nrc seal Weekly Information Report

For the Week Ending July 9, 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 M. Tschiltz, OEDO by E-mail: For administrative questions, please contact Patricia Anderson at (301) 415-1703, or by E-mail: 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:


The following offices had No information for this issue:

Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

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Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station

By letter dated June 30, 1999, Boston Edison Company (BECo) announced that the closing Date of the sale of Pilgrim is scheduled to occur on July 13, 1999, at 12:00 p.m. As part of a condition of the sale, Entergy has made offers to all non-bargaining employees (approximately 45% of the staff) except for 6 individuals. By state law, all bargaining employees are automatically employed as result of the sale. The staff will issue the conforming amendments on July 13, 1999, to support the sale.

BECo has also announced a shuffle in the managers for the facility. This resulted from the current plant manager accepting a position in the INPO Loanee Program, and the Training Manager has declined to work for Entergy Nuclear Generation Company. The managers and their new positions are as follows:

Bill DiCroce - Master Process Owner, Operation and Plant Manager

John Gerety - Master Process Owner, Nuclear Services

Bill Riggs - Master Process Owner, Asset Management

Steve Verrochi - Master Process Owner, Plant Production

Marc Potkin - Master Process Owner, General Services and Finance, Marketing and Sales

Steve Alexander - Master Process Owner, Nuclear Assessment

Tom Trepanier - Master Process Owner, Training, Leadership and Learning

Following a 55-day refueling outage, the plant went critical on June 28, 1999, and went online at 3:00 a.m. on July 6, 1999. The licensee is conducting post-outage testing, including turbine testing and post installation testing of their new main transformer, during the power ascension program.

St. Lucie Units 1 and 2 -- Issuance of Environmental Protection Plan Amendments

Florida Power & Lights's (FPL) December 1, 1997, letter submitted a request for changes to the non-radiological Environmental Protection Plan contained in their Technical Specifications. The Environmental Protection Plans for both units are now revised to implement the terms and conditions of the Incidental Take Statement (ITS) included in the Biological Opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service with regard to sea turtles under the Endangered Species Act. The ITS included terms and conditions necessary to monitor and minimize the adverse impacts of plant operation and to establish the lethal take levels for listed species of endangered sea turtles. On July 6, 1999, the staff approved these changes. The issuance of this amendment closed a 23-month St. Lucie licensing action.

Arkansas Nuclear One, Unit 1 -- NOED Granted for Emergency Diesel Generator Allowed Outage Time

On July 5, 1999, Region IV granted a Notice of Enforcement Discretion (NOED) to Arkansas Nuclear One, Unit 1 (ANO-1) to extend an emergency diesel generator (EDG) allowed outage Time (AOT) from 7 days to 14 days. The licensee had removed EDG #2 from service to perform 18 month and 3 year inspections, and various planned maintenance items. Included in the planned maintenance items was the replacement of a lube oil relief valve, and inspection and repair of lube oil sump suction piping to correct a decreasing trend in lube oil pressure. Lube oil pressure had been degrading slowly since 1995, with a larger change in the spring of 1998.

During the post maintenance test, the corrective action described above initially appeared successful; however, about 1 hour into the test, lube oil pressure suddenly decreased to near the low lube oil pressure alarm setpoint. Operators secured the EDG and subsequent troubleshooting identified that 5 bolts that hold the lower idler gear support bracket had failed. Additionally, a large crack was identified in the support bracket. The licensee concluded that since the bracket was a lube oil pressure boundary, the broken bolts and crack were the cause of the sudden drop in lube oil pressure. The vendor representative noted the failures observed on ANO's engine have been seen in other industries, but not in the nuclear industry. Due to the scope of the repairs and the required post maintenance testing, ANO-1 would have exceeded the technical specification AOT and been required to shutdown without the NOED. The staff concluded that ANO-1 satisfactorily demonstrated the need to avoid an undesirable transient as a result of forcing compliance with license conditions, and thus, minimized potential challenges to safety and operational risks.

