United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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, March 29, 2012