July 5; 2001

MEMORANDUM TO:   William D. Travers
                                           Executive Director for Operations

FROM:                             Annette L. Vietti-Cook, Secretary IRAI


The Commission has approved the conduct of a one-year pilot of the Safeguards Performance Assessment (SPA) Program. The Commission has also approved maintaining the Operational Safeguards Response Evaluation (OSRE) program at a reduced frequency of six OSREs during FY02. The staff should provide the Commission with an assessment of the SPA pilot program following its completion.

The Commission has approved exempting a SPA pilot program participant from an OSRE as discussed in SECY-01-0060. However, the Commission has disapproved two of the staff's proposed exempting criteria. Specifically, the first criterion should be revised to reflect that the site has undergone an OSRE within the last 5 years. The second criterion (recent site inspections have not identified any adverse performance issues) should be eliminated. However, if a licensee removes itself from the SPA pilot program before it has concluded the evaluated exercise, it will become eligible for the scheduling of an OSRE consistent with established OSRE frequency guidelines and scheduling practices.

The staff should develop a communication plan which clearly describes the significant elements of the SPA program, as well as the SPA program's relationship to the OSRE program and other elements of the NRC's plant security oversight process. Also, the staff should develop a press release to accompany release of the SECY-01-0060 and this staff requirements memorandum. The Congress should be notified of the Commission's actions before the pilot is initiated. The staff should obtain Commission approval of any Congressional correspondence related to this pilot program.

cc:   Chairman Meserve
        Commissioner Dicus
        Commissioner McGaffigan