As of July 6, 1999, the licensee had completed repairs to EDG #2, including replacing the gear train and the idler gear stub-shaft bracket assembly. The new stub-shaft bracket assembly included improved bolting, in accordance with vendor recommendations. Post maintenance testing will include an overspeed test and a 24 hour endurance run.

In a 1984 vendor communication, referred to by the licensee as a modernization memo, the manufacturer (EMD) recommended the replacement of the idler gear stub-shaft assembly and gears for "improved strength and dependability." ANO-1 had evaluated the memo and scheduled the upgrade modification to EDG #2 in late 2002. EDG #1 experienced a turbocharger failure in 1984 and ANO-1 performed the upgrade to EDG #1 at that Time.

Region IV plans to conduct a special inspection to review the circumstances that surround the failure of the #2 EDG.

Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society

Thomas Essig, Chief of the Emergency Preparedness and Health Physics Section, IOLB/NRR, and Patricia Milligan of his staff, attended and participated in the Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society (HPS), held during June 27 - July 1, 1999, in Philadelphia, PA. They also attended meetings sponsored by the American Academy of Health Physics, as well as health physics-related Committee meetings held concurrently. Several papers presented at the HPS Meeting provided data which challenged the linear-no threshold (L-NT) hypothesis (wherein radiation effects are presumed to be linear as exposures approach zero) that is in current use by the health physics community at large. A number of scientists reported that radiation interactions at the molecular level and their nexus to carcinogenesis is well understood. The National Academy of Sciences, through its BEIR VII report (in preparation), will examine this issue more definitively. In addition to the more theoretical discussions, a segment of the Meeting was devoted to the practical problems and issues facing licensees as new technologies emerge, such as cardiovascular brachytherapy with beta emitters, I-131 treatment of thyroid cancers and hyperactive thyroids in felines and uses of non-ionizing radiation. Several sections were devoted to the issues surrounding the decomissioning of a variety of facilities. The discussions on risk and communication were valuable and will help health physicists and others understand better ways to communicate about radiation to members of the public. Another segment of the Meeting was devoted to radiation effects studies of occupational and public radiation exposures associated with the Mayak complex in Russia. The significant exposures which resulted from the operation of this complex during the cold war should result in a number of radiation effects studies. All of the above-mentioned studies should be of value to the NRC when it considers possible future revisions of 10 CFR Part 20.

License Renewal Applications

By letters dated June 3, 22, and 30, 1999, Virginia Electric and Power Company (for North Anna Units 1 and 2 and Surry Units 1 and 2), Omaha Public Power District (for Fort Calhoun Unit 1), and PECO Energy Company (for Peach Bottom Units 2 and 3) informed the staff of their intention to submit license renewal applications. The tentative schedules provided by the licensees to submit the applications are as follows:

Peach Bottom - Second Half of 2001

Surry and North Anna - March 2002

Fort Calhoun - End of 2002

Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards

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Health Physics Society Annual Meeting

On June 27-July 1, 1999, staff from the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards (NMSS) attended and participated significantly in the annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, including presenting technical papers, chairing sessions, and presenting in Poster Sessions in their areas of expertise. In a continuing public outreach effort on NMSS' "Streamlined Inspection and Enforcement Initiative for Materials," a Poster presentation on the Nuclear Medicine pilot inspection program was presented. Other NMSS staff, in addition to participating in the technical sessions: (1) chaired the Publications Committee meetings and (2) participated in other Committee meetings.

Meeting with the Environmental Protection Agency

On June 29, 1999, staff from the Spent Fuel Project Office, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) met with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to discuss the Private Fuel Storage (PFS) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, BLM, and BIA are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS for the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Facility being proposed by PFS. The cooperating agencies provided an overview of the proposed project, the scope of the EIS, and each agency's federal action. The EPA discussed its permitting responsibilities under the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act, and its EIS review process. Section 309 of the Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to review National Environmental Policy Act documents prepared by other federal agencies and to make those reviews public. The review usually consists of a rating of the EIS in two areas: the environmental impacts of the proposed project, and the sufficiency of the information in the EIS. In addition, the EPA regulates the disposition of storm water from large construction sites through its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit program, as well as enforcing the Clean Air Act Title V compliance regulations. Further meetings between the agencies are contemplated as preparation of the EIS proceeds.

