at to evaluate whether we would go
forward with the replacement performance indicators.
We've completed that look. And, in fact, in our last
meeting with the industry NRC working group we talked
about the results of that. And what we found was the
data that you got from the replacement scram
indicators was about the same data that you can
collect from the ones that use the word scram. That's
essentially what was different, is the replacements
didn't use the word scram. So they talked about going
from criticality to subcritical in less than 15
minutes, and some other things.
But it collected essentially the same
If you look at sort of the initial event
data that we had that enabled us to set thresholds
initially, it's about the same as was in that
initiating events new reg.
If you look at unintended consequences,
you know, we've said are these new replacement PIs
going to be less subjective subject to unintended
consequences as the ones that we have now? We said,
you know, the group we thought probably it was a wash.
In fact, maybe the replacement PIs are more subject to
unintended consequences because -- I mean, I can
almost envision a plant being able to say "Well, you
know we've gone through 10 minutes and if I go another
5 minutes, then I don't have to take this hit on this
And so it clearly wasn't better with
respect to provided less unintended consequences. But
where the real difference was is if you look at the
complexity of the definition and what we anticipate in
terms of the request for clarification with respect to
that particular definition, we think that the
replacement performance indicators are worse than the
initial performance indicators. And so based on that
leaving the NRC initial working group meeting we
agreed as a group that when you consider the technical
merits of going forward with replacements compared to
the previous PIs, it makes sense to stay with the
current scram PIs, the current PIs that use the word
scram as opposed to going forward.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So you will include
MR. JOHNSON: And today we include manual
and automatic scrams in that.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Right.
MR. JOHNSON: So we talk about --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It's interesting, you
know, I don't know -- we feel that the industry has
these concerned, but I don't know what the industry
is. Because there is a course every summer at MIT and
there was a panel discussion with distinguished
members and representatives of the industry and it was
unanimous that there is no problem there.
MR. JOHNSON: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That the operators will
not be effected by the fact that, you know, they will
do the same in other words.
MR. JOHNSON: Yes, I agree as far as --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And I don't understand
what concerns the industry's concern.
MR. JOHNSON: -- scrams are concerned, I
don't see --
MR. LEITCH: It happens so quickly that
the operator, I think, is going to do what he
perceives to be the right thing.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That was the unanimous
opinion of these people.
MR. LEITCH: And in fact for a long time
certain plants have -- utilities have rewarded people
in terms of scram interjunction and so forth.
Compensation programs. And even with those, we saw no
difference in operator reaction to a situation.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Right.
MR. LEITCH: And that's hitting his
pocketbook directly. But he just, you know,
instinctively does the right thing because you're
talking about a very short time. And I think it may
be a little difference, though, when you're talking
about planned power reductions when you can, you know,
there's a lot of things you can do there as far as the
72 hours, can you -- you know, can you wait until a
weekend and do something.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes.
MR. LEITCH: There's a lot more chance to
think about it. But I don't know that scrams would
have any impact at all.
MR. JOHNSON: In fact, it's the unplanned
-- the actual concern with the unplanned power changes
PI, I know Don Hickman's been before you in previous
presentations and has talked about the concerns. And
the concerns really were just what you've said. You
know, it's you define this period as 72 hours from the
onset of the condition. You talk about the power
change being 20 percent. And, in fact, we've found
instances where licensees have changed their
procedures to not go down 22 percent, to go down 19
percent, for example, or go down 10 percent where
they've previously gone down 20 percent to avoid
taking a hit. And situations where folks have delayed
that power change for more than 72 to avoid taking a
So we know that performance is changing to
avoid taking a hit with respect to that PI, and that's
some of our concerns with respect to that PI. And,
again, we're working with the industry, this NRC
industry working group, public meetings to try to
develop a replacement. And when we do, we'll have a
pilot. We'll have pilot it. We'll have criteria and
we'll evaluate it against the criteria and decide
where we go.
MR. ROSEN: There is no question that
indicators will change behavior. I don't think
anybody disputes that. Now your question is whether
the behavior you get is appropriate.
MR. JOHNSON: That's right.
MR. ROSEN: And so you can look at the
changes in behavior you get and if they seem okay,
then there is no issue.
MR. JOHNSON: That's right. Exactly
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, even the
statement, though, that indicators will change
behavior, I mean I thought that was the whole point.
