nrc seal Weekly Information Report

For the Week Ending June 18, 1999

[ archive ]

The Weekly Information Report is compiled by the NRC Office of the Executive Director for Operations and includes highlights of Headquarters and Regional Office activities. For technical questions, please contact D. Lange, OEDO by E-mail: djl@nrc.gov. For administrative questions, please contact Patricia Anderson at (301) 415-1703, or by E-mail: paa@nrc.gov. If you would like to request a hard copy, you may contact the NRC Public Document Room at (202) 634-3273, or by E-mail: mailto:pdr@nrc.gov


Contents


The following offices had No information for this issue:


Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

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Nine Mile Point Units 1 and 2

Unit 1, at 25% power, is returning to full power after completing the refueling outage (RFO-15) that began April 11, 1999. Outage activities included the repair of two cracked vertical welds in the core shroud and a modification to the upper spring assemblies for the four shroud tie rod assemblies. The repairs were approved by the staff as an alternative to the ASME Code per 10 CFR 50.55a(a)(3)(i). At the start of the outage, members of the public and local organizations filed petitions with the NRC expressing an interest in reviewing results of the licensee's reinspection of the core shroud welds and shroud repairs. The licensee's reinspection results will be submitted to the NRC staff within 30 days of completion of the reinspection. An acknowledgment of the receipt of the 2.206 petition was issued June 11, 1999. The staff noted that the results will be publicly available and that a public Meeting at the site in August to review recent plant performance will include a brief discussion of shroud reinspection and repair activities.

Headquarters/Regional Maintenance Rule Workshop

A Headquarters/Regional Maintenance Rule Workshop was hosted by the Quality Assurance, Vendor Inspection, Maintenance and Allegations Branch (IQMB), at NRC headquarters, on June 8, and 9, 1999. NRC staff members from all four regions and headquarters representatives from organizations associated with and responsible for the maintenance rule, enforcement, and probabilistic safety assessments were in attendance.

Workshop topics included changes to section (a)(3) of the rule and the new (a)(4) section, and conducting maintenance inspections in the new regulatory Oversight Program. The workshop provided training on the efficient use of the new, performance-based, risk-informed, maintenance flow charts and the accompanying inspection procedures to evaluate plant performance issues; the application and use of risk insights during each inspection; how performance-based maintenance inspections interface with the agency's new regulatory paradigm for oversight; how maintenance issues interface with the Significance Determination Process (SDP); and regional feedback on the effects of the program office's outreach program for site-based resident inspector training.

There was general agreement among the attendees, especially in light of the requirements of the new Oversight Program, that on-site Resident Inspector Maintenance Effectiveness Training (RI-MET) and regional counterpart training presentations would remain a vital part of the agency's efforts to fully implement the new baseline inspection procedures. The new "maintenance effectiveness field flow charts" were well received by the regional representatives and the other attendees as a means to implement and determine the effectiveness of licensee maintenance in a risk-informed, performance-based manner. There was consensus that the flow charts had appropriate elements which contained provisions for intra-agency communication and consistency. The elements provided not only agency-level consistency but also served as a potential and appropriate entry point to the SDP process.

The following were acknowledged as important action items that were discussed during the MR workshop: continue to provide Resident Inspector Maintenance Effectiveness Training; supply the regions with budget information to support such site training; revise and update schedules of upcoming training and support sessions at sites, regional offices and during the new Oversight Program Workshops; provide updated enforcement guidance to the regions to support present findings and upcoming (a)(4) and current (a)(2) findings; provide a strong coordinating effort between DRS and DRP during the transition period from a programmatic baseline inspection to a risk-informed, performance-based inspections contained in the new oversight program.

Transition Task Force Initiatives

Headquarters and regional representatives gathered in Headquarters to begin the review of the regional initiative inspection program, now called Supplemental Inspection Program. This review will use the framework developed for the Revised Oversight Process to assure the Supplemental Inspection Program is consistent with the principles used to develop the Baseline Inspection Program.

