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With regard to your question regarding commitments or agreements made at the July 24 meeting, the Utility Group committed to submit their planned formal response sufficiently in advance of the next scheduled Commission meeting on Fire Protection (i.e. within a few weeks) to enable the staff to consider, evaluate and comment on the Utility Group's views in further discussions of these matters with the Commission. The Utility Group intends to include in their submittal (1) discussion of the background and history of development of the Appendix R situation, (2) response to specific points of concern raised by Mr. Eberly and Mr. Ramsey in their oral presentations (and in a written Differing Professional Opinion), and (3) discussion of the questions raised by Mr. Trubach. At the staff's request, the Utility Group will also provide some discussion of why the majority of the Group believe that there is a need for issuance of additional guidance, as*proposed by the staff, to facilitate implementation of Appendix R, in view of the fact that one member of the Group (Baltimore Gas and Electric) has been able to implement expeditiously those requirements without such additional formal guidance. No other commitments or agreements were made at the July 24 meeting.

The Utility Group also asked if the staff could provide any information or guidance now that might be useful in determining their course of action at this point with respect to implementation of Appendix R. In particular, they inquired as to the staff's judgment regarding whether/how the issues raised at the May 30 meeting might affect the ultimate disposition, and the final form and content, of the proposed Fire Protection guidance package discussed with utilities in the recent Regional Workshops. The staff could provide no firm response in that regard and made clear that the final decisions regarding whether/what additional guidance is to be issued will be made by the Commission.

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We have read and considered the license condition the staff recommends be made available to licensees and included in licenses issued in the future. We would recommend only that the wording of the second paragraph of the condition be made permissive. It is the intent of the second paragraph to make clear that licensees may make use of the flexibility available under 50.59, a flexibility which the first paragraph, standing alone, would take away. However, the negative wording of the second paragraph obscures its intent. We therefore propose the following changes:

2. The licensee may not make changes to the approved
fire protection program without prior approval of the
Commission only if those changes would not whieh-wouid
adversely affect the ability to achieve and maintain
safe shutdown in the event of a fire, without-prior

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TO: Samuel J. Chilk, Secretary Of The Commission
FROM: Commissioner Asselstine

SUBJECT: SECY-85-306 - STAFF Recommendations Regarding The

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SECRETARIAT NOTE: Please Also Respond To And/or Comment On Ogc/ope Memorandum If One Has Been Issued On This Paper.

NRr-SFfY Form Dec. 80

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I have several concerns about the staff's recommendations for implementation of Appendix R. These Include concerns about the procedures 1n the staff's Interpretation document, technical concerns, problems with the proposed enforcement policy and the staff's backflttlng analysis.

I heUeve that the staff's approach will make 1t harder for our fire
protection Inspectors to do their Jobs. The staff's new interpretation
documert will allow licensees to depart from commitments or generally
accepted practices without first getting NRC approval. The licensee 1s
only required to do an evaluation (undefined) of the di"erent approach 1t
Intends to take and to keep the evaluation documents available.

What this new procedure does 1s to, 1n effect, shift the burden from the
licensees, who formerly had to justify a different approach before they
could becin implementation, to the NRC Inspector and reviewer, who must now
discover'the deviation and must establish why this approach does or does
not meet the role. The new procedure will also make it harder to Integrate
the work of the technical reviewer who will be at headqusrtcrs and the:
^rspector who will be in the field with the evaluation documents.
Obviously, this new approach, by placing the burden on the inspector* and
reviewers, will be more resource Intensive for the NRC. In a time of
budget cuts, such an approach does not make sense.

The staff argues that Its procedure 1s acceptable, in the areas in
which they are not requiring prior approval, the staff has already granted
exemptions for other plants. Unfortunately, this answer does ret sdequate-
ly addrcs the concern for several reasons. The staff's argument overlooks
the fact that fire protection 1s very plant specific. Whether a particular
fire protection method will be adequate for a particular plant car. depend
er rrany plsnt-specif1c details. The staff's argument also overlooks the
fact that, while exemptions have indeed been granted to some p'ant.?. the
oripir*1 r^ftription proposals have often beer altered as a result of the


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