Meeting with Maine Yankee, Stone and Webster Engineering Company, and NAC International on Maine Yankee Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation

On July 7, 1999, the Director, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, and Spent Fuel Project Office staff met with representatives from Maine Yankee, Stone and Webster Engineering Company, and NAC International to discuss plans and schedules for the licensing of the NAC-UMS dual purpose spent fuel cask, to be used at an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation at the Maine Yankee Nuclear Plant.

Maine Yankee intends to use the NAC-UMS under the general license provisions of 10 CFR Part 72, Subpart K. The staff is reviewing applications for both the storage and transportation licenses for the NAC-UMS, for standard fuel types. To support Maine Yankee's decommissioning schedules and allow timely planning for alternative uses of the site, NAC intends to submit an amendment to the storage application to address non-standard fuel types by July 16, 1999. The staff and participants discussed the resource constraints and licensing milestones needed to support Maine Yankee's proposed Schedule. The staff described the potential impact of this additional work on established review schedules, but agreed to consider the applicant's request.

International Atomic Energy Agency International Physical Protection Advisory Service Mission to Lithuania

During the period of June 22-30, 1999, a staff member from the Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards served as a team member on the International Atomic Energy Agency's International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission to Lithuania. Representatives from the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Finland also participated in the mission, as well as a contractor representative from the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratory. The purpose of the IPPAS mission was to evaluate Lithuania's national regulatory system for the physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities, and provide advice on ways to improve the discharge of regulatory responsibilities against the background of international practices and recommendations.

Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc., License Renewed

On July 2, 1999, the Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards renewed for ten years the 10 CFR Part 70 license SNM-124 held by Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc., (NFS). The license provides the authority for NFS to conduct a number of commercial fuel cycle activities. However, it does not authorize operation of the production of fuel for the Navy nuclear propulsion program. Currently, a new Navy fuel process is undergoing testing at the facility in Erwin, Tennessee. Operation of the new Navy fuel manufacturing process is the Subject of a license amendment review expected to conclude in the near future. Renewal of the NFS license completes the staff effort begun in the mid-1990s to renew all of the licenses for major fuel cycle facilities.

Meeting with Representatives of Nuclear Energy Institute at the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses

On July 1, 1999, Division of Waste Management staff met with Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) representatives at the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses (Center) in San Antonio, Texas. NEI spent fuel management staff requested the Meeting for an update on Center high-level waste (HLW) program activities. The Center is our Federally Funded Research and Development Center established to support our HLW management program.

The Meeting provided NEI an overview of the Center's progress and an outlook on future Center activities to support the staff in such areas as our use of performance assessment to risk inform our approach to evaluating a possible HLW repository license application from the Department of Energy. The Meeting also included a demonstration in the Center's visualization laboratory relating to geologic and physiographic site features; a graphical presentation on using total system performance assessment to analyze site performance; and a visit to the Center's laboratories where studies are underway addressing groundwater, the waste package, geochemistry and natural analogs, and physical analog modeling of faulting.

Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research

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Research Program Review Meeting on Hydrology

A program review of hydrology research projects was held at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) conference facility in Beltsville, Maryland, June on 21-22. The objective of the public Meeting was to discuss ongoing hydrogeology research, primarily assessment of water infiltration and conceptual model issues, and to obtain timely feedback from stakeholders, other Federal agencies, and NRC licensing staff. The attendees include NMSS and RES staff and industry scientists; representatives from the Electric Power Research Institute, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and scientists from the DOE national laboratories, the University of Arizona, and Department of Agriculture/ARS. The goal of the generic research projects reviewed is to develop data and models that support regulatory analyses for determining compliance with NRC licensing requirements. The licensing program areas are decommissioning and license termination, in situ uranium recovery, ground-water restoration, and low-level and high-level waste management. An overview of the hydrology program was presented by Tom Nicholson, RES, who discussed the products being developed and their regulatory significance. ARS staff conducted a field tour of their Beltsville research facilities, principally to observe the cooperative NRC-ARS infiltration study and the large-scale watershed study for assessing fast pathways and focused recharge. The presenters outlined their research approach, field data and analyses, and significant findings. The attendees provided comments and questions during the course of the program review and during the two round-table discussions on conceptual model uncertainty. RES staff are developing a Meeting summary, including comments received from the attendees, which will be used in planning the future direction of these research programs.