Members of the Inspection Program Branch participated with Region III staff in a public Meeting near the Prairie Island Plant to present information on the pilot of the revised oversight process and baseline inspection program. The staff fielded questions from members of the public and the media. The staff plans to conduct similar meetings in the vicinity of Ft. Calhoun later this week and Cooper next week.

License Renewal Safety Evaluation Report for Oconee

On June 16, 1999, the NRC staff completed the safety evaluation report (SER) for the Oconee license renewal application. This report presents the results of the staff's safety review of the aging management programs for passive, long-lived structures and components and time-limited aging analyses, under 10 CFR Part 54.

The report identifies 43 open items that must be resolved for the staff to complete the evaluation. The open items generally involve the basis for excluding specific structures, components and device types from an aging management review; applicability of certain aging effects to, and aging susceptibility analyses for, specific structures, components and device types; applicability of certain aging management programs to specific structures, components and device types, need for additional periodic inspections; and final content of the FSAR supplement. The open items include unresolved matters from the recently completed draft SER on the B&W Owners Group topical report on aging management for reactor vessel internals (BAW-2248). The SER also identifies 6 confirmatory items that involve documentation of certain information or commitments.

This is the second SER for a license renewal application. It was completed one day before the associated milestones for Task IV.A in the NRC 1999 Initiatives. Most of the staff members that contributed to the content of the SER also contributed to the Calvert Cliffs SER; lessons from that effort improved the quality of the initial SER inputs. However, the different approach used by Duke in conjunction with consistency questions raised during the resolution of staff comments on the SER made this effort as challenging as the first. This product reflects a significant accomplishment for the NRC. The staff is gathering these and other lessons to identify improvements in the Standard Review Plan for License Renewal.

An electronic copy of the SER was delivered to Duke Energy on June 16, 1999, so they can begin reviewing the report for accuracy, preparing comments and responses to the open and confirmatory items, and preparing for the ACRS subcommittee Meeting that will be held on June 30, 1999. Copies of the report were also distributed to the public document rooms, Oconee service list, and NRC staff.


Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards

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States Interest in Assured Isolation and Centralized Long-Term Storage Increasing

At the June 2-4, 1999, Meeting of the Low-Level Waste (LLW) Forum, states and compacts expressed increased interest in both assured isolation facilities and centralized long-term storage facilities. North Carolina is studying a long-term decay-in-storage facility which would provide for 100 year or longer storage of LLW, with either recycling, disposal as trash, or disposal at a facility like Envirocare at the end of the storage period. Illinois is considering a long-term storage facility for LLW until a disposal facility can be sited in the state. Connecticut recently completed a legal study that concluded that an assured isolation facility would satisfy their obligations under the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act (LLRWPAA), and Texas has initiated a design study for assured isolation. Governor Davis of California (CA) recently announced that the state will examine alternatives to CA's LLW disposal, and these are expected to include assured isolation. The views expressed by the states and compacts assured isolation and long-term storage as viable approaches that enable them to fulfill their obligations under the LLRWPAA and compact laws.

In response to one state's characterization of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's position on assured isolation as "neutral," the staff summarized the Chairman's March 19, 1999, letter to Representative Gary Walker of Texas. The staff also encouraged any state that is seriously considering developing such facilities to consult with the Commission on the licensing requirements.

Interagency Steering Committee on Radiation Standards

On June 10, 1999, the Interagency Steering Committee on Radiation Standards (ISCORS) met. Representatives were present from the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense, Office of Science & Technology Policy, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other federal agencies. The first presentation was a discussion of stakeholder involvement presented by Dr. Heather Stockwell, DOE. Other topics discussed included an update on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) clearance rule, NUREG-1640: Radiological Assessments for Clearance of Equipment and Materials from Nuclear Facilities, NRC's decommissioning guidance, the implementation of the NRC final rule on radiological criteria for license termination, EPA's Federal Guidance Report 13, and international meetings held in Rome, May 1999, and upcoming in Spain, March 2000. Each subcommittee reported on its 1999 activities. ISCORS also noted that its first annual summary report had been issued as NUREG-1707. The Meeting was open to the public for observation and several individuals expressed concerns during the open comment period on release of radioactive materials in any quantity and recycling.

