nrc seal Weekly Information Report

For the Week Ending September 3, 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: 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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Millstone Nuclear Power Station, Unit 1

On August 25, 1999, NRR, supported by Region I, NMSS and OGC, conducted a public Meeting on the decommissioning of Unit 1 at the Waterford Town Hall, Waterford, Connecticut. The purposes of the Meeting were to provide the Millstone licensee a forum for presenting their decommissioning plans to the public and for the NRC staff to review the NRC's decommissioning program with the public. The NRC staff invited interested members of the public to make comments and ask questions of the staff and the licensee. The Meeting was also held to fulfill the regulatory requirement in 10 CFR 50.82(a)(4)(ii) that the staff Schedule a public Meeting in the vicinity of the licensee's facility upon receipt of the Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report. The Meeting was moderated by the First Selectman of the Town of Waterford, and was attended by approximately 100 people.

Operational Safeguards Response Evaluation

NRR conducted Operational Safeguards Response Evaluation (OSRE) activities at St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant from August 23 through 26, 1999. An OSRE evaluates a licensee's ability to respond to an external threat by focusing on (1) the interaction between the licensee's operations and security organizations in establishing priorities for protecting equipment and (2) the defensive strategies used to deny armed intruders access to the critical equipment. While on site, the team, composed of headquarters and Region II personnel, observed table-top contingency drills, weapons training, and licensee force-on-force exercises including scenarios with a coordinated operator response in the plant reference simulator. The team also interviewed armed response officers and conducted a safety and safeguards review to ensure that security does not adversely impact the safe operations and plant personnel safety.

Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards

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Meeting of the International Radioactive Source Management Steering Committee

On August 26, 1999, staff from the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards and the Office of International Programs attended a Meeting of the International Radioactive Source Management (IRSM) Steering Committee, held at the Department of State in Washington, DC. Also attending were representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, the Department of Energy (DOE) and DOE Laboratories, the U.S. Customs Service, as well as representatives from the metal recycling and manufacturing industry.

The focus of the Meeting was discussion of the draft International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) "Action Plan for the Safety of Radiation Sources and Security of Radioactive Materials." The IAEA draft plan identifies six initiatives necessary to implement a program addressing the safety of radiation sources and the security of radioactive material. Possible U.S. assistance to IAEA through IRSM was discussed, and the Steering Committee Chair requested each of the organizations represented at the Meeting to determine in which initiatives their organizations could provide support and participation. The Department of State will arrange a Meeting between the IRSM Steering Committee and appropriate IAEA representatives to discuss IAEA's current activities and needs and to allow the Steering Committee members an opportunity to present relevant initiatives and activities within their respective organizations.

Presentations on the Draft Final Revision of Part 35

Members of the Part 35 Working Group spoke at two recent professional meetings. The first was on August 26, 1999, at the Second Annual Force Protection Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, where the presentation included a summary of the draft changes (SECY-99-201) to the regulations for all medical uses of byproduct material. The second, September 1, 1999, at the Syncor International Corporation Quality and Regulatory Meeting, in Annapolis, Maryland, focused on the proposed changes in the regulations and associated guidance documents that will impact both Part 32-licensed pharmacies and Part 35-licensed customers.

Mixed Oxide Fuel Licensing Meeting

On August 31, 1999, Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff met with Duke Cogema Stone and Webster (DCS) and the Department of Energy to discuss technical issues and project schedules related to the license application for a mixed oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication facility. The license application is scheduled to be submitted in late 2000. The NRC is currently developing a MOX standard review plan which is expected to be completed in January 2000. The NRC staff plans to apply the revised 10 CFR Part 70 Rule to the MOX license application. (The revised Part 70 Rule is currently issued for public comment as a proposed rule.)

Meeting on Rancho Seco Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation

On August 31, 1999, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards (NMSS) management and staff members met with representatives of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) to discuss the proposed physical protection plan for the Rancho Seco Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation. At the Meeting, NMSS staff identified those areas where the applicant's plan does not meet 10 CFR 73.51, so that necessary changes can be made and the plan resubmitted. Timely resubmittal is critical to Meeting the new review Schedule.

