United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Health Physics Questions and Answers - Question 97

Question 97: 10 CFR 20.1201 (b) refers to "doses received during accidents, emergencies, and . . . ." Is there any difference between an "accident" and an "emergency"?

Answer: Yes. An accident is an unexpected and undesirable event. An emergency is a situation or occurrence of a serious nature, developing suddenly and unexpectedly, and demanding immediate action. Thus an accident usually results in an emergency, but it is possible to have an emergency without an accident (e.g., action taken in an emergency may prevent an accident). In either case, licensees must account for doses received in excess of the annual limits in either an accident or an emergency, or both, in accordance with 10 CFR 20.1201 (b).

(Reference: 10 CFR 20.1201 (b)).

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, October 01, 2015