U.S. Enrichment Corporation Cancels Further Development of the Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation Technology

On June 9, 1999, the U.S. Enrichment Corporation (USEC) announced that it was suspending further development of the Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation (AVLIS) technology. USEC reexamined the AVLIS technology, performance, prospects, risks, and growing financial requirements. They concluded that the returns were not sufficient to outweigh the risks and ongoing capital expenditures necessary to develop and construct an AVLIS plant. A certain number of staff actions, which were initiated prior to license application receipt and designed to support an 18-month licensing review, have been curtailed. These actions include the awarding of a contract for development of an environmental impact statement and completion of a final Standard Review Plan (SRP). Other initiated staff actions which require closure include completing the draft SRP Plant Systems chapter; responding to the public comments, due June 17, 1999, received from publication of the proposed draft AVLIS SRP; and documenting the staff's evaluation to Date of the AVLIS criticality validation report. These actions will be closed in a timely manner consistent with the staff's goal to appropriately document and provide useful information from the pre-licensing AVLIS review efforts for future licensing reviews.

10 CFR Part 70 Meeting

On June 14, 1999, the staff met with the Commission to discuss the proposed 10 CFR Part 70 rule revision. The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) also presented views on the proposed rulemaking. NEI supported the staff's recommendation to publish the draft rule for public comment. NEI will provide further comments during the public comment period.

Management Review Board Meeting held with Region IV

On June 16, 1999, a board of senior Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials, along with an Agreement State manager from Illinois, met to review the proposed final IMPEP report of Region IV. A review team comprised of members from the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards (NMSS), Office of State Programs, Region II, and the state of Mississippi conducted the review, and presented the proposed final report. The Management Review Board (MRB) supported the team's findings, and directed some changes to the final report. The MRB found Region IV's Division of Nuclear Materials Safety programs to be satisfactory for all indicators, and technically adequate to support public health and safety. NMSS led the team, and will prepare a final report for the signature of the MRB Chair.


Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research

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Responses to Generic Questions on EPRI's Fire PRA Implementation Guide

The staff's reviews of licensees' IPEEE submittals have revealed that many licensees have used EPRI's Fire Probabilistic Risk Analysis Implementation Guide (FPRAIG) for the fire analysis portion of their IPEEEs. However, based on the IPEEE submittal reviews, the staff has identified a number of areas of concern in which the methodology and approach could lead to optimistic results or mask information needed to identify potential fire vulnerabilities. In December 1997, the staff informed NEI about those concerns in the form of generic requests for additional information (RAIs). The staff also sent one or more of the generic RAIs to licensees who chose to use the FPRAIG for portions of their IPEEE fire assessment. The staff's review of approximately one-third of the total of 70 IPEEE submittals can not be completed until licensees provide plant-specific responses to the generic RAIs.

NEI decided to provide generic responses to the RAIs, and the staff has had numerous interactions with NEI, EPRI, and their consultants through public meetings and telephone conferences to discuss the FPRAIG and the responses to the RAIs. In a letter, dated May 24, 1999, NEI provided its formal responses to the generic RAIs. The staff has reviewed industry's responses and stated on June 15, 1999, in a letter to NEI that the generic responses are acceptable for use in the implementation of the fire IPEEE. Based on this effort, EPRI will issue supplemental guidance to the FPRAIG and will provide recommendations to utilities that they can use to prepare plant-specific responses to RAIs on their fire IPEEEs. Having acceptable industry responses to the generic RAIs is a significant milestone leading to completion of the IPEEE program. This approach was the most effective and efficient way to deal with a number of technical concerns; it has resulted in a consistent and acceptable technical basis for licensees to respond to questions on their IPEEE fire assessments.

Writing Group on Performance Indicators

On June 7 & 8, the Writing Group on Performance Indicators of The American Society for Quality held a workshop at the NRC offices. The Meeting was hosted by O.P. Gormley of the RES Division of Engineering Technology, who is a member of the group. The workshop was open to the public, and was noticed in the Federal Register.