You know, that part of the industry felt that the
operator's performance will not be effected by the
fact that manual scrams are part of the indicator.
And if that's the case, then -- now when you talk
about replacement PI -- I'm sorry, you want to --
MR. ROSEN: I should soften that. I
should say indicators may change. They don't always
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Then I agree. The
replacement indicators now, these are indicators that
you and the industry are working together to develop?
And that would include, possibly, a risk-based
performance indicators or is that a separate issue?
MR. JOHNSON: Well, that is actually a
separate. We actually piloted two performance
indicators to replace the two scrams. You know, we
have a scrams per 7000 critical hours and then a
scrams with loss of normal heat removal. And we
piloted two replacements to replace each of those.
And what I've said that we don't think that those
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So it's a more focused--
MR. JOHNSON: That's right. And the
unplanned transients one we're looking at a pilot of
maybe one or maybe even two as a possible replacement.
So we're going to talk about it some more in the
meeting that we have this Thursday with this working
group. But, again, we'll decide whether we go for it.
Risk-based PIs are --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Now, my last issue is
this crosscutting issue business. I mean, I still
don't think we're handling it well. But if you ask me
for what's the best way, I don't know myself. But it
would nice to see that you guys are a little more
sensitive to the issue rather than saying, you know,
true safety culture will be reflected on hardware so
we don't have to do anything.
I mean, first of all, what if there is
full safety culture that you will see in the recovery
actions during an accident? You're not going to see
anything in the hardware that way. It will effect
people's decision making processes during an accident.
I don't know that you will have an opportunity to see
any of that in normal inspections or performance
indicators. And to say we're not going to touch this
issue because, you know, somehow it's going to
manifest itself in hardware is a little disturbing.
And I repeat, it's not just -- safety
culture is such a broad term, it includes everything;
you know, the corrective action program and so on.
And we are probably the only country, nuclear country
in the world that doesn't seem to worry about it.
Everybody else, I guess, doesn't understand it and
they do worry about it. And we understand it and we
say it's not a problem.
MR. JOHNSON: It's not that we don't worry
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: We just don't want to do
anything about it.
MR. JOHNSON: In fact, we have -- you
know, if you look at the PI&R inspection procedure and
the hours that we devote to PI&R, and I was trying to
remember if I could come up with a number that would
give you a feel for how much inspection we do in that
area, and I can't. But I would tell you that the
single most inspection that -- the PI&R inspection,
the hours associated with that are larger than the
hours that we put on any other aspect of the program.
We do -- today we set aside 10 percent of our hours in
any baseline inspection procedure to look at the PI&R,
problem indication and resolution aspect of that
sample that is being sampled.
We have a team inspection, 210 hours now
going to 240 hours that we do every hour, going to
every 2 years. I'm looking at PI&R and one of the
things we sample in PI&R is safety conscious work
environment to try to get a feel for what that is.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: How do you do that? I
MR. JOHNSON: And it's very difficult.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I know it's difficult.
MR. JOHNSON: But let me just say that we
do it, and make that point and then maybe I can come
back to address the other issue or the question that
We're adding for the first time 60 hours
per hour to allow the regions to do a focus sample to
look at specific issues, to dwell down and see why or
when the licensee found it and why they didn't find it
sooner and, you know, what are recurring issues that
indicate that there are some problem.
We spend in the baseline a significant
amount of resources and a focused effort looking at
PI&Rs a crosscutting issue. But what we do is, and we
do this at the direction that we got from the
Commission. The Commission told us two things with
respect to crosscutting issues, and specifically PI&R.
One of the things they said was, and I remember
Commissioner Diaz saying this because I briefed him
and he's sitting across the table from me. He said
that we need to make sure that the industry is clear,
the external stakeholders are clear with respect to
the importance that we place on these crosscutting
issues and PI&R, specifically. The corrective action
programs, talking about corrective action programs are
a central part of what -- of a licensee's activities
in maintaining safety performance. And almost those
But the Commission also told us that
having said that, before we take action, before we
take significant regulatory action that we ought to
make sure that those actions are based on in response
to -- in response to issues that have cross thresholds
in terms of performance indicators, in terms of
inspection findings. So the Commission sort of mapped
out for us where we stand with respect to our
treatment of crosscutting issues. It's don't jump to
programmatic unless you can point to issues, but
programmatic, problem identification and the
resolution is important.