Meeting on BU-J Transport Package

On August 27, 1999, staff from the Spent Fuel Project Office met with General Electric Company (GE) and the Department of Transportation regarding the Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff preliminary technical findings from their review of the Model No. BU-J package. This package is used by GE to ship low enriched uranium oxides to Japan and other foreign countries.

Evaluation of GNS-11 Transportation Package

On August 31, 1999, the Spent Fuel Project Office issued an evaluation to the Department of Transportation recommending revalidation of the German Certificate of Package Approval for the model GNS-11 Material Test Reactor (MTR) fuel package. This evaluation was needed on an expedited basis to support the Department of Energy (DOE) program for the return of research reactor spent fuel from foreign countries to the United States. DOE will use this cask to return irradiated MTR-type fuel from South America.

Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research

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ANS International Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment

On August 23 through 26, numerous members of the RES and NRR staff participated in the American Nuclear Society's (ANS) International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA '99). Commissioner Diaz provided the introductory speech in the conference's opening plenary session, which was titled "Application of Risk-Informed Regulation in the New Millenium." Most of the conference's subsequent papers and discussions focused on this topic, addressing issues in such areas as lessons learned from applications, PRA documentation, operational experience, and methodological challenges. Particularly lively discussions were held on the Subject of PRA standards. NRC staff contributed 26 of the slightly over 200 papers presented, organized 6 panel sessions, and chaired 10 technical sessions. The conference had strong attendance from industry and from international countries, as well as from NRC.

As noted by Ashok Thadani in his remarks on the conference's closing panel, the previous ANS conference on PSA (PSA '96) dwelt on what needs to be done to increase the use of PRA in regulatory decision making. (That conference's theme was "Moving Toward Risk-Based Regulation.") By contrast, the vast majority of the discussion at PSA '99 concerned what has been done and what is being done. The conference, therefore, not only served as a highly successful forum for frank exchanges of information and viewpoints, it also provided a significant milestone in the move towards the practical implementation of risk-informed regulation.

NUREG/CR-5733, "Re-evaluation of Regulatory Guidance Provided in Regulatory Guides 1.142 and 1.143," Published

RES has completed a project on developing the technical basis to update and revise two guides, Regulatory Guide 1.142, "Safety-Related Concrete Structures for Nuclear Power Plants (Other than Reactor Vessels and Containments)," and Regulatory Guide 1.143, "Design Guidance for Radioactive Waste Management Systems, Structures, and Components Installed in Light-Water-Cooled Nuclear Power Plants." The technical basis was published in August in NUREG/CR-5733. This project was based on the needs of the user office to update the outdated guidance. RES will now revise the regulatory guides for comment and subsequent publication. In developing the technical basis, assessments were made of the changes in industry codes and standards and practices since the guides were last revised in 1981 and 1979, respectively. The NUREG report provides an evaluation of current NRC guidance and recommendations for changes needed to bring NRC guidance up to Date. The revised guidance will provide acceptance criteria for timely regulatory decisions.

Incident Response Operations

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Preliminary Notifications:


2. PNO-II-99-031A, T.A. Houston & Associates, Ltd, LOST MOISTURE DENSITY GAUGE (UPDATE)

3. PNO II-00-033, Carolina Power & Light Co., STATUS OF HURRICANE DENNIS

4. PNO-II-99-034, Bond Paving Company, Inc., STOLEN TROXLER DENSITY GAUGE

5. PNO-II-99-035, Carolina Power & Light Co., STATUS OF HURRICANE DENNIS

6. PNO-II-99-036, General Mills, SIX MISSING GAUGES


Office of Administration

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Agency Guidance on the Award and Administration of Interagency Agreements

On August 31, 1999, the Office of Administration chaired a kick-off Meeting of the Working Group established to review existing NRC and other Federal agencies' policies and best practices and draft comprehensive guidance for all interagency agreements to ensure that appropriate project management and procurement procedures are in Place. The group, which has representation from RES, NRR, OCIO, OCFO and ADM, plans to identify all agency interagency agreements, international agreements, reimbursable orders and memoranda of understanding and will develop guidance for award and administration of such agreements.