The writing group is preparing a good practices paper on certain performance indicators that are rooted in QA programs and are also related to the three cross-cutting issues of human performance, safety conscious work environment, and problem identification and resolution as identified in SECY-99-007, "Recommendations for Reactor Oversight Process Improvements." The members of the writing group are primarily from 15 licensees who are developing and incorporating performance indicators in the QA programs at their own facilities. Both the paper and the participants are benefitting greatly from the cross-fertilization. During this workshop a broad range of comments on the draft from writing group member were resolved. Sufficient improvements to the paper were identified that a 60 to 70% rewrite will be required.

Draft Report on Air-Operated Valves

Dr. Harold Ornstein presented information on a recently released draft report, "Evaluation of Air-Operated Valves at U.S. Light-Water Reactors," at two meetings that had over 200 attendees from U.S. utilities, foreign utilities, and air-operated valve manufacturers. The groups were the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Operations and Maintenance Committee Task Force on Component Importance Ranking on June 7, 1999, and the 17th  Air-Operated Valve Users Group Meeting on June 9, 1999.

Regulatory Guides on ASME Code Cases

Three revised regulatory guides were issued recently on the acceptability to the NRC staff of specific ASME Code Cases. These revisions update the NRC's position on specific Code Cases that are used in inservice inspections or licensing of light-water-cooled nuclear power plants. The updated guides are:

Revision 31 of Regulatory Guide 1.84, "Design and Fabrication Code Case Acceptability, ASME Section III, Division 1"

Revision 31 of Regulatory Guide 1.85, "Materials Code Case Acceptability, ASME Section III, Division 1"

Revision 12 of Regulatory Guide 1.147, "Inservice Inspection Code Case Acceptability, ASME Section XI, Division 1"

Peer Review Group Meeting

On May 26, 1999, a peer review panel met at NRC Headquarters to review a project that will provide the technical basis for revising Regulatory Guide 1.60, "Design Response Spectra for Seismic Design of Nuclear Power Plants." The purpose of the Meeting was to discuss recommendations in a draft report that includes procedures to define ground motion. The Meeting participants included NRC staff from RES/DET, NRR/DE, and NMSS/DWM; the contractor and consultants; the project peer review panel; and staff from the DOE Defense Programs and the Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board.

A revision to Regulatory Guide 1.60 is appropriate for several reasons. The issues associated with the use of Regulatory Guide 1.60 ground motion spectra involve both the force or intensity of the ground motion applied to structures, which is a function of the frequency of the ground motion, and the ability of structures to withstand this loading. When Regulatory Guide 1.60 was developed it was based upon a limited data base. Our knowledge has been advanced significantly through the acquisition of earthquake data, analytical activities such as the development of probabilistic methods for seismic hazard evaluation, and regulatory activities such as developing the recent amendment to 10 CFR Part 100 and the proposed amendment to 10 CFR Part 72. The new data suggest possibilities for a reduction in conservatism in some parts of the spectra, and better definition of ground motion in the high-frequency region.

Regulatory Guide 1.60 has been used worldwide and has been the basis for determining seismic design motions for reactor and non-reactor facilities. RES/DET staff anticipates that the revision to Regulatory Guide 1.60 will also influence many decisions regarding both reactor and non-reactor facilities.

The final report is scheduled to be submitted to the NRC in December 1999. A trial application of the recommended procedures is being performed at two sites: one in the Eastern Central States and the other in the Western States. The report on the trial applications is scheduled to be submitted to the NRC in July 2000.


Incident Response Operations

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Interagency Advisory Group (IAG) Meeting

IRO staff took part in a Meeting of the Interagency Advisory Group (IAG) at FEMA's Mt. Weather facility on June 18. The IAG is overseeing development of Continuity of Government of Operations (COG-COOP) plans in response to PDD-67 and other directives. Briefings were presented on (1) plans for emergency interagency communications, (2) methodology and Schedule for reviewing agency COG-COOP plans, and (3) imminent exercises for the team that will monitor performance of minimum essential functions for the Executive Branch during and emergency.