And so what we do today is we talk about
in these letters about -- talking about the in-cycle
and the mid-cycle letter and the annual performance
letter -- we talk about substantial crosscutting
issues. I mean, we've raised the issue, we document
it, we engage with licensees, if you will. But, again,
it goes back to the -- if you look at the action
matrix you don't see a color or a --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I understand. So my
suspicion all along that the inspection program does
worry about things like that has always worried about
things like that?
MR. JOHNSON: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But at the same time the
official position of the agency is that that's the
licensee's responsibility and we really don't want to
MR. JOHNSON: Well --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I mean, I find that a
little bit, you know, inconsistent. And I would like
to see a better -- I mean, we try. We had a senior
fellow look at safety culture. I mean, it's a subject
that is not really very well understood. I think that
was one of the few conclusions that everybody agreed
And so whatever you do now or have been
doing for a while, I'm sure is based not on am
empirical knowledge rather than a more systematic way.
MR. JOHNSON: And I would add, we haven't
declared victory on this issue. I don't want to leave
you with that impression.
We have a focus group, an internal focus
group that is this crosscutting issues focus group.
And one of the things they have on their plate is to
try to work internally but also with external
stakeholders to develop an objective way to evaluate
licensee's PI&R processes; the thinking being if we
could find some subjective way, if we can -- for
example, and if we can work with industry to do this.
If, for example, the industry -- and we
try to do some early exchanges with INPO to have them
develop a criteria, if you will, for what is the
corrective -- what are the attributes of an adequate
corrective action program. You know, if there were
some way to, first of all, have that on the front end
but also have an objective way either in terms of
looking at what's in the population, you know, in a
risk informed way and some objective way to measure
the program, then we'd have a way to be able to build
that into the process, in a structured way build that
into the action matrix so that it plays along with PIs
and inspection findings to give us direct insights.
And so, I mean, we're continuing to work
MR. LEITCH: And the licensees probably
all have ways, maybe not a uniform way, but they all
have their own ways of accessing the effect of the
corrective action programs. And there is some very
significant performance indicators like backlog and
age and ratio of self-revealing items to near miss
kind of things. And there's some very telling things
that can happen --
DR. BONACA: Absolutely.
MR. LEITCH: -- in a correction program.
DR. BONACA: In addition to that we have
commented to them about the significance of the
examination process that, for example, does not focus
at all on repeat events or repeat failures. And so
there has been a reluctance, I believe, in considering
some elements of crosscutting issues. Again, it still
bothers me the idea that every time you have something
happen and then you perform a significant
determination, in total you neglect the possibility
that it has been repeated twice or three times --
that's a typical thing that you look at in a plant
because it tells you about the culture of the plant.
And yet here you have an opportunity that was missed,
in my judgment, because I mean you do perform a
significant determination evaluation and then why not
proceed under that also repeats as significant.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think it's, you know,
this perception that normally the agency's just
talking about in investigating something, regulations
are bound to come six months later. And there's a lot
of coolness towards investigating these things. But
it seems to me there's a lot of room for improvement
MR. ROSEN: George, a couple of points, if
First of all, I'm a little bit concerned
about what I perceive as your equation of safely
culture with PI&R programs. In my view, while PI&R
programs are crucial and important parts of the safety
culture, it's not the whole story.
MR. JOHNSON: Yes, I didn't mean to lump
With respect to the framework, in terms of
the crosscutting issues we talk about performance. We
talk about safety conscious work environment. And
there's a piece of that that sounds a lot like safety
culture. And then we talk about problem
identification resolution. So there are three, and
they are separate, they have some interplay, but I
didn't mean to imply that I was lumping PI&R under
MR. ROSEN: Well, PI&R that is the
corrective action program at a plant is an important
part of the safety culture. I agree with that. I
wanted to make sure that I understood that you were
not saying it was all -- the whole piece of the safety
culture and many other things effect the plant's
safety culture beyond PI&R. And a plant that has a
good safety culture, in my view, can go to people in
the plant and they understand what's important about
what controls risk at the plant, and what they do in
their jobs that effects risk. And that's another big
piece of the safety culture. You know, that you don't
measure now and I think needs to be thought about.
