United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Criteria in NUREG Are Not Substitutes for Regulations

HPPOS-074 PDR-9111210181

Title: Criteria in NUREG Are Not Substitutes for


See the letter from R. C. DeYoung to Ira Myers, M.D., dated

August 10, 1983, and the incoming request from Dr. Ira

Myers (State Health Officer, Alabama Department of Public

Health) dated June 9, 1983. NUREG-0654 contains criteria

that the NRC will use in evaluating if a licensee meets

regulatory requirements. The criteria in a NUREG are not

substitutes for the regulations and compliance is not a


The State of Alabama requested a formal binding

interpretation of 10 CFR 50.47 (b) by the General Counsel.

Specifically, the State wanted to know whether the

provisions of NUREG-0654 were binding regulation or

advisory guidance. Given the lack of dispute about the

"guidance" nature of the document, an official

interpretation was not needed in order to confirm the NRC's

view on this subject. In order for a nuclear power plant

to continue operations or to receive an operating license,

the regulations require that the NRC find emergency

preparedness provides reasonable assurance that adequate

protective measures can and will be taken in the event of a

radiological emergency. Section 50.47 of 10 CFR

establishes standards that must be met by the onsite and

offsite emergency response plans in order for the NRC staff

to make a positive reasonable assurance finding.

Guidance to licensees and applicants, as well as to offsite

organizations, on methods acceptable to the NRC staff for

complying with the Commission's emergency planning

regulations for nuclear power reactors is provided in

NUREG-0654 / FEMA-REP-1, "Criteria for Preparation and

Evaluation of Radiological Emergency Response Plans and

Preparedness in Support of Nuclear Power Plants," Revision

1. This document was published in November 1980 to provide

specific acceptance criteria for complying with the

standards set forth in Section 50.47 of 10 CFR. The

criteria in NUREG-0654 / FEMA-REP-1 have been endorsed in

Regulatory Guide 1.101, "Emergency Planning and

Preparedness for Nuclear Power Reactors," Revision 2, dated

October 1981.

The criteria in NUREG-0654 / FEMA-REP-1, as well as the

criteria in any NUREG document, were issued to establish

criteria that the NRC staff intends to use in evaluating if

an applicant / licensee meets the applicable regulatory

requirements. The criteria in a NUREG document are not a

substitute for the regulations, and compliance is not a

requirement. However, the use of methods or criteria

different from those set forth in NUREG documents will be

acceptable only if such methods or criteria clearly provide

a proper basis for determining that the regulatory

requirements have been met.

Regulatory references: Regulatory Guide 1.101, NUREG-0654

Subject codes: 12.6, 12.19

Applicability: Reactors

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012