Version 3.01 of the RADTRAD Code Completed

RADTRAD 3.01, the NRC's code for evaluating offsite and control room doses, was completed recently, and its code manual was published as Supplement 1, "A Simplified Model for RADionuclide Transport and Removal And Dose Estimation," to NUREG/CR-6604 (June 1999). The development of RADTRAD at Sandia National Laboratories has been directed with close cooperation between RES (SMSAB) and NRR (SPSB).

RADTRAD is used by both licensees and the NRC staff to show that doses from potential design basis accidents are below the regulatory limits. RADTRAD has recently been used in-house in support of the regulatory initiative to implement the revised source term. For example, RADTRAD was used to perform extensive confirmatory analyses to support review of the Perry pilot plant application, i.e., the license amendment to remove the MSIV leakage control system. Improvements in Version 3.01 include a new numerical algorithm that is faster and more robust, allows for multiple release sources, and handles more control volumes. Also, the graphical user interface was replaced with one that runs under Microsoft Windows NT, and the output content and format have been improved. With the issuance of RADTRAD 3.01, all major RADTRAD development is complete.


The fourth and final OECD RASPLAV integral experiment was performed successfully on July 6 at the Russian Research Center at the Kurchatov Institute. The overall objective of the RASPLAV program is to provide analytical and experimental information that can be used to assess whether and under what conditions molten core materials can be cooled and retained inside a reactor pressure vessel (RPV). This experiment used 200 kg of a corium composition that could relocate into the lower head of a LWR RPV.

Preliminary data from the experiment show that the duration of the test at high temperatures was about 4 hours. During this period a corium molten pool was maintained at steady state for 2 hours. The molten pool volume is believed to have been more than 75% of the total volume. The test instrumentation worked well. More importantly, the new real Time corium melt sampling device functioned well, and corium samples were collected during the test. The post-test examination of the corium will begin in a few days.

Report on Offsite Power System

RES issued a report entitled "The Effects of Deregulation of the Electric Power Industry on the Nuclear Plant Offsite Power System: An Evaluation," on June 30. The report describes the offsite power system and discusses the principal criteria for evaluating the various risk- informed and engineering-based initiatives to evaluate deregulation issues related to the nuclear plant offsite power system. The report documents the technical bases for SECY 99-129, "Effects of Electric Power Industry Deregulation on Electric Grid Reliability and Reactor Safety," dated May 11, 1999. On the basis of this study, the staff concluded that No further regulatory action was required, but they did recommend certain staff actions.

Workshop on Ground-water Modeling Related to Dose Assessments

RES and NMSS staff jointly organized a 2-day public workshop to discuss ground-water modeling used in dose assessments for demonstrating compliance with the radiological criteria for license termination, as well as to examine technical bases for resolving decommissioning issues. More than 90 attended the workshop from NEI, EPRI, EPA, DOE and DOE national laboratories, Army Corps of Engineers, Agreement States, industry, NRC, and the public. This workshop, the fourth in a series of six, was held at NRC Headquarters on June 23-24.

Topics discussed at the workshop included (1) a decision framework and ground-water modeling issues for decommissioning, (2) ground-water conceptual models used in the dose assessment codes, (3) methodology for site-specific ground-water modeling, (4) data sources and databases for estimating ground-water parameters, (5) the nuclear utilities' perspectives on site-specific ground-water modeling, and (6) results from DOE-sponsored ground-water modeling studies related to dose assessments for the Fernald and Nevada Test sites. The workshop enabled stakeholders to provide comments and questions to the presenters and NRC staff on the information presented at the workshop. These comments and questions will aid the NRC staff in developing guidance on issues and procedures for ground-water pathway modeling beyond simple screening models.

