U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Question 417: This question refers to the answer to
Question 29 under §20.1302. The statement that a licensee
can require members of the public to exit a controlled area
at any time is not obvious, based on the published rule. A
controlled area is one to which access can be limited, but
that condition might exist only at certain times or under
certain conditions or the access limits might be of a
nature other than strict prohibition. For instance, it
might be a control that specifically limits the stay time.
Does NRC expect procedures to reflect the changing nature
of such an area, i.e., controlled at one time but
unrestricted at other times, or is an area that meets the
requirements to be designated a controlled area for some
portion of time simply a controlled area all the time?
(The latter, I hope).
Answer: The words ". . . access to which can be limited .
. ." in the definition of "controlled area" mean that
access can be limited at any and all times, regardless of
whether or not access is limited at any particular time. An
area designated by a licensee as a controlled area
continues to be a controlled area until that designation is
changed; it does not change from being a controlled area,
and become an unrestricted area, simply because access is
not being limited at some particular time. [See
discussions of "Licensee Discretion" and "Controlled Areas"
in the answer to Question 26 (a).] (References: 10 CFR
20.1003, 10 CFR 20.1302).