Contract Award

On September 2, 1999, DCPM awarded three fixed-price contracts entitled "Improved Fire Risk Analysis (FRA) Methodology for Determination of the Frequency of Challenging Fires" under Broad Agency Agreement by the same name. Each of these actions were for a 90-day research effort to investigate the feasibility of developing a practical, improved methodology for defining, characterizing, and quantifying the frequency of nuclear power plant fire scenarios, and to submit a proposal to fully develop and demonstrate the improved methodology. The contracts were awarded as follows: Contract No. NRC-04-99-045 to Buttonwood Consulting, Inc. for $29,280; Contract No. NRC-04-99-051 to Scientech, Inc. for $29,997; and Contract No. NRC-04-99-052 to WS Atkins, Inc. for $30,000. Streamlining measures used included providing an electronic copy of the Statement of Work, using less than three people for the source evaluation panel and making the awards without discussions.

Receipt of Nuclear Energy Institute Petition for Rulemaking (PRM-51-7)

A document that requests public comment on a petition for rulemaking submitted by the Nuclear Energy Institute was published in the Federal Register on September 2, 1999 (64 FR 48117). The petitioner requests that the NRC amend its regulations to delete the requirement for the NRC to evaluate Severe Accident Mitigation Alternatives as part of its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review associated with license renewal. The petitioner requests that the NRC take this action to achieve consistency in the scope of its regulatory requirements associated with NEPA and license renewal. The comment period for this action closes November 16, 1999.

Changes to Requirements for Environmental Review for Renewal of Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses (Part 51)

A final rule that amends the regulations concerning the environmental information required in applications to renew nuclear power plant operating licenses was published in the Federal Register on September 3, 1999 (64 FR 48495). The final rule expands the generic findings about environmental impacts due to transportation of fuel and waste to and from a single nuclear plant. Specifically the final rule adds to findings concerning the cumulative impacts of convergence of spent fuel shipments on a single destination rather than multiple destinations and the environmental impact of transportation of higher enriched and higher burnup spent fuel during the renewal term. The final rule becomes effective October 4, 1999.

A companion document announcing availability of the supplemental environmental impact statement was published in the Federal Register on September 3, 1999 (64 FR 48507).

Public Meeting on Implementation Issues Related to the Proposed Rule on Generally Licensed Devices (Part 31)

A document announcing a public Meeting to discuss issues related to the control and accountability of generally licensed devices was published in the Federal Register on September 3, 1999 (64 FR 48333). The Meeting will be held on October 1, 1999.

Chief Information Officer

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Freedom of Information and Privacy Act Requests received during the 5-Day Period of August 27, 1999 through September 2, 1999:

Metorex, Inc., 250 Phillips Blvd., West Trenton, NJ, environmental assessment. (FOIA/PA 99-343)

Depleted uranium, 2/99 incident involving U.S. Navy in Vieques, Puerto Rico. (FOIA/PA 99-344)

Criteria or method for Reinterpretation of NRC Regulations, 4/20/92 memo, Parler to Commission, unredacted version. (FOIA/PA 99-345)

Contract, custodial services, RS-ADM-00-005. (FOIA/PA 99-346)

Contract, grounds maintenance, RS-ADM-00-004. (FOIA/PA 99-347)

Allegheny Wireline Services, Inc., OI case 2-1998-018. (FOIA/PA 99-348)

Contract, ADM-99-151 for custodial services. (FOIA/PA 99-349)

Self, medical records late 1950's through early 1960's re St. Joseph hospital and/or Cleveland Clinic. (FOIA/PA 99-350)

Vulcan Crucible Steel Co., Aliquippa, PA, 1948 through 1949, uranium-rolling operation. (FOIA/PA 99-351)

Office of Human Resources

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Office of Public Affairs

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Media Interest

The Philadelphia Business Journal is preparing a story on the new reactor oversight program.

