United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Implementation of 10 CFR 73.55 Miscellaneous Amendments and Search Requirements (Generic Letter No. 87-08)



                                UNITED STATES
                        NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                           WASHINGTON, D. C. 20555

                                May 11, 1987

TO ALL POWER REACTOR LICENSEES 

Gentlemen: 

Subject:  IMPLEMENTATION OF 10 CFR 73.55 MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS AND SEARCH
          REQUIREMENTS (GENERIC LETTER 87-08) 

A number of questions have been received from power reactor licensees 
concerning implementation of the 10 CFR 73.55 Miscellaneous Amendments and 
Search Requirements published on August 4, 1986 (51 FR 27817 and 51 FR 
27822). 

Because these questions are generic in nature, it is believed that the 
answers to these questions may be informative to all concerned. Accordingly,
enclosed are the generic questions received on these two new rules along 
with the answers. Any additional questions should be directed to your 
project manager. 

                                   Sincerely,  


                                   Frank J. Miraglia, Jr. 
                                   Associate Director for Projects 
                                   Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation 

Enclosure: 
Generic Questions and Answers 



8705110372

                         QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Question 1.

How should the "Miscellaneous Amendments Concerning Physical Protection of 
Nuclear Power Plants" and amendments concerning "Searches of Individuals at 
Power Reactor Facilities" be submitted? 

Answer.

Plan amendments should be submitted to NRC Headquarters (Director, Office of
Nuclear Reactor Regulation, ATTN: Document Control Desk) as amendments in 
response to the new rules. They should not be submitted under the provisions
of 50.54(p) or 50.90. Six copies of the plan amendments should be submitted.

Reference:     SS73.55 - Requirements for physical protection of licensed 
               activities in nuclear power reactors against radiological 
               sabotage, as printed in the Federal Register on August 4, 
               1986 (51 FR 27817 and 51 FR 27822). 

Question 2. 

What is meant by the statement that, "Certain access controls may be 
suspended during emergency or abnormal plant conditions,..."? 

Answer. 

10 CFR 50.54(x) states that a licensee may take reasonable action that 
departs from a license condition or a technical specification in an 
emergency when this action is immediately needed to protect the public 
health and safety, and no action consistent with license conditions and 
technical specifications that can provide adequate or equivalent protection 
is immediately apparent. This same authority also applies to physical 
security and safeguards contingency, plans and plant procedures relating to 
security matters. 

Reference:     Regulatory Guide 5.65, Section 3 - Control of Access to Vital
               Areas Under Routine Conditions, Subsection 3.1 - Access List.

Question 3. 

May access controls for a vital area be suspended when a life threatening 
emergency has occurred to an on-site person? 

Answer. 

10 CFR 73.55(d)(4) permits emergency vehicles to enter the protected area 
without the normal search functions being performed. There are no provisions
in the regulations for suspending any vital area safeguards requirements. 
However, the emergency team would be escorted site security personnel to the
location of the emergency and accordingly it would not be necessary to 
suspend any requirements. 

Reference:     10 CFR 73.55(d)(4). 


                                    - 2 -

Question 4. 

What individuals are included in the term "operating personnel" as used in 
Section 4.1 of Regulatory Guide 5.65? 

Answer. 

The term "operating personnel" means any individual (licensed operator) who 
is authorized to manipulate any reactor controls in order to mitigate or 
attempt to mitigate an emergency or abnormal condition. The term also 
includes any other individual who is needed to aid in the mitigation of an 
emergency or abnormal condition (e.g., emergency response team, security 
personnel, etc.). 

Reference:     Regulatory Guide 5.65, Section 4 - Emergency Access to Vital 
               Areas, Subsection 4.1 - Access Keys. 

Question 5. 

What individuals are included in the term "necessary personnel" as used in 
Section 4.3 of Regulatory Guide 5.65. 

Answer. 

The term "necessary personnel" means the same as the term "operating 
personnel" discussed in Item 4 above. 

Reference:     Regulatory Guide 5.65, Section 4 - Emergency Access to Vital 
               Areas, Subsection 4.3 - Loss of Electric Power. 

