All holders of operating licenses for nuclear power reactors, except those who have permanently ceased operations and have certified that fuel has been permanently removed from the reactor vessel.
The purpose of this generic letter is to inform licensees that the NRC is requesting the submittal of less information in the monthly operating report. This generic letter requires no specific action or written response.
The assessment of NRC information gathering needs has been the subject of several staff reviews. These reviews have focused on identifying duplicative reporting, determining whether some reports could be reduced in scope or eliminated, and determining whether the frequency of reporting could be reduced. In this regard, the NRC staff concludes that the scope of the information requested in the monthly operating report, which is called for in the Technical Specifications, may be reduced.
NEED FOR THE MONTHLY OPERATING REPORT
The impetus for the monthly operating report came from the 1973-1974 oil embargo. Draft Regulatory Guide 1.16, Revision 4, "Reporting of Operating Information - Appendix A Technical Specifications," published for comment in August 1975, identifies operating statistics and shutdown experience information then desired in the operating report. Licensees have generally followed the guidance of the draft Regulatory Guide. The NRC initially compiled this information on a monthly basis and published it in hard copy form as NUREG-0020, "Licensed Operating Reactors - Status Summary Report" (referred to as the "Gray Book"). Beginning in 1990, this information was published on an annual basis in hard copy form and was also made available on diskette monthly. NUREG-0020 was discontinued after the December 1995 report.
NRC staff assessed the information that is submitted in the monthly operating report and determined that it is a unique source of information for two of the eight performance indicators approved by the Commission for the NRC Performance Indicator (PI) Program. Performance indicator data are fundamental tools used by the NRC staff to independently analyze nuclear power plant safety performance trends. The performance indicator data provided in the monthly operating report include the number of reactor critical hours for the equipment forced outage indicator, the forced outage hours and generator on-line hours for the forced outage rate indicator, the number of forced outages for the equipment forced outage indicator, and the outage type (whether forced or scheduled) for the forced outage rate and equipment forced outage indicators. NRC will retain the monthly operating report because the agency has a continuing need to receive this performance indicator data, and at the same frequency. Attachment 1 to this generic letter delineates the information that is needed for the PI Program.
The NRC also has a need to provide operating factor (availability and capacity factors) data to Congress and other government agencies on a regular basis. This information is useful as an indicator of the ability of a plant to perform its design function, and provides insights into the safety performance of a plant. In general, a plant with high availability and capacity factors is less likely to experience transients which challenge safety systems. These data are often used by senior NRC managers in meetings and presentations. The monthly operating report is a unique source of reliable and timely operating factor data for all commercial nuclear power plants to support the information needs of senior NRC managers. Attachment 1 also delineates the operating factor data that is needed.
Voluntary Response Requested
Effective immediately, licensees of operating nuclear power plants submitting monthly operating reports called for in the Technical Specifications may do so in accordance with the guidance provided in Attachment 1 to this generic letter. Implementation of this option by licensees is voluntary. However, licensees will have to take whatever means are appropriate to negate any prior commitments or requirements to provide monthly operating reports which contain the information identified in Draft Regulatory Guide 1.16, Revision 4, Section C.1.c; this may include an amendment to the facility operating license to remove a license condition. Licensees who choose not to implement this option may continue to submit monthly operating reports as they have in the past.
The NRC staff has determined that the backfit rule, Section 50.109 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 50.109), does not apply to this generic letter because the reduction by licensees of the scope of the monthly operating report to that described in Attachment 1 is strictly voluntary.
Federal Register Notification
A notice of opportunity for public comment was published in the Federal Register (60 FR 43174) on August 18, 1995. Comments were received from 6 utilities, 2 private industries, 1 university, 1 industry organization, 1 government agency, 3 public interest groups, and 2 individuals (no affiliation). Copies of the staff evaluation of these comments are available from the NRC Public Document Room.
Paperwork Reduction Act Statement
This generic letter contains voluntary reductions in the public reporting burden. The resultant information collections are subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). These information collections were approved by the Office of Management and Budget, approval number 3150- 0011, which expires July 31, 1997.
The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 10 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is seeking public comment on the potential impact of the collection of information contained in the generic letter and on the following issues:
- Is the proposed collection of information necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the NRC, including whether the information will have practical utility?
- Is the estimate of burden accurate?
- Is there a way to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected?
- How can the burden of the collection of information be minimized, including the use of automated collection techniques?
Send comments on any aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to the Information and Records Management Branch, T-6 F33, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, and to the Desk Officer, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, NEOB-10202 (3150-0011), Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503.
The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.
If you have any questions about this matter, please contact one of the technical contacts listed below.