United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

§ 50.47 Emergency plans.

(a)(1)(i) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, no initial operating license for a nuclear power reactor will be issued unless a finding is made by the NRC that there is reasonable assurance that adequate protective measures can and will be taken in the event of a radiological emergency. No finding under this section is necessary for issuance of a renewed nuclear power reactor operating license.

(ii) No initial combined license under part 52 of this chapter will be issued unless a finding is made by the NRC that there is reasonable assurance that adequate protective measures can and will be taken in the event of a radiological emergency. No finding under this section is necessary for issuance of a renewed combined license.

(iii) If an application for an early site permit under subpart A of part 52 of this chapter includes complete and integrated emergency plans under 10 CFR 52.17(b)(2)(ii), no early site permit will be issued unless a finding is made by the NRC that the emergency plans provide reasonable assurance that adequate protective measures can and will be taken in the event of a radiological emergency.

(iv) If an application for an early site permit proposes major features of the emergency plans under 10 CFR 52.17(b)(2)(i), no early site permit will be issued unless a finding is made by the NRC that the major features are acceptable in accordance with the applicable standards of 10 CFR 50.47 and 10 CFR part 50, appendix E, within the scope of emergency preparedness matters addressed in the major features.

(2) The NRC will base its finding on a review of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) findings and determinations as to whether State and local emergency plans are adequate and whether there is reasonable assurance that they can be implemented, and on the NRC assessment as to whether the applicant's onsite emergency plans are adequate and whether there is reasonable assurance that they can be implemented. A FEMA finding will primarily be based on a review of the plans. Any other information already available to FEMA may be considered in assessing whether there is reasonable assurance that the plans can be implemented. In any NRC licensing proceeding, a FEMA finding will constitute a rebuttable presumption on questions of adequacy and implementation capability.

(b) The onsite and, except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, offsite emergency response plans for nuclear power reactors must meet the following standards:

(1) Primary responsibilities for emergency response by the nuclear facility licensee and by State and local organizations within the Emergency Planning Zones have been assigned, the emergency responsibilities of the various supporting organizations have been specifically established, and each principal response organization has staff to respond and to augment its initial response on a continuous basis.

(2) On-shift facility licensee responsibilities for emergency response are unambiguously defined, adequate staffing to provide initial facility accident response in key functional areas is maintained at all times, timely augmentation of response capabilities is available and the interfaces among various onsite response activities and offsite support and response activities are specified.

(3) Arrangements for requesting and effectively using assistance resources have been made, arrangements to accommodate State and local staff at the licensee's Emergency Operations Facility have been made, and other organizations capable of augmenting the planned response have been identified.

(4) A standard emergency classification and action level scheme, the bases of which include facility system and effluent parameters, is in use by the nuclear facility licensee, and State and local response plans call for reliance on information provided by facility licensees for determinations of minimum initial offsite response measures.

(5) Procedures have been established for notification, by the licensee, of State and local response organizations and for notification of emergency personnel by all organizations; the content of initial and followup messages to response organizations and the public has been established; and means to provide early notification and clear instruction to the populace within the plume exposure pathway Emergency Planning Zone have been established.

(6) Provisions exist for prompt communications among principal response organizations to emergency personnel and to the public.

(7) Information is made available to the public on a periodic basis on how they will be notified and what their initial actions should be in an emergency (e.g., listening to a local broadcast station and remaining indoors), the principal points of contact with the news media for dissemination of information during an emergency (including the physical location or locations) are established in advance, and procedures for coordinated dissemination of information to the public are established.

(8) Adequate emergency facilities and equipment to support the emergency response are provided and maintained.

(9) Adequate methods, systems, and equipment for assessing and monitoring actual or potential offsite consequences of a radiological emergency condition are in use.

(10) A range of protective actions has been developed for the plume exposure pathway EPZ for emergency workers and the public. In developing this range of actions, consideration has been given to evacuation, sheltering, and, as a supplement to these, the prophylactic use of potassium iodide (KI), as appropriate. Evacuation time estimates have been developed by applicants and licensees. Licensees shall update the evacuation time estimates on a periodic basis. Guidelines for the choice of protective actions during an emergency, consistent with Federal guidance, are developed and in place, and protective actions for the ingestion exposure pathway EPZ appropriate to the locale have been developed.

(11) Means for controlling radiological exposures, in an emergency, are established for emergency workers. The means for controlling radiological exposures shall include exposure guidelines consistent with EPA Emergency Worker and Lifesaving Activity Protective Action Guides.

(12) Arrangements are made for medical services for contaminated injured individuals.

(13) General plans for recovery and reentry are developed.

(14) Periodic exercises are (will be) conducted to evaluate major portions of emergency response capabilities, periodic drills are (will be) conducted to develop and maintain key skills, and deficiencies identified as a result of exercises or drills are (will be) corrected.

(15) Radiological emergency response training is provided to those who may be called on to assist in an emergency.

(16) Responsibilities for plan development and review and for distribution of emergency plans are established, and planners are properly trained.

