United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Frequently Asked Questions/Emergency Preparedness Guidance Clarification

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Question Criteria

A potential EPFAQ should be a question addressing issues where the regulatory guidance may not be sufficiently clear, or where consistency in application would benefit both the NRC and licensees. To be considered as an EPFAQ, the initiator shall apply the following criteria:

  • The question must be sufficiently generic (e.g., Does it affect more than one licensee or plant without consideration or evaluation of site-specific information?).

  • The question does not involve unresolved inspection issues, enforcement actions, allegations, or other situations covered by existing regulatory processes.

  • The question does not involve classified, safeguards, or official use only information.

  • The question does not request interpretation of NRC regulations, clarification of guidance not yet published as final, or NEI/Industry documents submitted but not endorsed by the NRC.

  • The question relates to guidance applicable to licensees.  Questions related to the development, implementation or evaluation of offsite emergency plans and preparedness are the responsibility of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), per the FEMA/NRC Memorandum of Understanding contained in Appendix A to 44 CFR 353, and will not be accepted under this EPFAQ process.

  • The question does not request clarification of on-going licensing activities or issues processed by the licensee in accordance with 10 CFR 50.54(q) or Appendix E to 10 CFR Part 50.

  • The question does not pertain to the EP Performance Indicators, Baseline EP Inspection Procedures, or Appendix Manual Chapter 0609 (EP Significance Determination Process).

If all of the above criteria are met, then an EPFAQ is appropriate.

Disclaimer: The information in any response to an email sent to this address is provided as a public service and solely for informational purposes and is not, nor should be deemed as, an official NRC position, opinion or guidance, or "a written interpretation by the General Counsel" under 10 CFR 50.3, on any matter to which the information may relate. The opinions, representations, positions, interpretations, guidance or recommendations which may be expressed by the NRC technical staff responding to an inquiry are solely the NRC technical staff's and do not necessarily represent the same for the NRC. Accordingly, the fact that the information was obtained through the NRC technical staff will not have a precedential effect in any legal or regulatory proceeding.

Final FAQ Resolution may be considered as part of the revision process for applicable EP guidance.

If you are reporting a safety or security concern, please see our Report a Safety or Security Concern page.

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Submitted EPFAQ Status

The following table summarizes the current status of EPFAQs submitted to date. To submit comments, see the listed Docket ID in Regulations.gov and follow the guidance provided on our Documents for Comment page.

EPFAQ No. Submitted FAQ
ADAMS AccessionNumber
EPFAQ No. 2013-009 ML13308B995 Retracted Per Industry Request
EPFAQ No. 2014-001 ML14091B123 Retracted Per Initiator Request
EPFAQ No. 2014-005 ML14148A283 Rejected
EPFAQ No. 2014-006 ML14148A284 Rejected
EPFAQ No. 2014-009 ML14148A290 Accepted
EPFAQ No. 2014-010 ML14198A513 Rejected

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Completed EPFAQ's

EPFAQ No. Question Submitted Final Resolution
EPFAQ No. 2012-001 When I submit a scenario to the NRC by 10 CFR 50.4, how do I ensure that the scenario won't be entered into ADAMS as a public document until at least after the conduct of the exercise? ML12171A466
EPFAQ No. 2012-002 Why has the NRC added inspection criteria to the offsite emergency declaration Classification/Notification process? ML12333A281
EPFAQ No. 2012-003 Clarify the acceptable means for documenting discussions between licensees and OROs on the development of mutually acceptable PAR logic using Supplement 3 to NUREG-0654/FEMA-REP-1. ML12171A567
EPFAQ No. 2012-004 Question: How may an applicant comply with the A.9 requirement by December 31, 2013 when:
  • EOPs, AOPs and EPIPS are not yet written?
  • There is not yet a qualified on-shift staff?
  • Job task analysis for the on-shift staff are not completed?
  • A simulator is not yet available to perform time-motion studies?
EPFAQ No. 2012-005 What is the timeline for the implementation of protective action recommendations per the revised NUREG-0654, Supplement 3 following the ETE 180 day review period? ML12348A786
EPFAQ No. 2012-006

Section 2.1.2 "Transient Population" of NUREG/CR-7002, Criteria for Development of Evacuation Time Estimate Studies, states "Large employers, defined as those with 50 or more employees working a single shift, should be listed and include the number of people per vehicle." Section 1.1, item b in Appendix B to NUREG/CR-7002 “ETE Review Criteria Checklist” reads, “Sources of demographic data for schools, special facilities, large employers, and special events should be identified.”

