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NRC ASSESSES LIMERICK; FINDS OVERALLEXCELLENT LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE

 PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- A comprehensive assessment of Philadelphia Electric Company's (PEC0) (NYSE: PE) Limerick Generating Station by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has found an overall "excellent level of performance" at the plant.
 The NRC found "strong performance in Operations and Engineering," improvements in Maintenance, "with significant progress in decreasing the maintenance backlog," and "proactive licensee management attention and involvement" in dealing with previous weaknesses in the maintenance and radiological control areas.
 The findings are contained in a Systematic Assessment of Licensee Performance (SALP), covering the period between March 15, 1992, and Sept. 25, 1993.
 "We are pleased with the NRC's overall findings and their recognition of our initiatives to improve performance," said Limerick Vice President David R. Helwig, "but we will not be satisfied until we have met our goals to eliminate weaknesses noted by the NRC."
 With recent revisions in the SALP process, the number of assessment areas was reduced from seven to four, Operations, Engineering, Maintenance, and Plant Support. The latter combines radiological controls, security, emergency preparedness, fire protection, chemistry and housekeeping.
 Limerick received Category 1 ratings in Operations and Engineering and Category 2 ratings in Maintenance and Plant Support.
 Category 1 is defined as: Licensee attention and involvement have been properly focused on safety and resulted in a superior level of safety performance. Licensee programs and procedures have provided effective controls.
 Category 2 is defined as: Licensee attention and involvement are normally well focused ad resulted in a good level of safety performance. Licensee programs and procedures normally provide the necessary control of activities, but deficiencies may exist.
 A summary of NRC findings is as follows:
 Operations: Safe operating runs of long duration for both units were achieved as a result of close operations management oversight and proactive problem identification and resolution. Operations continued its strong performance over this SALP period, characterized by strong management involvement in daily plant operations; an effective, well- formulated and implemented training program; excellent command and control in normal operation and event response; and proactive problem identification, root cause determination and corrective action.
 Engineering: The engineering organization provided excellent initiatives to improve the safety and reliability of the plant and to increase the effectiveness of engineering support of plant operations. Excellent technical expertise, project management skills and experience were evident in the planning and implementation of major engineering projects to support the plant. Effective external and internal communications were evident in the success of important engineering tasks.
 Maintenance: Overall performance in the maintenance area improved over this SALP period. The Maintenance Department generally controlled


and performed maintenance activities well, contributing to very high capacity factors on both units. However, personnel errors stemming from inattention to detail (an identified weakness last SALP period) continued throughout this cycle. Station managm?ent involvement was proactive as demonstrated by the implementation of many positive initiatives, which led to some improved performance, especially in the last part of this SALP period. However, it is too early to fully assess the effectiveness of some of these initiatives in resolving identified weaknesses and attaining long-term performance improvement.
 Plant Support: Overall, the plant support functions continued to be effective and contributed to the safe plant performance. The effectiveness of the emergency preparedness program and the security program continued to be excellent, with significant management involvement and support. Continued strong performance in fire protection and housekeeping also was noted.
 However, early in the SALP period the NRC identified significant weaknesses in the radiation protection program. But during the latter part of the SALP period, a high level of management attention was directed to the program.
 The licensee significantly improved the evaluation of radiological control events, established and implemented a special radiation worker training supplement, revised and updated radiological controls procedures, enhanced communications and team work among radiation protection staff and plant work groups, and improved quality assurance oversight of program areas.
 These resulted in improvement over the period, but isolated radiation protection procedure adherence problems continued near the end of the period.
 /delval/
 -0- 11/9/93
 /CONTACT: Bill Jones of Philadelphia Electric, 215-841-4129/
 (PE)


CO: Philadelphia Electric Company; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI SU:

MJ -- PH024 -- 3645 11/09/93 11:34 EST
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Date:Nov 9, 1993
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