United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Protective Action Recommendations

Immediately upon becoming aware that an incident has occurred that may result in a radiation dose that exceeds federal government protective action guides exit icon, responsible nuclear power plant personnel evaluate plant conditions and then make protective action recommendations (PARs) to the State and local government agencies on how to protect the population. Nuclear power plant personnel are required to report the PARs to the State or local government agencies (within 15 minutes). State and local officials make the final decision on what protective action is necessary to protect public health and safety, and then relay these decisions to the public in a timely manner (normally within approximately 15 minutes). For links to the State Emergency Management agencies, see FEMA’s State Offices and Agencies of Emergency Management exit icon.

The NRC monitors the actions of the nuclear power plant to ensure the protective actions taken or recommended by the nuclear power plant personnel are appropriate. Additionally, State and local agencies may independently assess the situation to ensure that the correct protective action decisions are made. Independent assessments performed during an accidental radiological release from a nuclear power plant ensure that the best possible action is taken.

In the unlikely event of a nuclear power plant accident, it is important to follow the direction of your State or local government in order to make sure protective actions are implemented safely and effectively for the affected population.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, June 05, 2013