March 23rd, 2011 – Regarding the NRC “Screening Process” – Never hurts to reinforce what’s already been stated

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From: Howe, Allen
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 11:56 AM
To: Carlson, Robert
Subject: RE: proposed message to staff

Ok – I did not want to distract too much from the central message. I will ponder.


Sent: Wednesday, March123, 2011 11:53 AM
To: Howe, Allen
Subject: RE: proposed message to staff

Allen –

I think this looks good. I also might suggest that per your reference below regarding the “screening process”, you may want to attach and reference Nelson’s previous e-mail & form describing this process in more detail (never hurts to reinforce what’s already been stated).

Robert D. Carlson, Chief
Plant Licensing Branch 111-2
Division of Operating Reactor Licensing
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
(0) 301-415-1995

From: Howe, Allen
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 11:44 AM
To: Carlson, Robert
Subject: FW: proposed message to staff

From: Howe, Allen
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 11:29 AM
To: Glitter, Joseph; Nelson, Robert
Subject: proposed message to staff

DORL Staff –
First of all let me thank all of you for your continued focus, teamwork and excellence following the events in Japan. The Japanese people suffered a terrible natural disaster that is significantly complicated by the damage to multiple reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi site. Since the initial earthquake and tsunami, NRC has been engaged via 24/7 coverage at the Operations Center. Many DORL staff have already been on shift rotation in support of the Operations Center. We also provided significant support to prepare for the March 21, 2011, Commission briefing. Also, Nelson is the NRR Coordinator for External Communications related to NRR’s response to the recent events in Japan. I expect that inquires and requests for information will continue from our stakeholders for some time as events unfold. Many of you have also been impacted by backing up staff who were pulled away from their normal responsibilities in support of the many extra activities currently taking place.

I want to reiterate the EDO’s message from March 15, 2011, regarding the events in Japan: “we still have our domestic mission to carry out, and with the exception of the small number of people who have been directly called upon to respond to this situation we should all proceed with previously planned activities. We will continue to process licensing actions, conduct inspections, and fulfill our regulatory responsibilities.” What this means for DORL is that we need to continue our focus on protecting public health, safety, and the environment by managing our nuclear power plant licensing actions.

Going forward we need to be sensitive to the issues in Japan and we should continue to be prudent in our decision-making in support of licensing activities. In that light, the Branch Chiefs developed a screening process to evaluate selected licensing actions. The intent of this process is to ensure appropriate treatment of licensing activities that may be affected by the evolving situation in Japan. If this screening process kicks an action out of our normal processing we will examine the specific issues, determine the next steps, coordinate and communicate as appropriate.

There may also be situations where technical staff are impacted and not able to deliver RAIs or safety evaluations as planned. If this situation arises, please work with your branch chief to resolve the issue. DORL leadership is committed to working with the NRR leadership to keep things flowing.
Again, my thanks to the DORL staff that have supported both the Operations Center and our other actions since the earthquake in Japan. My thanks also to those who have backed up your coworkers that were called away from their regular duties.

I will keep you informed of ongoing developments.

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