PRELIMINARY NOTIFICATIONS:

1. PNO-II-99-024, BWX Technologies, WORKER FATALITY FROM INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT

2. PNO-II-99-022A, Western Soil, Inc., UPDATE TO STOLEN NUCLEAR GAUGE


Office of Administration

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Consideration of Potassium Iodide in Emergency Plans (Part 50)

A proposed rule that would amend the emergency planning regulations governing the domestic licensing of production and utilization facilities was published in the Federal Register on June 14, 1999 (64 FR 31737). The proposed rule would require that consideration be given to including potassium iodide as a protective measure for the general public that supplement sheltering and evacuation as emergency planning measures. The comment period on this action closes September 13, 1999.


Chief Information Officer

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Freedom of Information and Privacy Act Requests received during the 5-Day Period of June 11, 1999 through June 17, 1999:

MLTS database for identified states of GA, NC, SC, FL, AL & LA. (FOIA/PA 99-256)

Self, IA 95-061. (FOIA/PA 99-257)

SRM dated 12-17-98, as referenced in 4-6-99 SRM on COMSECY-99-007. (FOIA/PA 99-258)

Rare Metals Corp. of America/El Paso Natural Gas, AEC license no's. P-1156 (1952) & R-172

(1957). (FOIA/PA 99-259)


Office of Human Resources

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Twenty-second Annual Awards Ceremony Held

On June 16, 1999, NRC held its Twenty-Second Annual Awards Ceremony on the Green. At the ceremony, Chairman Shirley Ann Jackson, Commissioner Greta Joy Dicus, Commissioner Edward McGaffigan, Commissioner Jeffrey S. Merrifield, and William D. Travers, Executive Director for Operations, recognized 12 Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Awardees, 7 Distinguished Service Awardees, and 32 Meritorious Service Awardees. A reception was held for all NRC employees in the Two White Flint North Cafeteria following the ceremony. The Office of Human Resources and the Office of Administration provided volunteer ushers, who helped make the event a huge success.

Arrivals
BUCHANAN, James BUDGET ANALYST RIV
DUNHAM, Sandra PARALEGAL SPECIALIST OGC
ESH, David SYSTEMS PERFORMANCE ANALYST NMSS
GROBAKER, John SUMMER TECHNICAL INTERN RI
LEARY, Nancy SECRETARY (OA) RIV
LEUNG, Christine SUMMER CLERICAL OIP
PARK, Albert SUMMER TECHNICAL INTERN NRR
Departures
BEASTON, Virgil SR ENFORCEMENT SPECIALIST OE
O'DELL, Pamela SECRETARY (OA) NRR
SMALLDRIDGE, Brad RESIDENT INSPECTOR RIV
WEISS, Seymour PROJECT DIRECTOR, PDND NRR
WELLING, Graciella SECRETARY (OA) RI

Office of Public Affairs

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Media Interest

Chairman Jackson was interviewed by Inside NRC.

There was press interest at headquarters in the appointment of Greta Dicus as NRC Chairman.

Region IV reported media interest in the plant performance review Meeting on Ft. Calhoun

Press Releases
Headquarters:
99-122 Note to Editors: Meeting with Nuclear Energy Institute
99-123 NRC Plans for Y2K Contingencies
99-124 Note to Editors: ACRS Meeting July 13
99-125 Note to Editors: ACRS reports
99-126 Comment Period Opens on Proposed Potassium Iodide Rule
99-127 Note to Editors: Joint ACRS Meeting July 13
Regions:
I-99-55 NRC Fines Materials Testing Laboratory $2,750 for Deliberate Violations of NRC Requirements
II-99-33 NRC Staff to Conduct Performance Review of Licensed Activities at BWX Technologies Naval Nuclear Fuel Division at Lynchburg
II-99-34 NRC Staff to Hold Performance Evaluation Meeting at Catawba
II-99-35 NRC Staff to Hold Performance Evaluation Meeting at Oconee
II-99-36 NRC Meeting at BWX Technologies Naval Nuclear Fuel Division Postponed
IV-99-24 NRC to Hold Public Meeting to Describe New NRC Inspection Program for Fort Calhoun
IV-99-25 NRC to Hold Public Meeting to Describe New NRC Inspection Program for Cooper Nuclear Station
IV-99-26 NRC Regional Administrator to Meet With Media

Office of International Programs

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June Meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors

Jodi Lieberman attended the June Meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna June 7-11. The Meeting focused primarily on safeguards matters and included discussion of the U.S./Russia/IAEA Trilateral Initiative, Article VI (expansion of the Board to include Israel), safeguarding of alternate nuclear materials (ANM - americium and neptunium), and IAEA activities to address the Year 2000 issue. The Board item on Y2K was short and complimentary to the Agency for its prompt and effective action. No resolution was achieved on amendment to Article VI to enlarge the Board and allow for Israeli membership into a country group and thus a potential future seat on the Board, nor on ANM.