And one other point -- I'm a little bit
tangent here -- that is you talked about corrective
action programs and thinking about coming up with
appropriate guidance for them. Well, I think that
exists. I think the INPO performance objectives and
criteria, and other INPO documents, give pretty good
guidance to corrective action programs in the
MR. JOHNSON: And they do, they give
guidance or really principles, but they're not at a
level that we would use them -- be attempting to use
them in terms of -- I'm thinking criteria in terms of
inspection criteria, sort of low level, you know. And
the things in the INPO guidance now are really
principles of high level fancy.
You know, let me just make the point to
remind us of where we used to be in terms of helping
us understand why we haven't gone perhaps as far as
you think we ought to go yet. And that is, remember--
remember the criticism that got us onto the reactor
oversight process, and it was -- the Commission was
talking about the fact that subjectivity, for example,
shouldn't be a central part of any process. And the
old process which did talk a lot about safety culture,
right, remember. We talked about the watchlist and
why plants were there, and you could read all kinds of
stuff about the safety culture and the licensee's
willingness to take on problems, and all of that
stuff. It was in that other process that was based on
good insights, based on our judgment. But they really
were insights based on judgments and you couldn't tie
them back in an objective way and so you ended up with
plant A and plant B maybe coming at it in a different
In this process what we've tried to do is
more objective, and so that's the influence that
you're seeing. And what you're telling us is, and in
fact the inspectors still feel this way. You know,
some external stakeholders still tell us this; that
there's not 100 percent degree comfort with respect to
where we are and that we do need to continue to work.
But it's in that backdrop where we used to be where I
think, you know, I've said in previous ACRS briefing,
one of the things that happened was -- I mean, when
you look at plants that ended up on the watchlist, the
worst performers, there was no arguing that they had
problems with safety performance and their safety
culture, and you could make broad programmatic
statements about problems that they had. The problem
was with it from our process perspective was we
predicated, and we predicated about 15 out of the last
4 of them, you know, we over predict. Every time we
saw one of these things, we extrapolated it into
therefore this plant should be -- you know, have
massive agency oversight. And, again, only a subset
of those ended up playing out.
So the bias of the process is to say
there's a presumption that if a plant hasn't cross
thresholds, we have to make a compelling case to be
able to do more based on some programmatic
perspective. Because we really do believe that if a
plant has significant programmatic problems, it will
be reflected in issues that are cross -- if they don't
have an understanding of risk; they'll have difficulty
implementing maintenance work, they don't -- if they
don't have a culture that finds problems, we'll--
they're have self-revealing things that end up being
So, that's sort of the philosophy that is
different from where we were. It maybe isn't as far as
we need to go, but we continue to work on it.
I think Bob was finished.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: He has another slide, if
you want to deal with.
MR. JOHNSON: Sure. It's the actions, I
MR. PASCARELLI: Yes, and this is the
actions from the improvement area, which we've already
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: You're going to deal
with the things that you thought you needed to do.
MR. PASCARELLI: Right. And these are the
actions that were taken to address those three issues.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Okay. So this is it.
We have about 15 -- 13 minutes left. What
I'd like to do is, perhaps, go around the room and ask
folks for any response or opinion with regard to
issues that may still remain in the process.
DR. FORD: I have no comments, except
praise for this current, the RSP process, I think it's
a good process.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Okay. Graham?
MR. LEITCH: Well, I have two that, I
guess, have been widely discussed, but one is the
confusion that exists between green performance
indicators and green inspection findings. I mean, I
think that, you know, is a source of some confusion,
and I think that's the only problem with it. I don't
think it's really a significant issue, but it does I
think cause some folks confusion.
I guess the other more significant issue
in my mind is this issue that I discussed earlier,
that is a balance between reactor safety and the other
issues which are not driven by risk assessment. And
it seems to me that we have skewed to some extent the
importance of those other issues up and the importance
of reactor safety issues down. And I guess, you know,
by example I would say that the Calloway ALARA thing
it seems to take a high significance. And I'm not
saying it's not an important issue, but it seems to
take on a high significance.
Other reactor safety issues, and I would
think it would be accounting back summer -- back maybe
even the San Onofre fire, which I recognize was
largely balance of plant, but nonetheless, there was
a lot of interesting things going on; operator
distraction, I'm sure, and he hears the turbine
grinding to a halt with no oil in the bearings, I
don't know what things were like in the control room
at the time, but I'm sure there were some nuclear
safety implications of that. I think they lost some
annunciators for a period of time there as well. So
it means it seems -- and that winds up with one green
finding in Calloway winds up with three white ones.