Higher population-density sites (e.g., Catawba, McGuire, Indian Point, Turkey Point, St. Lucie, Diablo Canyon) may have hundreds of large employers. Phone calls to these employers have been less than fruitful in terms or producing employment data useful for an ETE analysis.

EPFAQ No. 2012-007 Question relating to NSIR/PR-ISG-01 Section IV.G, Challenging Drills and Exercises. ML13262A170
EPFAQ No. 2013-001 For many sites, the “longest evacuation time estimate (ETE) value” is likely to be based on a special event, adverse weather, or roadway impact scenario. In addition, the 100% would be the “longest ETE value.” What scenarios should be considered? ML13262A171
EPFAQ No. 2013-002 Since the rule established a new requirement for licensees to develop an evacuation time estimate (ETE) analysis based on most recent decennial census data and submit its results between 12/23/2011 and 12/22/2012 (365 days later, 2012 being a leap year), when must the first estimate of evacuation planning zone (EPZ) permanent resident population changes be completed? ML13262A172
EPFAQ No. 2013-003 Five questions are posed related to the revised emergency preparedness (EP) regulation associated with coordination with offsite agencies. ML13262A173
EPFAQ No. 2013-004 Eight questions concerning the implementation of NUREG-0654/FEMA-REP-1, Supplement 3, "Guidance for Protective Action Strategies". ML14007A652
EPFAQ No. 2013-005 Question relating to 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E, Section I.E.8.d, Alternative Facilities Capability of Performing Offsite Notifications. ML13262A176
EPFAQ No. 2013-006 When implementing Appendix E to Part 50, Section IV.A.7, is it acceptable to acknowledge that 10 CFR 73.55(k)(9) addresses the identification of and the description of assistance provided by applicable law enforcement agencies for the on-site response to hostile action? ML14007A649
EPFAQ No. 2013-007 If FEMA issued a letter confirming that a backup ANS system approval existed on December 23, 2011, does the licensee need to revise their ANS design report in 2013? ML13309A936
EPFAQ No. 2013-008 A confusion over the On-shift Staffing Analysis concerning evaluation of the Fuel Handling Accident has produced inconsistent OSAs. If the FSAR DBA chapter includes a Fuel Handling Accident it cannot be analyzed using only the Emergency Plan minimum on-shift staffing. Fuel movements involve quite a number of additional personnel for the evolution. ML14017A276
EPFAQ No. 2014-002 Is it acceptable to use this evaluation to support licensee amendment requests (LARs) asking for NRC approval for changes to on-shift staffing assignments and/or delays in the license’s emergency response organization (ERO) augmentation? ML15076A259
EPFAQ No. 2014-003

Is it appropriate to change emergency action levels (EALs) for Permanently Defueled (PD)-AU1 and PD-AA1 as follows?

  • PD-AU1: Revise the Initiating Condition (IC) to "An uncontrolled release of gaseous or liquid radioactivity for 60 minutes or longer. Also, revise EAL #1 to "Reading on any effluent radiation monitor that is greater than the reading shown for 60 minutes or longer."
  • PD-AA1: Revise the IC to "An uncontrolled release of gaseous or liquid radioactivity resulting in detectable levels at the site boundary." Also, remove EALs #2 and #4, and revise EAL #3 to allow for licensees to consider alternatives to the guidance provided in Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) 99-01, Revision 6.
EPFAQ No. 2014-004 Since the emergency preparedness function associated with the fire brigade will be maintained by meeting 10 CFR 50.48 objectives for a decommissioned site, can the changes to the fire protection plan associated with brigade staffing and offsite fire protection support also be reflected in the emergency plan without NRC preapproval using the 10CFR 50.54(q) process? ML14202A298
EPFAQ No. 2014-007 In the period between when the scheme is submitted and approval of the EAL scheme is received from the NRC, may the licensee eliminate from its scheme EAL statements and fission product barrier status thresholds that are no longer applicable to the station? ML15076A263
EPFAQ No. 2014-008 May a licensee that has submitted certification confirming cessation of operation and removal of fuel from the reactor vessel (Ref. 10 C.F.R. 50.82) remove certain emergency plan implementing procedure (EPIP) statements/process/steps/actions that do not implement programmatic elements described in the emergency plan? ML14223B152

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, May 07, 2015