The workshop proceedings will be published to document the presentations and to summarize the questions and comments received during the group discussions. A transcript of the workshop will be placed in the PDR.

Incident Response Operations

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1. PNO-II-99-026, Virginia Power Co., (Surry 2), UNPLANNED SHUTDOWN

2. PNO-II-99-027, Florida Dept. of Transportation, STOLEN MOISTURE DENSITY GAUGES

3. PNO-III-99-034A, U.S. Enrichment Corporation (Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant), ALL CRITICALITY ACCIDENT ALARMS ADMINISTRATIVELY DECLARED INOPERABLE

4. PNO-III-99-035, Waukesha Memorial Hospital, BRACHYTHERAPY MISADMINISTRATION

Office of Administration

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Reporting Requirements for Nuclear Power Reactors (Parts 50 and 72)

A proposed rule that would amend the event reporting requirements for nuclear power reactors was published in the Federal Register on July 6, 1999 (64 FR 36291). The proposed rule would reduce or eliminate the reporting burden associated with events of little or No safety significance and better align the rules with NRC's need for information to carry out its safety mission. The comment period on this action closes September 20, 1999.

State of Colorado and Organization of Agreement States; Receipt of Petition for Rulemaking (PRM-40-27)

A document that requests public comment on a petition for rulemaking submitted by the State of Colorado and the Organization of Agreement States was published in the Federal Register on July 7, 1999 (64 FR 36615). The petitioner requests that the NRC amend its regulations to eliminate the exemption for source material general licensees from the requirements that specify standards of protection against radiation and the notification and instruction of individuals who participate in licensed activities. The comment period for this action closes September 20, 1999.

Chief Information Officer

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Freedom of Information and Privacy Act Requests received during the 5-Day Period of July 02, 1999 through July 08, 1999:

Depleted uranium, 2/99 or 3/99 incident involving U.S. Navy in Vieques, Puerto Rico. (FOIA/PA 99-277)

Chemetron license for Bert Ave., Amendment #7, draft materials used in preparation of 6/21/99 W. D. Travers memo and 5/26/99 A. J. Murphy memo. (FOIA/PA 99-278) Interstate Nuclear Services, License No. 03-5291, anonymous allegation on or about 2/4/99 to Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (FOIA/PA 99-279)

Dow Bay City, MI, License #STB-527, all correspondence 1/1/96 through the present. (FOIA/PA 99-280)

Chemetron license for Bert Ave., Amendment #7, NRC staff analysis for the seismic stability of the east slope. (FOIA/PA 99-281)

Big Rock Point, Charlevoix, MI, results of isotopic content and levels in connection with 3/98 alarm incident. (FOIA/PA 99-282)

Millstone plant, OI inquiry re named individuals. (FOIA/PA 99-283)

Radioactive contamination of sewage treatment plants in NY, TN, OR, OH, PA & Washington, DC, any actions taken by NRC and/or the Agreement State if applicable including those requiring No cleanup as of 1994. (FOIA/PA 99-284)

Office of Human Resources

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Office of Human Resources Holds Briefings on the Senior Executive Service (SES) Candidate Development Program

On June 21 and July 7, 1999, the Office of Human Resources conducted two video conferenced briefings on the recently announced SES Candidate Development Program. The focus of the briefings, open to employees at the GG-14 level and above, included a discussion by the Office of Personnel Management representative, Marcia Staten, of the certification of SES qualifications required for entry into the SES.


Office of Public Affairs

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Media Interest:

There was media interest in the Y2K reports submitted to NRC by nuclear power plant licensees.

Nuclear News Flashes (McGraw Hill News Service) published a report on a press release issued by Rep. Ed Markey concerning nuclear power plant security.

