United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Revision of NRC Core Inspection Program for Annual Emergency Preparedness Exercise

	 
                                 UNITED STATES
                         NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                     OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION
                            WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555

                               November 30, 1994


NRC ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER 94-16:  REVISION OF NRC CORE INSPECTION PROGRAM      
                                  FOR ANNUAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS EXERCISE

Addressees

All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power
reactors.

Purpose

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this administrative
letter to inform addressees of a change in the NRC inspection program which
reduces the frequency of NRC inspection of emergency exercises and the need
for the NRC to request advance information on exercise scenarios from
licensees.  This administrative letter does not transmit or imply any new or
changed requirements or staff positions.  No specific action or written
response is required.

Background

The NRC issued Inspection Manual Chapter 2515, "Light-Water Reactor Inspection
Program -- Operations Phase," to establish the inspection policy for the
light-water operating reactor inspection program.  The program consists of
three major program elements:  (1) core inspections, (2) discretionary
inspections, and (3) area of emphasis inspections.  The core inspections
provide a minimum examination of licensee activities to confirm the adequacy
of licensee performance and to identify potential problems in their early
stages.  Appendix A to Manual Chapter 2515 prescribes the core inspection
procedures and the frequency of their performance.  

Description of Circumstance

On April 15, 1994, NRC revised Appendix A to Manual Chapter 2515 to change the
frequency for performing Inspection Procedure (IP) 82301, "Evaluation of
Exercises for Power Reactors," and IP 82302, "Review of Exercise Objectives
and Scenarios for Power Reactors," from annual to biennial.  The NRC also
added IP 71750, "Plant Support Activities," to the core inspection program and
specified that it be performed once each systematic assessment of licensee
performance period.  

Discussion  

Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 50, (10 CFR Part 50)
Appendix E, Section IV.F.2, requires each licensee at each site to annually
exercise its emergency plan.  Section IV.F.3 requires each licensee at each


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                                                            November 30, 1994
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site to do a biennial exercise of its emergency plan with offsite authorities
in such a manner that the emergency plans of offsite authorities such as State
and local government are also exercised.  The NRC conducts inspections using
IP 82301 to assess the adequacy of:  (1) the licensee emergency response
program, (2) the implementation of the emergency plan, (3) the emergency
implementing procedures, and (4) the training program for emergency response. 
As part of this inspection, the NRC typically reviews exercise objectives and
scenarios as outlined in Exhibit 1 of IP 82302.

The April 15, 1994, revision to Appendix A of Manual Chapter 2515 changed the
required frequency for conducting IP 82301 and IP 82302 as part of the core
inspection program from annual to biennial.  The biennial performance of these
inspection procedures is intended to normally coincide with the biennial
exercise of the licensee emergency plan with State and local governments.

The revised frequency for performance of these NRC inspections does not change
the requirement in 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E, Section IV.F.2 that licensees
annually exercise their emergency plans nor does it affect the schedule and
conduct of those exercises.  The NRC resident inspector may observe the annual
exercise using IP 71750.  Also, the NRC may perform a regional initiative
inspection if NRC inspection or licensee performance indicate that there are
weaknesses in the licensee emergency preparedness program or that there has
been a decline in licensee program effectiveness.

Licensees continue to be required to exercise their emergency plans annually.  
However, the NRC staff will not normally request advance information on the
objectives and scenarios for an exercise not intended to be the biennial
exercise with the full participation of State and local offsite authorities.

This administrative letter requires no specific action or written response. 
If you have any questions about this letter, please contact the technical
contact listed below or the appropriate Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
(NRR) project manager.

                                 /s/'d by BKGrimes

                                 Brian K. Grimes, Director
                                 Division of Operating Reactor Support
                                 Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

Technical contact:  Daniel M. Barss, NRR
                    (301) 504-2922

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, November 13, 2014