(c)(1) Failure to meet the applicable standards set forth in paragraph (b) of this section may result in the Commission declining to issue an operating license; however, the applicant will have an opportunity to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that deficiencies in the plans are not significant for the plant in question, that adequate interim compensating actions have been or will be taken promptly, or that there are other compelling reasons to permit plant operations. Where an applicant for an operating license asserts that its inability to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section results wholly or substantially from the decision of state and/or local governments not to participate further in emergency planning, an operating license may be issued if the applicant demonstrates to the Commission's satisfaction that:

(i) The applicant's inability to comply with the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section is wholly or substantially the result of the non-participation of state and/or local governments.

(ii) The applicant has made a sustained, good faith effort to secure and retain the participation of the pertinent state and/or local governmental authorities, including the furnishing of copies of its emergency plan.

(iii) The applicant's emergency plan provides reasonable assurance that public health and safety is not endangered by operation of the facility concerned. To make that finding, the applicant must demonstrate that, as outlined below, adequate protective measures can and will be taken in the event of an emergency. A utility plan will be evaluated against the same planning standards applicable to a state or local plan, as listed in paragraph (b) of this section, with due allowance made both for—

(A) Those elements for which state and/or local non-participation makes compliance infeasible and

(B) The utility's measures designed to compensate for any deficiencies resulting from state and/or local non-participation.

In making its determination on the adequacy of a utility plan, the NRC will recognize the reality that in an actual emergency, state and local government officials will exercise their best efforts to protect the health and safety of the public. The NRC will determine the adequacy of that expected response, in combination with the utility's compensating measures, on a case-by-case basis, subject to the following guidance. In addressing the circumstance where applicant's inability to comply with the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section is wholly or substantially the result of non-participation of state and/or local governments, it may be presumed that in the event of an actual radiological emergency state and local officials would generally follow the utility plan. However, this presumption may be rebutted by, for example, a good faith and timely proffer of an adequate and feasible state and/or local radiological emergency plan that would in fact be relied upon in a radiological emergency.

(2) Generally, the plume exposure pathway EPZ for nuclear power plants shall consist of an area about 10 miles (16 km) in radius and the ingestion pathway EPZ shall consist of an area about 50 miles (80 km) in radius. The exact size and configuration of the EPZs surrounding a particular nuclear power reactor shall be determined in relation to local emergency response needs and capabilities as they are affected by such conditions as demography, topography, land characteristics, access routes, and jurisdictional boundaries. The size of the EPZs also may be determined on a case-by-case basis for gas-cooled nuclear reactors and for reactors with an authorized power level less than 250 MW thermal. The plans for the ingestion pathway shall focus on such actions as are appropriate to protect the food ingestion pathway.

(d) Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, and except as specified by this paragraph, no NRC or FEMA review, findings, or determinations concerning the state of offsite emergency preparedness or the adequacy of and capability to implement State and local or utility offsite emergency plans are required prior to issuance of an operating license authorizing only fuel loading or low power testing and training (up to 5 percent of the rated thermal power). Insofar as emergency planning and preparedness requirements are concerned, a license authorizing fuel loading and/or low power testing and training may be issued after a finding is made by the NRC that the state of onsite emergency preparedness provides reasonable assurance that adequate protective measures can and will be taken in the event of a radiological emergency. The NRC will base this finding on its assessment of the applicant's onsite emergency plans against the pertinent standards in paragraph (b) of this section and appendix E. Review of applicant's emergency plans will include the following standards with offsite aspects:

(1) Arrangements for requesting and effectively using offsite assistance on site have been made, arrangements to accommodate State and local staff at the licensee's Emergency Operations Facility have been made, and other organizations capable of augmenting the planned onsite response have been identified.

(2) Procedures have been established for licensee communications with State and local response organizations, including initial notification of the declaration of emergency and periodic provision of plant and response status reports.

(3) Provisions exist for prompt communications among principal response organizations to offsite emergency personnel who would be responding onsite.

(4) Adequate emergency facilities and equipment to support the emergency response onsite are provided and maintained.

(5) Adequate methods, systems, and equipment for assessing and monitoring actual or potential offsite consequences of a radiological emergency condition are in use onsite.

(6) Arrangements are made for medical services for contaminated and injured onsite individuals.

(7) Radiological emergency response training has been made available to those offsite who may be called to assist in an emergency onsite.

(e) Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section and the provisions of § 52.103 of this chapter, a holder of a combined license under part 52 of this chapter may not load fuel or operate except as provided in accordance with appendix E to part 50 and § 50.54(gg).

[45 FR 55409, Aug. 8, 1980, as amended at 47 FR 30235, July 13, 1982; 47 FR 40537, Sept. 15, 1982; 49 FR 27736, July 6, 1984; 50 FR 19324, May 8, 1985; 52 FR 42085, Nov. 3, 1987; 53 FR 36959, Sept. 23, 1988; 56 FR 64976, Dec. 13, 1991; 61 FR 30132, June 14, 1996; 66 FR 5440, Jan. 19, 2001; 72 FR 49495, Aug. 28, 2007; 76 FR 72595, Nov. 23, 2011; 78 FR 34248, Jun. 7, 2013]

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, July 25, 2013