United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Question 66: This question concerns restricted area

limitations. At some sites for nuclear power plants the

restricted area has been defined as the site boundary. In

some areas routine public access was available with the

understanding that, should the need arise, public use of

these areas could be prohibited. Examples of this type of

access include fishing, visitor centers, and farming. This

type of use now appears to fall within the intent of the

definition of controlled area and therefore, a new

restricted area boundary located somewhat nearer the plant

must be defined, in places where such uses exist.

The next physical boundary is a single fenced area, roughly

corresponding to the security definition of owner

controlled area. Station parking is routinely within this

area and access is provided through openings in the single

fence which are not continuously guarded. These openings

are posted, "No Trespassing." The direct questions

involved are:

a. Can this area (single fenced area) qualify as the

restricted area boundary?

b. If so, are postings sufficient or would guards be


c. If posting is sufficient, what is the acceptable



a. Yes, access to this area could be limited so as to meet

the definition of a restricted area. However, it should be

recognized that the dose received by an individual in a

restricted area is an occupational dose that is subject to

the occupational dose limits in Subpart C of the revised

Part 20 (or to the occupational dose limits of 10 CFR

20.101 in the old Part 20) and the requirements in 10 CFR

19.12 on instructions to workers. (See definitions of

"restricted area" and "occupational dose.")

b. Although neither posting nor guards are required

specifically, access to a restricted area must, by

definition, be controlled. In the situation described in

the question, access control could be accomplished by

posting or use of guards

c. Since posting is not specifically required (see b.

above), the wording is left to the discretion of the


NOTE: This answer also applies to research and test

reactors, fuel fabrication plants, and major radioactive

materials processors insofar as the conditions described in

the question for nuclear power plants apply to these other

facilities. (References: 10 CFR 20.1003, 10 CFR 20.1201,

10 CFR 20.1206, 10 CFR 20.1207, 10 CFR 20.1208, 10 CFR


Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012