Just worried about equating those things.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Okay. Dr. Kress?
DR. KRESS: Well, I guess I would second
Graham's issue, and that is the equivalence of the
significance of the various findings needs to be
looked at a little more.
I like George's comment that the common
metric is risk changes. And I wouldn't want to see
this reduced to a system where we just look at a PI
and the delta risk, percentage change in risk because
I think what the system does for you, it gives
guidance to the inspector on where to go look for
things. So what I would like to do is see a better
tie between the two; where you work towards getting a
PRA -- I like the risk informed performance indicators
that we heard about where the PRA guides the
significance of these things. So I'd like to see more
done along that line to keep the matrix, because it is
the way you guide the inspection.
I think eventually the matrix is just
going to have to be plant specific, you know, in terms
of significance of the findings.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Well, and significance
determination has to be plant specific.
DR. KRESS: Yes, but I think even the
matrix is still --
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: That may make the
callers plant specific.
DR. KRESS: That's exactly what I had in
And I did like the thought that was
expressed that they need to look at not discouraging
system -- you often cease from being aggressive in
finding your own programs. And I like that thought,
so I would encourage you to keep working along those
And I agree with George, I think it's --
we don't really do well with the safety culture issue.
I think that needs to be more up front, dealt with
more explicitly than we do.
Let's see if I had any more. I guess
that's the major ones I get.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Thank you. Steve?
MR. ROSEN: Without repeating some of the
good comments that you've already heard, let me just
make one about something I heard you say that was a
little troubling. The CAP principles that are in the
INPO documents are, in fact, intended to provide INPO
members with flexibility to implement corrective
action programs. They're what must be achieved rather
than how to achieve it. And I think that's the right
level for it.
So, I worry if you write an inspection
manual chapter that starts getting into the hows would
have a negative effect on the licensee's performance
in their overall CAP. And I think you might want to
be careful about that.
MR. JOHNSON: Yes. Let me just -- no, I
didn't mean to imply that we would. I was trying to
explain that the way that started was we had the idea
that if we were going to be able to be look at the
corrective action programs in the way that we look at
all the other things that we do in the baseline, it
would be nice to have some of the criteria to enable
us to do that. And what INPO did, in fact, was to
develop these high level principles that are very
good, but they're different from what we would have
used. And there's no effort to try to link those up.
What the current effort is is to try to
say is there some way that we could either through
working with the industry to develop those lower level
criteria, for example, or is there some way to look at
objective results, objective indicators that licensees
may be using that could be applied across plants and
be able to get closer to enabling us to decide the
significance of what is refined.
I mean, I don't want to come across as
being negative on the principles. They do what they
do very well, it's just that from a baseline -- the
issue that we were trying to scratch was what are the
criteria that we would use as inspectors to go out and
be able to look in a consist way at these programs.
And we've clearly recognized that that wasn't it.
DR. KRESS: I did have one other, and that
was I really liked George's comment that it would be
nice to have somebody very knowledgeable in formal
decision making processes to look at the matrix,
particularly from the view of how we set thresholds
and what the decision process is going into that. So
I think that's a good thought that we should follow up
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Okay. Thank you.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think I've expressed
my views already and my colleagues I agree with their
comments. I only want to say one thing, though.
That Mike got an award this year from the
agency. His performance today confirms that he
MR. JOHNSON: Thank you very much.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Just for being here and
listening to us. He handled all the questions very
well. Thank you.
MR. JOHNSON: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Dr. Bonaca?
DR. BONACA: Yes, I pretty much ascribe to
the comments provided already.
Safety culture clearly is an issue, we've
talked many times about. And however we get to that,
I think it's important that there's more objectivity
also in their evaluation. Again, otherwise it remains
a obscure process that the NRC retains as its own
choice on how to evaluate. I understand you're
looking at it as crosscutting, but I think some more
objective review ought to be developed and that should
And the other point I'd like to make,
again, objectivity and persistency seems to be a
thrust of the new program. You have to look at
performance on a regional, that will tell you
something about it. When I look at the data you have
right now, I see the same flaw as I saw in the past.
All the bad performers are in one region or the
problem is applied in a different way. And so you
have to look at it, because it keeps -- at the
insights. It's interesting.
MR. JOHNSON: Okay.
DR. BONACA: The region's action.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Dr. Uhrig?