Visit of IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei

Following completion of the June Board Meeting, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei visited Washington June 14-15. His primary aim was to meet with Congressional representatives and Washington Agencies to discuss the IAEA budget, safeguards and safety issues. Of particular interest, was Washington's recent first-time call for Zero Nominal Growth (ZNG) for the IAEA's 2000 budget at the May Program and Budget Meeting. This represented a significant change in U.S. policy at the IAEA and caused considerable concern with the IAEA Secretariat. Mr. ElBaradei met with Chairman Jackson and Commissioners Merrifield and Dicus on June 14 at the Department of State.

Commission Hearing on NRC International Activities

On June 18, 1999, the Commission convened the first-ever public Hearing on the Agency's program of international activities. Presentations were made by Janice Dunn Lee, Director, Office of International Programs; Roy Zimmerman, Deputy Director, Office Nuclear Reactor Regulation; Ashok Thadani, Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Research; and Carl Paperiello, Director, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. The briefing, which was the last public Hearing to be chaired by Chairman Jackson, focused on recent accomplishments, future challenges, and effective management of the NRC program of international activities.


Office of the Secretary

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Document Released

to Public

Date Subject
Decision Documents
1. SECY-99-087 3/24/99 Proposed Strategy to Revise the Enforcement Policy to Address the Process for Assessing Significance and Assigning Severity Levels of Noncompliances (Including Regulatory Significance and Risk)
SRM on 99-087 6/15/99 (same)
Commission Voting Record on 99-087 6/15/99 (same)
2. SECY-99-119 4/19/99 Rulemaking to Modify the Event Reporting Requirements for Power Reactors in 10 CFR 50.72 and 50.73
SRM on 99-119 6/15/99 (same)
Commission Voting Record on 99-119 6/15/99 (same)
3. SRM on SECY-99-098 6/15/99

Publication of and Issues Paper on Release of Solid Materials (Clearance), in the Federal Register, for Public Comment and for Use at Public Meetings

Commission Voting Record on 99-098 6/15/99 (same)
4. SRM on SECY-99-108 6/15/99 Proposed Rule: 10 CFR Parts 30, 31, 32, 170, and 171 - "Requirements for Certain Generally Licensed Industrial Devices Containing Byproduct Material"
Commission Voting Record on 99-108 6/15/99 (same)
Voting Record on SECY-99-133 6/18/99 Final Revision to 10 CFR 50.65 to Require Licensees to Perform Assessments before Performing Maintenance
Negative Consent Documents
1. SRM on SECY-99-140 6/15/99 Recommendations for Reactor Fire Protection Inspections
Information Papers
1. SECY-99-144 5/27/99 Weekly Information Report - Week Ending May 21, 1999
Memoranda
1. SRM on M990618C 6/18/99 Affirmation Session, Wednesday, June 18, 1999

Federal Register Notices Issued

1. Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Joint Meeting of the Subcommittees on Reliability and Probabilistic Risk Assessment and on Regulatory Policies and Practices; Notice of Meeting on July 13, 1999.

2. 10 CFR Part 72; Miscellaneous Changes to Licensing Requirements for the Independent Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste; Final Rule.


Region I

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Gamma Knife

Gamma Knives are special teletherapy machines that enable precise focusing of a gamma ray beam on intracranial abnormalities. Region I has initiated a training program to introduce the operational and safety features of Gamma Knife machines to more materials licensing and inspection personnel. Phase I of the training (introduction to safety features and observation of source loading) was conducted June 3.

