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NRC ISSUES ASSESSMENT OF LIMERICK; STRONG PERFORMANCE NOTED

 NRC ISSUES ASSESSMENT OF LIMERICK; STRONG PERFORMANCE NOTED
 PHILADELPHIA, June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- As a result of an extensive assessment of the past 17 months of operation, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has given Philadelphia Electric Company's (NYSE: PE) Limerick Generating Station top marks in six of seven areas evaluated.
 In a 24-page report issued Friday, the NRC said, "PECO has maintained an aggressive posture toward operating Limerick in a safe manner. Management has clearly demonstrated their safety focus and their desire to protect plant personnel and public health and safety."
 "Site personnel continued to be committed to safe operations. Technical decisions were well thought out and tended to be conservative from a safety viewpoint," it said.
 The evaluation, a Systematic Assessment of Licensee Performance (SALP), covered the period from October 16, 1990, to March 14, 1992, at both Limerick units.
 Areas receiving top marks were: Plant Operations, Radiological Controls, Security, and Safety Assessment/Quality Verification. Limerick's Emergency Preparedness and Engineering/Technical Support also received top grades, being upgraded from the previous evaluation. Maintenance/Surveillance received the second best rating which represents a lower rating from the last evaluation.
 The SALP found Limerick operators knowledgeable, professional and noted that they responded well to plant operating challenges. "Identification of the root causes for personnel errors and operational events continued to be a strength," it said.
 Among other findings in the NRC report:
 -- "Plant housekeeping and fire protection activities were excellent."
 -- "Efforts in the ALARA program (radiation protection, "as low as reasonably achievable") remained PECO's most notable strength."
 -- "Examples of engineering involvement and efforts to improve operations and enhance plant safety."
 -- Implementation of "a highly effective Quality Assurance/Quality Control program" for the radiological environmental monitoring program.
 -- "The Maintenance Department generally performed well, contributing to high capacity factors on both units...PECO has invested significant resources in technical training for the maintenance personnel."
 Station maintenance supervisors must perform a more thorough assessment of identified problems to prevent repeat offenses of procedural noncompliance.
 -- Station and corporate management continued to be "very effectively involved in emergency preparedness," particularly identifying the new "state-of-the-art" Emergency Operations Facility/Emergency News Center in Coatesville, Pa., and the upgrade of the siren notification system, excellent employee training, and extensive support to off-site agencies.
 -- A very effective and performance-oriented security program with excellent rapport and communications among plant groups. Security concerns identified during self-audits were "promptly and effectively resolved."
 -- PE's Fitness-for-Duty program described as "aggressive, comprehensive, and responsive."
 Dickinson M. Smith, PE senior vice president, Nuclear, said, "We obviously are very pleased with the NRC findings. It is gratifying for the NRC to recognize Limerick's strong operation. Top marks in nearly all of the evaluation areas reflect the quality staff and their strong commitment to excellence."
 Graham M. Leitch, vice president Limerick Generating Station, added "This evaluation is a credit to the men and women at the plant. Their daily dedication and attention to detail is reflected in these results."
 The SALP inspection supplements the normal regulatory processes intended to provide a rationale for allocating NRC resources and to provide meaningful feedback to PE management.
 Among the NRC criteria for evaluation were operational events, staffing, effectiveness of training programs, enforcement history, approach to the identification and resolution of technical issues from a safety standpoint, quality assurance and management involvement.
 Overall marks for the seven evaluation areas were as follows:
 Functional Area Rating Previous Rating
 Plant Operations 1 1
 Radiological Controls 1 1
 Maintenance/Surveillance 2 1
 Emergency Preparedness 1 2, Improving
 Security and Safeguards 1 1
 Engineering/Technical Support 1 2, Improving
 Safety Assessment/
 Quality Verification 1, Declining 1
 Category 1 means licensee management attention to and involvement in nuclear safety resulted in a superior level of performance, and NRC will consider reduced levels of inspection. Category 2 means the licensee management attention resulted in good performance. Category 3 performance was acceptable, and the NRC will consider increased levels of inspection.
 Rating Period: Oct. 16, 1990, to March 14, 1992
 Previous Rating Period: Sept. 1, 1989, to Oct. 15, 1990
 /delval/
 -0- 6/23/92
 /Editors: A public meeting between senior executives of Philadelphia Electric Company and NRC Region I officials will be held Friday, June 26, 10 a.m., at the Limerick Energy Information Center, 298 Longview Road, Linfield, Pa., to discuss the contents of the SALP evaluation./
 /CONTACT: Michael Wood of Philadelphia Electric, 215-841-4125/
 (PE) CO: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Philadelphia Electric Company ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI SU:


MK -- PH012 -- 2785 06/23/92 10:42 EDT
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Date:Jun 23, 1992
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