BALTIMORE -- The Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant in southern Maryland received a favorable review yesterday from the head of an international inspection team.

Noting that the Calvert County plant is the first in the U.S. inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency, team leader Ferdinand L. Franzen said, "I would say this is one of the better performers. It is not a superstar. It is not average. It is in the upper range."

He said the team was very pleased with the plant's management, training and emergency response plan.

"We were really very pleased, particularly with the emergency planning and preparedness, compared to other plants in the world."

He said the plant's training procedures were excellent, but could use some fine tuning.

Franzen said Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., the plant's operator, does not need to make any changes for safety's sake. Most of the improvements outlined in general terms to company officials yesterday dealt with increased efficiency and some maintenance improvements, he said.

Franzen said the Calvert Cliffs plant, located about 35 miles southeast of Washington on the Chesapeake Bay, was not typical of the American nuclear industry. "We did not see the best or the worst. We should see a few more {plants} before we make a preliminary judgment on the industry."

The visit to the twin, pressurized-water reactors was the 20th worldwide by an International Atomic Energy Agency operational safety review team since the inspection program began in 1982. The first in North America was conducted in June at a Canadian nuclear power station.

The three-week review was intended to improve the exchange of ideas for improving safety.