Phase II of the training initiative was completed on June 9-10, 1999, at Lancaster (Pennsylvania) General Hospital. The device manufacturer, Elekta, provided classroom and practical factors training on the design and use of the gamma knife unit and associated facilities concurrent with the installation and acceptance testing of the new Type B-II unit. The training was attended by management, inspectors and license reviewers from the Region I Medical Branch. Phase III of the initiative, treatment planning and patient treatment, is scheduled for September 1999.

Maine Yankee Community Advisory Panel Meeting

A Meeting of the Maine Yankee Community Advisory Panel (CAP) was held at the Maine Yankee site the evening of June 10, 1999. NRC attendees included the Region I DNMS Director, Region I Chief of the Decommissioning and Laboratory Branch, and the Senior Project Manager of the Safeguards Section, NRR. Comments by the NRC staff concerned the ongoing review by NRR Safeguards staff and contractors of the safeguarding of the spent fuel stored in the site spent fuel pool.

The licensee made a presentation concerning radiological site release criteria, and the bases for the NRC limits. A followup CAP Meeting is planned for July 1999 to discuss site release criteria in detail.

Permagrain SDMP Site

NES, Inc. (NES), the decommissioning contractor for the Permagrain Products, Inc. (PPI) decommissioning project in Quehanna, Pennsylvania, has excavated 1800 cubic feet of contaminated soil from beneath the Wastewater Treatment Building (WWTB) and is still finding greater than 15 pCi/g of Strontium-90 in the soil. NES has decided to bring in drilling equipment to develop a three-dimensional profile of the contamination before attempting further excavation. PPI uses the building as their boiler building.

Region I is continuing to monitor the current work on the project and has informed NES that a license amendment will be required to cover the decommissioning of Hot Cell 4, because the scope of the Cell 4 decommissioning is beyond the scope of the approved program.


Region II

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Worker Fatality at BWX Technologies Due To Industrial Accident

On June 15, at approximately 9:00 p.m. an industrial accident occurred at the BWX Technologies Naval Nuclear Fuel Division facility near Lynchburg, VA, resulting in the death of an electronics technician. The accident occurred after maintenance was performed near an operating hydraulic system. The technician was apparently trapped under the equipment and pinned between a hydraulic cylinder and the floor. The technician was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead shortly thereafter. There were No nuclear materials involved and No other employees were injured. OSHA is conducting an investigation into the cause of the accident.

The LPR Public Meeting scheduled for Thursday morning, June 17, 1999, was canceled in order not to interfere with the licensee's investigation into the fatality and has been being rescheduled for July 16, 1999.

Duke Energy Corporation - Catawba Plant Performance Review Public Meeting

The Deputy Regional Administrator and other NRC staff held a public Meeting on June 18 to discuss the results of the most recent NRC performance review of the Catawba facility. Following the PPR Meeting, a separate Meeting was held with State and local officials in which the details of the NRC's new oversight program were discussed.

Southern Nuclear Company - Hatch

On June 15, Hatch Unit 2 was manually tripped from 41 percent power because of lowering vacuum in the main condenser. Several equipment failures occurred during the plant response to the transient. These failures included: (1) two 4160 V buses did not auto-transfer due to an out-of-calibration blocking relay, (2) an inboard MSIV that did not automatically close due to a failed solenoid valve, and (3) a cracked vent line on the RHR service water discharge header due to a fatigue failure.

Region II coordinated several conference calls between the utility and NRC Headquarters personnel; and dispatched an operations and electrical inspector to conduct followup of the licensee's event review and corrective actions activities. (See PNO-II-99-025 for additional details.)

National Nuclear Security Association (NNSA) Meeting

On June 14, the Regional Administrator and the Deputy Director, Division of Reactor Safety, participated in the annual NNSA Meeting in Atlanta. This widely attended Meeting included security program representatives from federal and State agencies as well as reactor and materials licensees. The Regional Administrator gave a presentation entitled, "Regulatory Trends; Now and in the Future," which focused on the proposed changes in the reactor regulatory oversight process.

