RIS 01-025: NEI 99-02, Revision 2, Voluntary Submission of Performance Indicator Data

December 7, 2001


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 U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this regulatory issue summary (RIS) to inform power reactor licensees that the NRC has endorsed the Nuclear Energy Institute's (NEI's), "Regulatory Assessment Performance Indicator Guideline," NEI 99-02, Revision 2, for addressee use in collecting and reporting performance indicator (PI) data to the NRC. PI data provide input to the reactor oversight process (ROP), the NRC's process for overseeing the performance of nuclear power reactor plants. This RIS requires no action or written response on the part of addressees.

Background Information

The NRC began implementing the ROP on April 2, 2000. The ROP uses PI information, along with results from the reactor inspection program, as the basis for assessing plant performance and determining the appropriate regulatory response. PIs are objective, periodic measures of plant performance and the effectiveness of licensee programs. PI data are a basic element of the ROP and are is expected to reduce NRC regulatory burden on licensees.

The PI data provide a broad sample of information on licensee safety performance. The data are not intended to cover every aspect of plant design and operation. The data objectively indicate the performance of plant systems and licensee programs in specific risk-significant areas. The NRC compares the PI data submitted by a licensee to risk-informed, objective thresholds to assess plant performance within cornerstone areas. Reporting of PI data to the NRC is a voluntary program in which all licensees participate.

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Issue Summary

During initial implementation of the ROP, the NRC established a formal process to (1) address questions and feedback from internal and external stakeholders, (2) make changes to existing PIs and thresholds based on lessons learned, and (3) develop new PIs and thresholds. The process provides an opportunity for NRC and industry personnel to raise questions regarding interpretation of the reporting criteria. These "frequently asked questions" (FAQs) are reviewed at periodic public meetings of the NRC/Industry ROP Working Group to resolve issues raised and to develop approved responses.

Revision 2 to NEI 99-02 incorporates changes to reflect the insights gained from the resolution of FAQs and contains new guidance on resetting fault exposure hours for reporting data for the safety system unavailability PI. In addition, it incorporates minor changes to several PI definitions and some clarifications to the reporting guidance. The revised document is expected to reduce unnecessary reporting burdens and provide clearer guidance to power reactor licensees on the accurate and consistent reporting of PI information.

The effectiveness of the PIs in the ROP depends upon the submission of accurate data by addressees for their respective reactor facilities in accordance with the guidance in NEI 99-02, Revision 2. The NRC has endorsed this industry document for addressee use in reporting PI data.

PIs will continue to be refined as experience is gained with the ROP. Changes will be made in accordance with the formal change process (which gives stakeholders an opportunity to comment) and will be published in subsequent revisions to NEI 99-02. The NRC anticipates that the voluntary reporting of PI data will contribute to a more objective assessment of plant performance and will reduce regulatory burden on licensees as a result of the offsetting reduction in NRC inspection under the ROP.

Addressees may wish conform to the guidance contained in this RIS for the voluntary reporting of PI data. As indicated in NEI 99-02, Revision 2, the PI data can be provided as an attachment to an e-mail to <pidata@nrc.gov>. The guidance contained in this revision is effective for data collection as of January 1, 2002, which is the beginning of the first reporting quarter. All subsequent PI data should be submitted on or before the 21st day of the month following the end of the reporting quarter.

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Backfit Discussion

This RIS requires no action or written response. Any action on the part of addressees to collect and transmit PI data in accordance with the guidance contained in this RIS is strictly voluntary and, therefore, is not a backfit under 10 CFR 50.109. Therefore, the staff did not perform a backfit analysis.

Federal Register Notification

A notice of opportunity for public comment on this RIS was not published in the Federal Register because the NRC has worked closely with NEI, industry representatives, members of the public, and other stakeholders since early 1998 on the development of NRC's ROP and the collection of PI data. The NRC has solicited public comments on its intention to collect PI data in five Federal Register notices (dated January 22, April 19, May 26, July 19, and August 11, 1999) and at numerous public meetings.

Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

This RIS contains a voluntary information collection that is subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). 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 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The collection of this information is covered by OMB clearance number 3150-0195, which expires on October 31, 2002.

If you have any questions about this matter, please telephone or e-mail the technical contact listed below.

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  /Patrick M. Madden Acting for/ 

Eugene V. Imbro, Chief
Operational Experience and Non-Power Reactors Branch
Division of Regulatory Improvement Programs
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

Technical contact: John W. Thompson, NRR
(301) 415-1011
E-mail: John.Thompson@nrc.gov
Attachments: List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices

ADAMS Accession Number ML013340212

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