Question 6. 

When should vital area hard keys which override vital area access systems be
issued to personnel? 

Answer. 

Vital area hard keys should be issued at the beginning of each shift and 
properly accounted for at the end of each shift or as currently specified in
a licensee's approved security plan. The use of any such keys to enter vital
areas, however, must cause a vital area alarm to be generated and a response
must occur when the door is opened. 

Reference:     Regulatory Guide 5.65, Section 4 - Emergency Access to Vital 
               Areas, Subsection 4.1 - Access Keys. 


                                    - 3 -

Question 7. 

Is a key card considered to be "a related access control device" subject to 
the requirement to be changed or rotated at least once every twelve months? 

Answer. 

No. However, whenever there is evidence or suspicion of compromise, or 
whenever an individual is terminated for cause, the individual's access 
authorization should be immediately removed from the key card system. 

Reference:     SS73.55(d)(9) - Access Controls. 

Question 8. 

Must licensees rotate or change keys, locks, etc., if an individual's 
unescorted access authorization is temporarily suspended as opposed to 
"revoked"? 

Answer. 

If an individual's unescorted access authorization is temporarily suspended 
pending a review, at the licensee's discretion, locking devices do not have 
to be rotated or changed as long as access control devices possessed by the 
individual are returned to management and the individual is escorted while 
on-site. If the individual's unescorted access authorization is permanently 
revoked for cause at the end of the review, locking devices must be changed 
or rotated. 

Reference:     SS73.55(d) (9) - Access Requirements. 

Question 9. 

May all vital area doors fail open during an emergency or power outage? 

Answer. 

Yes. From a safety standpoint it is preferable that doors fail open during 
emergencies or power outages although the regulation is silent on this 
matter. However, regardless of whether doors fail open or closed, in an 
emergency involving plant safety, i.e., threats to public/worker health and 
safety, vital area access controls may be suspended without compensatory 
measures in accordance with 10 CFR 50.54(x). 

The issue of whether vital area doors should fail open or closed was studied
by the Committee to Review Safeguards Requirements at Power Reactors in 
1983. The Committee's findings (documented in NUREG-0992, "Report of the 
Committee to Review Safeguards Requirements at Power Reactors,") emphasized 
the importance of licensees considering a balanced safety/safeguards 
approach in the design of access control systems. This consideration helps 
assure adequate safeguards response while maintaining adequate safety 
precautions. 


                                    - 4 - 

Question 9. (Continued) 

It has been NRC's policy that when vital area doors are configured to "fail 
open" during a power outage and the situation does not involve public/worker
health and safety, the condition must be addressed in the site security/ 
contingency plan. 

However, recognizing the potential problem of security force availability 
coupled with the need for heightened security force awareness in such 
situations, the staff is at present considering other options which may be 
acceptable compensation for this condition. In the interim, a licensee 
wishing to implement alternative compensatory measures should receive 
approval of the measures by appropriate NRC staff prior to implementation. 

In those instances where vital area doors are configured to "fail shut," the
doors should be provided with mechanisms for emergency egress and procedures
should be implemented to assure prompt access by operational personnel. 

Reference:     Regulatory Guide 5.65, Section 4 - Emergency Access to Vital 
               Areas, Subsection 4.3 - Loss of Electric Power. 

Question 10. 

Can logging of individuals granted access to vital areas be suspended during
emergencies and power outages due to loss of offsite power? 

Answer. 

Yes. 

Reference:     SS73.70(d). 

Question 11. 

Do the revised search requirements mean that every time a member of the 
security force leaves the protected area (PA) to perform official duties 
that he or she must be equipment searched for weapons, explosives, and 
incendiary devices prior to re-entry to the PA? 

Answer. 

Members of the security force must be equipment searched on their initial 
entry to the PA at the beginning of their work shift. If these individuals 
leave the PA to perform official duties subsequent to this initial search, 
they need not be searched prior to re-entry into the PA if they have been 
under the direct observation or accompaniment of a member of the security 
organization while outside the PA. Security force individuals who do not 
meet this criterion must be equipment searched prior to their re-entry to 
the PA. 

