United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Power Reactor Safeguards Contigency Planning For Surface Vehicle Bombs (Generic Letter 89-07)

 April 28, 1989

TO:       ALL LICENSEES OF OPERATING PLANTS, APPLICANTS FOR OPERATING 
          LICENSES, AND HOLDERS OF CONSTRUCTION PERMITS 
     
SUBJECT:  POWER REACTOR SAFEGUARDS CONTINGENCY PLANNING FOR SURFACE VEHICLE 
          BOMBS (GENERIC LETTER 89-07)

Each application for a license to operate a nuclear power reactor is required 
by 10 CFR 50.34(d) to include a licensee safeguards contingency plan in accor-
dance with the criteria set forth in Appendix C to 10 CFR Part 73.  Each plan 
identifies and defines the perceived dangers and incidents that it covers and 
the general way in which they should be handled.  In accordance with 10 CFR 
73, Appendix C, Section 1.a., the statement of perceived danger should conform 
with that issued by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commis-sion.  

Recognizing terrorist use of explosive-laden vehicles as bombs, particularly 
in the Middle East, the Commission concluded it would be prudent to have power 
reactor licensees include in their safeguards contingency plans short-term 
actions to protect against attempted radiological sabotage involving a land 
vehicle bomb if such a threat were to materialize.  Accord-ingly, for the sole 
purpose of safeguards contingency planning for licensed power reactors, the 
perceived danger should include a land vehicle bomb with the characteristics 
described in a Safeguards Information addendum to this letter.  The addendum 
is being forwarded separately with a copy of this generic letter to nuclear
power reactor addressees authorized to receive Safeguards Information in 
accordance with 10 CFR 73.21.

Each power reactor licensee is required by 10 CFR 50.54(p)(1) to prepare and 
maintain safeguards contingency plan procedures in accordance with Appendix C 
to 10 CFR Part 73.  In response to this letter, licensees should modify their 
safeguards contingency procedures to address the possibility of a land vehicle 
bomb.  The following approach to developing these contingency procedures would 
be acceptable:  

     1.   Determine safe standoff distances for vital equipment.  (The 
          Safeguards Information addendum to this letter provides guidance on 
          standoff dis-tances).

     2.   Review site features to determine land vehicle access approach paths 
          and distances.  

     3.   Identify short-range measures which could be implemented within 12 
          hours after notification by NRC to protect against unauthorized 
          vehicle access closer than safe standoff distances.  

     4.   Prepare plans and make advance arrangements to facilitate the short-
          range contingency measures in the event a land vehicle bomb threat 
          arises.  The NRC will notify licensees in the event that the threat 
          level changes in a manner which warrants implementation of these 
          contingency measures.  



8905010001
.Generic Letter 89-07                 - 2 -             April 28, 1989


A contractor report, NUREG/CR-5246, will be forwarded with the Safeguards 
Information addendum.  It is being provided for your information and use as 
you see appropriate in performing analyses to develop contingency procedures 
for vehicle bombs.  Please note that although NUREG/CR-5246 does not contain 
any Safeguards Information, site-specific analyses and associated safeguards 
contingency planning documents prepared by licensees would be expected to 
contain Safeguards Information and require protection in accordance with 
10 CFR 73.21. 

Pursuant to 10 CFR Part 73, Appendix C, safeguards contingency implementing 
procedures need not be submitted to the Commission for approval but will be 
subject to verification by the NRC staff commencing approximately six months 
from the date of this letter.  If land vehicle bomb considerations require 
changes in existing contingency plans, licensees may make them in accordance 
with 10 CFR 50.54(p)(2).  Such changes will not require specific NRC approval 
unless they could decrease the effectiveness of existing contingency plans.  


A power reactor licensee is required by 10 CFR 73.55(a) to establish and main-
tain an onsite physical protection system and security organization that will 
provide a high degree of protection against the design-basis threat of radio-
logical sabotage as stated in 10 CFR 73.1(a).  The design-basis threat in 
10 CFR 73.1(a) includes the possibility of a determined violent external 
assault by several persons.  The Commis-sion has concluded that the current 
design-basis threat for radiological sabotage continues to be adequate and 
appropriate for establishing and maintaining onsite physical protection 
systems.  Accordingly, the consideration of a land vehicle bomb is pertinent 
only to safeguards contingency planning and does not imply any need to alter 
physical protection systems established under 10 CFR 73.55 for licensed power 
reactors.  

To the extent that a credible land vehicle threat could develop in the future, 
this effort would result in an increase in the overall protection of the 
public health and safety and the common defense and security by ensuring that 
power reactor licensees are prepared to take short-term measures to protect 
against such a threat.  The Commission believes that the costs of contingency 
planning for protection against a land vehicle bomb should the threat level 
increase are justified in view of this increased preparedness. 

Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.54(f), within 180 days from the date of receipt of this 
generic letter all addressees must confirm in writing that they have included 
in their safeguards contingency planning short-term actions that could be 
taken to protect against attempted radiological sabotage involving a land 
vehicle bomb if such a threat were to materialize.  This information is to be 
provided under oath or affirmation and is necessary to enable the Commission 
to determine whether or not your license should be modified, suspended, or 
revoked.  This information is necessary to verify compliance with the current 
licensing basis for your facility.  This report shall be addressed to the U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN:  Document Control Desk, Washington, D.C.  
20555. 

.Generic Letter 89-07               - 3 -               April 28, 1989


This request is covered by Office of Management and Budget Clearance Number 
3150-0011, which expires December 31, 1989.  Where plant systems, structures, 
layout and topography are amenable to simple analysis the average burden 
for the requested contingency planning is estimated to be in the range of 
350 to 500 man-hours per licensee response, including assessment of the new 
requirements, searching data sources, gather-ing and analyzing the data, and 
preparing the required records.  Where a licensee chooses to do more rigorous 
analysis, several thousand man-hours could be required.  Comments on the 
accuracy of this estimate and suggestions to reduce the burden may be directed
to the Paperwork Reduction Project (3150-0011), Office of Management and 
Budget, Washington, D.C.  20503, and to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Records and Reports Management Branch, Office of Information 
Resources Management, Washington, D.C.  20555. 


                                   James G. Partlow
                                   Associate Director for Projects 
                                   Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation 

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