Press Releases
99-183 NRC Amends Environmental Reviews to Renew Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses to Include Consideration of Certain Transportation Impacts
99-184 NRC Staff to Meet With Public to Update Policies Related to the Release of Information
99-185 NRC Releases Previously Contaminated Site in Ohio for Unrestricted Use
99-186 Note to Editors: ACRS meetings September 22-24
99-187 NRC to Meet With NEI to Discuss Nuclear Industry's Y2K Activities
99-188 NRC Approves Ohio Agreement to Regulate Use of Certain Radioactive Materials
99-189 NRC Amends Regulations to Add Hi-Star Fuel Storage Cask Design to Approved List
I-99-73 NRC Sends Inspection Team to Indian Point 2 Nuclear Power Plant
I-99-74 NRC Assigns New Resident Inspector to Fitzpatrick Nuclear Plant
IV-99-31 NRC Commissioner Nils Diaz to Visit South Texas Project

Office of International Programs

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Y2K Early Warning System (YEWS)

OIP and IRO met with representatives of the Departments of State and Energy to coordinate activities on the Y2K Early Warning System (YEWS). It was agreed that the Department of Energy will use its extensive contacts in Russia and Central and Eastern Europe to invite participation from those countries. So far, 20 countries, most with major nuclear programs, have committed to participate in YEWS.

Office of the Secretary

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Document Released

to Public

Date Subject
Decision Documents
1. SRM on SECY-99-148 8/27/99 Credit for Existing Programs for License Renewal
Commission Voting Record on 99-148 8/27/99 (same)
2. SECY-99-165 6/30/99 Final Standard Review Plan Regarding Foreign Ownership, Control, or Domination of Applicants for Reactor Licenses
SRM on 99-165 8/31/99 (same)
Commission Voting Record on 99-165 8/31/99 (same)
3. SECY-99-175 7/6/99 Proposed Rule: 10 CFR part 72 - Clarification and Addition of Flexibility
SRM on 99-175 9/1/99 (same)
Commission Voting Record on 99-175 9/1/99 (same)
Negative Consent Documents
1. SECY-99-213 8/23/99 Removal of Elkem Metals Company's Site From the Site Decommissioning Plan
SRM on 99-213 8/23/99 (same)
2. SECY-99-205 8/5/99 Rulemaking Plan: Revision of 10 CFR to Permit the Submission of Documents Electronically; Minor Corrections
SRM on 99-205 8/31/99 (same)
Information Papers
1. SECY-99-210 8/18/99 Weekly Information Report - Week Ending August 13, 1999
2. SECY-99-211 8/18/99 Status Report on the Probabilistic Risk Assessment Implementation Plan

Commission Correspondence

1. Letter to Congressmen Sensenbrenner, Jr, and Ehlers, dated August 25, 1999, concerns the science policy report of the Committee on Science.

2. Letter to Congressman McIntosh, dated August 25, 1999, concerns request for certain information related to Federal grant funds provided to the States.

3. Letter to Congressman Markey, dated August 27, 1999, concerns the future of the NRC's Operational Safeguards Response Evaluation program.

Federal Register Notices Issued

1. 10 CFR Part 51; Nuclear Energy Institute; Receipt of Petition for Rulemaking; Docket No. PRM-51-7.

2. Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Subcommittee Meeting on Materials and Metallurgy; Notice of Meeting on September 22, 1999.

3. Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Meeting of the Subcommittee on Plant Licensing Renewal; Notice of Meeting on September 23, 1999.

4. Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Joint Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittees on Reliability and Probabilistic Risk Assessment and on Regulatory Policies and Practices; Notice of Meeting on September 23-24, 1999.

5. State of Ohio: Discontinuance of Certain Commission Regulatory Authority Within the State; Notice of Agreement with the State of Ohio.