Reference:     Past licensing policy. 


                                    - 5 - 

Question 12. 

If walk-through detection equipment alarms upon the search of an individual,
must the individual be immediately "pat-down" searched or may the individual
be more stringently searched by hand-held detection equipment to determine 
whether "pat-down" is necessary? 

Answer. 

If an alarm is received when an individual passes through a walk-through 
detector it is acceptable to conduct a search using hand-held equipment to 
assist in determining if a "pat-down" search is needed. 

Reference:     SS73.55(d)(1) - Access Requirements. 

Question 13. 

What does a security plan commitment to detect explosives at the entry point
to the protected area mean? 

Answer. 

Such a commitment means that a licensee has procured and is maintaining 
explosives detection equipment as set forth in Review Guideline Number 20, 
Revision 1, dated April 18, 1978, attached. 

Reference:     SS73.55(d) (1) - Access Requirements and Review Guidelines 
               Number 20, Rev. 1, dated April 18, 1978. 

Question 14. 

Is the central alarm station (CA) required to be protected as vital? 

Answer. 

The requirement to consider the central alarm station (CA) a vital area was 
inadvertently deleted under the Miscellaneous Amendments. A final rule 
correction was published in the Federal Register on April 16, 1987 (52 FR 
12364) to again require the CA to be considered vital. 

Reference:     SS73.55(e)(1) - Detection Aids. 

Question 15. 

Does an on site secondary power supply system for a privately owned 
telephone system have to be located within a vital area? 

Answer. 

No. 

Reference:     SS73.55(e)(1) - Detection Aids and 73.55(f) - Communications.


                                    - 6 - 

Question 16. 

Does the requirement to locate "on -site secondary power supply systems for 
alarm annunciator equipment and non-portable communications equipment" 
within vital areas mean that: (a) the alarm annunciator equipment and the on 
site secondary power supply system for non-portable communications equipment 
must be located within a vital area or (b) the on site secondary power 
supply systems associated with alarm annunciator equipment and non-portable 
communications equipment must be located within a vital area? 

Answer. 

This requirement means that the on-site secondary power supply systems for 
both the alarm annunciator and the non-portable communications equipment 
must be located within a vital area. 

Reference:     SS73.55(e)(l) - Detection Aids. 

Question 17. 

Does the secondary alarm stations (SAS) secondary power supply systems for 
alarm annunciator equipment and non-portable communications equipment have 
to be protected as vital equipment? 

Answer. 

No. 

Question 18. 

What components of the secondary power supply systems for the alarm 
annunciator and non-portable communications equipment have to be protected 
as vital equipment? 

Answer. 

The objective of secondary power supply systems (SPSS) is to provide 
auxiliary power during power interruptions or outages. The duration of such 
interruptions or outages should be determined on a site-specific basis under
station blackout criteria. It is necessary to protect all components of a 
SPSS needed te provide this site-specific period of stand-by power. Such 
components may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following: 

     a.   Batteries 
     b.   Battery chargers 
     c.   Inverters 
     d.   AC alternators 
     e.   DC generators 
     f.   Emergency buses 
     g.   Control panels 


                                    - 7 - 

Question 18. (Continued) 

     h.   Switch gear 
     i.   Main fuel tanks or day tanks and associated plumbing/piping 

Reference:     SS73.55(e)(1) - Detection Aids and Regulatory Guide 5.65, 
               Section 7 (Protection of Security Equipment). 

Question 19. 

Can the secondary power supply systems for alarm annunciator equipment and 
non-portable communications equipment consist of "interruptible power 
systems (IPS)" or do they have to be "uninterruptible power systems (UPS)"? 

Answer. 

The secondary power supply systems may consist of either an IPS or UPS. 
However, an UPS is preferable. 

Reference:     SS73.55(e)(1) - Detection Aids and Regulatory Guide 5.65, 
               Section 7 - Protection of Security Equipment. 

Attachment: Review Guideline No. 20, Revision 1 
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, June 27, 2013