The Charlotte Observer is working on a story about Duke Energy

Press Releases
99-136 G. Paul Bollwerk Named Chief Administrative Judge of ASLB Panel
99-137 NRC Announces Improvements to Public Petition Process
99-138 Nuclear Power Plants Report Safety Systems are Y2K ready
99-139 NRC Proposes Changes to reporting Requirements for Nuclear Power Plants
99-140 NRC Renews License for Nuclear Fuel Services Facility in Tennessee
99-141 NRC Establishes Panel to Evaluate Pilot Program for New Oversight Process
99-142 NRC Posts Advance Copies of Publicly Available Documents on Web Page
I-99-59 NRC Staff To Hold Performance Evaluation Meeting at Susquehanna; Regional Administrator to Hold Media Briefing
I-99-60 NRC To Hold Two Meetings July 15 Regarding Millstone Plant
II-99-40 NRC Staff Schedules Public Meeting in Raleigh on July 13 to Describe New Inspection and Assessment Program
II-99-41 NRC to Hold Performance Evaluation Meeting at McGuire
II-99-42 NRC Staff to Hold Performance Evaluation Meeting at BWXT
III-99-39 NRC Staff to Meet with Alliant Utilities Officials to Discuss Performance at Duane Arnold Nuclear Plant

Office of the Secretary

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Document Released

to Public

Date Subject
Decision Documents
1. SECY-99-168 6/30/99 Improving Decommissioning Regulations for Nuclear Power Plants
2. SRM on SECY-99-135 7/8/99 Interim Enforcement Policy Regarding Enforcement Discretion for Nuclear Power Plants During the Year 2000 Transition
Commission Voting Record on 99-135 7/8/99 (same)
3. SRM on SECY-99-070 7/8/99 Implementation Plan for the Public Communications Initiative (DSI-14)
Commission Voting Record on 99-070 7/8/99 (same)
4. SECY-99-146 5/30/99 Interim Enforcement Policy for Use During the NRC Power Oversight Process Pilot Plant Study
SRM on 99-146 7/8/99 (same)
Commission Voting Record on 99-0146 7/8/99 (same)
5. SRM on SECY-99-147 7/8/99 Staff Requirements - SECY-99-147 - Proposed Rulemaking - Domestic Licensing of Special Nuclear Material
Commission Voting Record on 99-147 7/8/99 (same)
Information Papers
1. SECY-99-160 6/22/99 Status of Decommissioning Pilot Program for Materials Licensees
2. SECY-99-070 3/5/99 Implementation Plan for the Public Communications Initiative (DSI-14)
1. M990707 7/7/99 Staff Requirements - Affirmation Session, Wednesday, July 7, 1999
2. M990616 7/7/99 Staff Requirements - Briefing on Proposed Export of High Enriched Uranium to Canada, Wednesday, June 16, 1999

Commission Correspondence

No correspondence was released to the Public Document Room this week

Federal Register Notices Issued

1. Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste; Notice of Meeting on July 19-20, 1999

2. Pilot Program Evaluation Panel; Meeting Notice for July 28, 1999

Region I

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Salem/Hope Creek

On July 6 Harry Keiser, President and Chief Nuclear Officer of PSEG Nuclear LLC, announced a senior management realignment that will take effect on July 19, 1999. Mr. Keiser will have six direct reports: Mark Bezilla, General Manager (GM)-Operations; Marty Trum, GM-Maintenance; Dave Garchow, GM-Technical Support; Tim O'Conner, GM-Plant Support; Jerry McMahon, Director-Quality Assurance; and Bert Simpson, Sr. Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer. The change represents an effort to unify company functions at both the Salem and Hope Creek sites operated by PSE&G Nuclear LLC, and to more efficiently support the three nuclear units. Accordingly, the operations managers from both the Salem and Hope Creek plants will report directly to Mr. Bezilla. Also, Mr. O'Connor was not previously part of the management team.

Region II

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Southern Nuclear Operating Company - Hatch

On July 6, 1999, the Regional Administrator, accompanied by the DRP Division Director, attended a special inspection exit Meeting at the Hatch Nuclear Plant. The special inspection covered the Hatch Unit 2 manual scram on June 15 following a loss of condenser vacuum.