DR. UHRIG: Just a couple of comments.
The old SALP process had many faults, but
there was a tendency within that process to encourage
improvement in the operation of the plants. And
somehow I feel that the feature that's been lost and
if there were any way that this could be brought back
in without getting into the problems that led to the
demise of the SALP process, which is mainly as I
understand it the utilities objected violently to the
Public Service Commissions trying to use these scores
as a basis for their earnings.
And I also wondered whether there had been
any attempts that you know of to put numerical values
on colors like green, yellow, red, etcetera?
MR. JOHNSON: We've not found --
DR. UHRIG: I haven't heard of any, and
just wondered. I suspect there's somebody looking at
that, but I hope not, because that was fatal to the
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Well, green and red have
an accounting connotation also.
MR. JOHNSON: Yes.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: So maybe there's an
DR. SHACK: Very impressed. Again, I
would be the most reluctant here about the plant
specific nature of some of these things. You know, I
like the notion of one action matrix. I'm not sure I
like the notion of a 100 action matrixes on a plant
I'm also a little concerned that there's
this confounding of the performance versus the safety
status of the plant, which the safety status sort of
is part of the design basis and the performance.
That, you know, some plants are inherently safer than
others. You got three trains, you got two trains.
When you go to the risk-based things, I
see this notion that you're bringing in more than
performance. You're really reflecting in many ways on
the design of the plant as well.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: That's right.
DR. SHACK: And there's something to be
said for a process that focuses on performance. How
you keep that distinction -- and, you know, I don't
think it should it be a hard and fast thing, but I
think as you keep pumping for the risk-based PIs and
the plant specific nature of this thing, I think that
there is this problem that you will be confounding
design features of the plant with the performance.
And this process is really trying to look at the
performance, so I think you may have a potential
problem there that you have to at least think about.
I'm not sure what the answer is. So I'm not quite
charging down the road as fast as Dr. Apostolakis is
for the plant specific nature and the risk-based
MR. JOHNSON: Okay.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Thank you.
DR. WALLIS: I agree with my colleagues.
And the time being 12:30, I won't repeat what they've
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Thank you.
MR. LEITCH: Jack, I just had one other
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Sure.
MR. LEITCH: It's really Dr. Apostolakis'
comment, and I thought that perhaps you were going to
bring it up.
Some way in the process to reward good
performers, I think would be an important aspect. And
I think Dr. Uhrig made the same kind of point, that
what are we doing to encourage better performance.
DR. BONACA: Well, I think that that's
more in my judgment the role of INPO, of the industry.
I mean, to some degree -- or the industry in general.
I mean, some degree I think regulation has to set what
is adequate and has to state that. I mean, in my
judgment the implications for judgmental statements
being made without a solid basis for perspective of
the local communities, the press, and so on and so
forth, you know, the implication of that is
significant. And so unless there is a true thorough
process to make a distinction and categorization, and
I don't know how much that -- resources that would
take, I think I would rather see simply a statement of
adequacy and the requirements have been met.
MR. LEITCH: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: All these greens and
grays and so on for each plant, I mean I really would
like to know how Boeing and United Airlines are doing
with their respect. I think we are unique.
DR. UHRIG: Maybe you wouldn't.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: We are unique in
publishing all these details. I mean, for heaven's
sakes, what other industry does this? You know, they
go down into the detail that this and that, and
significance determination and everything is out
DR. KRESS: And the other option is not to
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, I don't know.
DR. KRESS: It doesn't sound like a good
option to me.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No, no, no. I didn't
say that. What I'm saying is that we are doing
something that is really very unique.
DR. KRESS: Yes, that's true.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Nobody else is doing it.
DR. KRESS: Well, we're sort of a unique
agency, I think.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes.
DR. SHACK: On the cutting edge even if we
DR. KRESS: That's right.
CHAIRMAN SIEBER: Well, I'd like to thank
you, Mike, and all the staff for their views and their
help today, and also our members for providing me
enough information to start writing a letter.
I'm going to start with version 5 on this
one so I can achieve a new goal.
With that, the subcommittee meeting is
MS. WESTON: Before you go, let me ask you
it appears that the copy that we have here is out of
order or something. If I can ask you, drop your copy
on the chair at my door and I will give you a copy
that is copy corrected.
(Whereupon, the subcommittee meeting was
adjourned at 12:35 p.m.)
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, August 16, 2016