Region I

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Haddam Neck CDAC Meeting

On August 31, 1999, an evening Meeting was held at the Haddam Neck site, Haddam, CT, of the Citizen's Decommissioning Advisory Committee (CDAC). This Committee is involved in the oversight of the decommissioning of the Haddam Neck Plant. At the Meeting, staff from the Region I Decommissioning and Laboratory Branch presented an update of NRC oversight activities. Topics discussed included a recent inspection report, an NRC Meeting held onsite August 11, 1999 to discuss the licensee's transition to a Decommissioning Operations Contractor, and upcoming inspection plans. These inspection activities emphasize the review of the plans for removal of the four steam generators over the next two months. Monthly meetings of the CDAC will continue during the Fall, with the NRC on the agenda to present an update of NRC activities at the November 16, 1999 Meeting.

Region II

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Chairman Dicus Visit to Surry Nuclear Plant

On August 31, 1999, the Regional Administrator accompanied Chairman Dicus to the Surry Nuclear Plant in Surry, Virginia for a plant tour and discussion with Virginia Power Company.

Carolina Power and Light Company - Pilot Inspection Program at the Harris Nuclear Plant

On September 2, 1999, the Regional Administrator observed a routine baseline inspection exit Meeting of the new Pilot Inspection Program at the Harris Nuclear Plant in North Carolina.

Commonwealth of Virginia - Remedial Drill, James City County

On August 31, 1999, a successful remedial drill was conducted to resolve the Deficiency noted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency/Regional Assistance Committee during the Surry full scale nuclear exercise which was conducted on August 3, 1999. The final exercise report will note that James City County, Commonwealth of Virginia, fully resolved this concern.

Federal Emergency Management Agency - Hurricane DENNIS, Disaster Initiated Review

On August 30, 1999, the Federal Emergency Management Agency conducted a Disaster Initiated Review by telephone conference with all interested parties, i.e., State/local government officials, representatives of Carolina Power & Light Company, Inc., and representatives of the NRC, to evaluate the impact of Hurricane DENNIS on the operation of the Brunswick Nuclear Plant as related to offsite emergency preparedness. No significant concerns were identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency which would preclude the resumption of normal plant operations.

Tennessee Valley Authority - Sequoyah Significant Determination Process Meeting

On August 30, 1999, the Regional Administrator participated in a Significant Determination Process Meeting at the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant with the licensee personnel and NRR staff.

Region III

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Commissioner Merrifield Tours Byron Nuclear Power Station

On August 31, 1999, NRC Commissioner Jeffrey S. Merrifield and NRC Region III Deputy Regional Administrator Jim Caldwell toured the Byron Nuclear Power Station, located near Byron, Illinois.

Team Inspection at Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant

On August 30, 1999, an NRC team inspection began at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Kentucky. The purpose of the inspection is to review the radiological monitoring program at the plant. The five member team will also look at internal and external radiation controls and monitoring. Additionally, the team members will inspect worker practices and program in general. The team will be at Paducah for one week. Starting September 13, 1999, the team will conduct the same inspection at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Region IV

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Meeting at the River Bend Station

On August 30, 1999, the Director, Division of Reactor Projects and other members of the Region IV staff met with the Vice President, Operations, River Bend Station, and members of his staff. The Meeting was closed to the public. The purpose of the Meeting was to discuss the licensee's performance during the recent refueling/maintenance outage. The discussion focused on the human performance errors that were documented in recent inspection reports and the corrective actions that were developed. A summary will be docketed.

Office of Congressional Affairs

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Congressional Hearing Schedule, No. 32
Time Witness Subject Committee
Gerke TBA
TBA Markup S. 59, S. 1244: Regulatory Reform bills Senators Thompson/Lieberman
Governmental Affairs
Gerke TBA TBA Markup H.R. 2445, Federalism Accountability Act Reps. Burton/Waxman
Government Reform
Gerke 09/13/99
Nashville, TN
9:30 Field Hearing Electricity Competition focusing on the role of TVA Reps. Barton/Hall
Energy and Power
Combs 09/15/99
10:00 Ivan Itkin Confirmation Hearing for DOE's Director of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Senators Murkowski/Bingaman
Energy & Natural Resources
Portner 09/23/99
TBA Commission NRC Authorization Senators Inhofe/Graham
Clean Air, Wetlands, Private Property &
Nuclear Safety
Environment & Public Works
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