Nuclear Fuel Services - Operational Readiness Review Inspection

An operational readiness review (ORR) inspection was conducted at the Nuclear Fuel Services facility June 7-18, 1999, involving Headquarters and Region II inspectors. The inspection was the third in a series of inspections for reviewing the licensee's newly installed processing equipment for proposed production of a high-enriched uranium product for the naval fuel program. Items remaining for review include completion of the operator training and qualification program for the new process and certain fire protection equipment yet to be installed.


Region III

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Public Meeting on Pilot Inspection and Oversight Program at Prairie Island

Members of the Region III and Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation staff held a public Meeting on June 14, 1999, in Red Wing, Minnesota, to describe the Pilot Inspection and Oversight Program which began June 1 at the Prairie Island Nuclear Power Station. The Regional Administrator and members of the NRC staff also met separately with the President of the Prairie Island Dakota Community.

Meetings on the Status of Outage Activities at D. C. Cook

Members of the Region III staff met June 15, 1999, with representatives of American Electric Power Co. at the D. C. Cook Plant. The licensee discussed the discovery phase of its expanded system readiness reviews which is nearing completion and described the implementation phase which will follow. There was also a discussion of technical issues associated with the outage work, including design control, engineering calculations, corrective action program status, and the 50.59 review process.


Region IV

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Meeting with the Public in Blair, Nebraska

On June 17, 1999, at 7 p.m., representatives from Region IV, NRR, and OE met with members of the public residing in the area around the Fort Calhoun Station. The Meeting, led by the Director, Division of Reactor Projects provided an overview of the Power Reactor Pilot Inspection Program being implemented at Fort Calhoun. Following the presentation, the NRC responded to questions from the public. About seven members of the public and numerous members of the Fort Calhoun staff attended the Meeting.

Meeting with Nebraska State Officials

On June 17, 1999, at 10 a.m., representatives from Region IV met with Nebraska state officials from the Department of Regulation and Licensure in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Director, Division of Reactor Projects presented an overview of the Power Reactor Pilot Inspection Program and discussed the public Meeting planned for that evening.

Drop-In Visit by River Bend Station Management

On June 18, 1999, the Vice President Operations, Entergy Operations, Inc., and the General Manager of Plant Operations for the River Bend Station visited with the Regional Administrator and members of his management staff.


Office of Congressional Affairs

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Congressional Hearing Schedule, No. 24
OCA
Contact
Date
&
Place
Time Witness Subject Committee
Keeling 06/22/99
SD-106
9:30 Richardson, DOE, Rudman, Foreign Intelligence Board Security Problems at DOE Senate Armed Services
Governmental Affairs
Select Intelligence
Energy
Keeling 06/22/99
2123 RHOB
10:00 Richardson, DOE,
Rudman, Foreign Intelligence Board
Security at DOE Laboratories Reps. Bliley/Dingell
Commerce
Keeling 06/24/99
2154 RHOB
10:00 Former Security Chief of DOE Security Lapses at DOE Facilities Reps. Burton/Waxman
Government Reform
Keeling 06/24/99
2118 RHOB
1:00 Rudman, Foreign Intelligence Board Security Problems at DOE Reps. Spence/Skelton
Armed Services
Gerke 06/29 & 7/1
SH-216
9:30 TBA Electricity Restructuring, S. 161, S. 282, S. 516, S. 1047 Senators Murkowski/Bingaman
Energy & Natural Resources
Combs 06/29/99
2322 RHOB
2:00 TBA DOE's Enforcement of Price-Anderson Nuclear Safety Requirements Reps. Upton/Klink
Oversight & Investigations
Commerce
Combs TBA
SD-406
TBA Markup S. 1090, Superfund Reauthorization Senators Chafee/Baucus
Environment & Public Works
Portner 07/13/99
(TENTATIVE)
TBA Commission NRC Authorization, license fees, legislative requests Reps. Barton/Hall
Energy and Power
Commerce
Gerke 07/29/99
TBA
TBA Electric Utilities Y2K and the Electric Power Grid Senators Bennett/Dodd
Special Committee on the Year
2000 Technology Problem
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This page was last updated on June 25, 1999, by mailto:nrcweb@nrc.gov.