The NRC’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) recently issued an update on the status of resolving the recommendations made by the NRC’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) in its audit of NRC’s Significance Determination Process (SDP) for reactor safety. The update addresses the progress made towards resolving the four recommendations from the audit.

The first recommendation was to “assess SDP workflow and establish, communicate, and document clear and consistent expectations for staff and managers to complete their roles in the SDP.” In its update, NRC reported on the Inspection Finding Resolution Management (IFRM) trial period and the results of an effectiveness review report. The effectiveness review report made 11 recommendations, most notably that the IFRM process should be continued with some changes. Staff is now revising procedures used to support the IFRM trial period, which will become the new IMC 0609, IMC 0609, Attachment 1, and IMC 0609 Attachment 5. Staff intends to issue the revised procedures by the end of 2018.

The second recommendation was to “clarify IMC 0612 Appendix B screening questions, so that they are readily understood and easily applied.” NRR and the regions chose to “revise guidance in IMC 0612 to improve the minor examples by tying each minor example to a screening question.” A subject matter expert from each region is working on revising the examples, and NRR plans to issue a revision to IMC 0612 by June 30, 2019.

The third recommendation was to “implement controls to ensure independent audits of greater-than-Green inspection findings are performed.” To ensure these audits are performed, NRC staff issued a job guide and revised Appendix A to IMC 0307. This recommendation is now closed.

The fourth recommendation was to “document independent audits of greater-than-Green inspection findings are performed.” Independent audits are performed annually according to Metric R-2 of IMC 0307, Appendix A, and a 2017 audit supported the results of the R-2 Metric. Based on the results of the audit, and self-assessment reports, NRC staff is recommending the closure of this recommendation.