TVA - Watts Bar (Tritium Shipment)

On June 29 through July 1, 1999, Region II independently inspected the loading and preparation of a shipping cask with lead test burnable absorber rods containing tritium at the Watts Bar nuclear power plant site. The cask was loaded with one test assembly in preparation for shipment by the Department of Energy. The tritium producing burnable absorber rods (TBAR) were placed in the core of the Unit 1 reactor at the beginning of the last operational cycle as part of a Department of Energy project to determine the feasibility of producing tritium using commercial light water reactors. Note that a TBAR is an assembly that is placed inside a fuel assembly in the core of the reactor in Place of normal burnable poison rods.

FEMA Meeting

On July 7, 1999, the Regional Administrator, accompanied by the Deputy Regional Administrator and the Regional State Liaison Officer, visited and met with the Regional Director, Federal Emergency Management agency (FEMA), Region IV, in Atlanta. The purpose of this Meeting was to exchange information in those areas where the two offices share a mutual regulatory interest.

The principal area discussed between the NRC and the FEMA representatives were the Commission's new reactor inspection and oversight program, response to adverse weather conditions such as hurricanes, and the status of Y2K readiness.

Previously, the FEMA Staff visited and toured the Regional Office.

Region IV

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Public Meeting With Cooper Managers

On July 7, members of the Cooper staff met with members of the Region IV staff to discuss a maintenance self-assessment performed in February 1999. Attendees from Cooper included the Plant Manager, the Acting Maintenance Manager, and the Licensing Manager. The NRC participants included the Regional Administrator, the Director of the Division of Reactor Projects and the Director of the Division of Reactor Safety. The Cooper staff presented results that represented a thorough self-assessment, a significant improvement from previous efforts. Cooper's planned corrective actions seemed appropriate for the results of the self-assessment.

Plant Manager Change at Cooper Nuclear Station

The Nebraska Public Power District announced on July 8 that John McDonald will replace Mike Peckham as the plant manager at Cooper on August 9, 1999. John McDonald currently serves as the Plant Production Manager at Washington Nuclear Power, Unit 2. Mike Peckham will work as an executive assistant to the Senior Vice President of Energy Supply in Columbus, Nebraska.

Drop-in Visit by Vice President and Chief Executive Officer for Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation to Meet With Regional Administrator

On July 8, 1999, the Vice President and Chief Executive Officer for Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation visited with the Regional Administrator to discuss general performance issues.

Office of the Executive Director for Operations

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Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards -- Proposed Rule Signed by EDO

On July 7, 1999, the Executive Director for Operations approved a proposed rule that would amend to 10 CFR Part 72.214 "List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks."

This constitutes notice to the Commission that, in accordance with the rulemaking authority delegated to the EDO, the EDO has signed this proposed rule for publication in the Federal Register.

Office of Congressional Affairs

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Congressional Hearing Schedule, No. 27
Time Witness Subject Committee
Keeling 07/13/99
2123 RHOB
10:00 Former DOE Employees, Security Experts Security at DOE Labs Reps. Barton/Hall
Energy and Power
Reps. Calvert/Costello
Energy and Environment
Keeling 07/14/99
2118 RHOB
10:00 Bill Richardson, Vic Reis Improving Security at DOE Reps. Spence/Skelton
Armed Services
Portner 07/15/99
TBA Markup FY00 Energy & Water Appropriations Reps. Packard/Visclosky
Energy & Water Development
Combs TBA
TBA Markup S. 1090, Superfund Reauthorization Senators Chafee/Baucus
Environment & Public Works
Gerke 07/15/99
9:30 TBA Electricity Restructuring Senators Murkowski/Bingaman
Energy & Natural Resources
Portner 07/21/99
2:00 Commission NRC Authorization & Legislative Proposals Reps. Barton/Hall
Energy & Power
Gerke 07/29/99
TBA TBA Y2K and Nuclear Issues Senators Bennett/Dodd
Special Committee on the Year
2000 Technology Problem
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