United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Emergency Response Data System Test Program (Generic Letter 93-01)


March 3, 1993


TO:       ALL HOLDERS OF OPERATING LICENSES OR CONSTRUCTION PERMITS FOR
          NUCLEAR POWER REACTORS, EXCEPT FOR BIG ROCK POINT AND FACILITIES
          PERMANENTLY OR INDEFINITELY SHUT DOWN

SUBJECT:  EMERGENCY RESPONSE DATA SYSTEM TEST PROGRAM
          (GENERIC LETTER 93-01)


PURPOSE

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this generic letter to
recommend a schedule to addressees for efficiently accomplishing the presently
required quarterly testing of the Emergency Response Data System (ERDS), using
available telephone lines.  The NRC is also issuing this generic letter to
recommend an acceptable testing program to addressees, based on experience of
both the industry and the NRC in setting up ERDS. 

BACKGROUND

On August 21, 1989, the NRC issued Generic Letter 89-15, "Emergency Response
Data System," to inform licensees and applicants about the voluntary efforts
that certain licensees were taking to implement the ERDS and to solicit the
participation of all applicable licensees and applicants in the ERDS program.
ERDS is a direct near real-time electronic data link between computer data
systems used by licensees of operating reactors and the NRC Operations Center
upon declaring an emergency classified as an alert or higher.  Subsequently,
on October 9, 1990, the NRC published a proposed rule in the Federal Register
(55 FR 41095) that would require licensees and applicants to participate in
the ERDS program and to establish a schedule for its implementation.   

On August 13, 1991, after considering public comments on the proposed rule,
the NRC published the final rule in the Federal Register (56 FR 40178).  This
final rule amended Part 50 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(10 CFR Part 50) to require licensees to provide hardware and software with
specific characteristics to interface with the NRC receiving system
(10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E, Section VI, Paragraph 2).  The amended Part 50
also requires licensees to test, maintain, and implement the ERDS
(10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E, Section VI, Paragraphs 1, 3, and 4,
respectively).  Finally, the amended Part 50 requires licensees to activate
the ERDS in the event of an emergency, classified as an alert or higher
(10 CFR 50.72(a)(4)).

The program that has been followed by industry for the past several years in
setting up the ERDS system is documented in "Emergency Response Data System
(ERDS) Implementation," NUREG-1394, Revision 1, June 1991.  This document is
referenced in a footnote of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E, Section VI.  The NRC 
staff recommendations in this generic letter are based on this experience. 

9302240242
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Generic Letter 93-01                  - 2 -                    March 3, 1993



REQUESTED ACTIONS

This generic letter is addressed to all facilities for which the final rule
applies.  This includes all licensed nuclear power reactor facilities, except
Big Rock Point (which is exempt because its computer system does not have a
sufficient number of parameters available for effective participation in the
ERDS program) and those that are permanently or indefinitely shut down
(10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E, Section VI, Paragraph 2). 

Because the NRC can connect up to three plants simultaneously for testing
ERDS, the NRC staff has developed a schedule (Enclosure 1) to test the system
efficiently.  The NRC recommends, but does not require, that each addressee
follow this schedule.  Each addressee should arrange ERDS testing with the NRC
Operations Center at (301) 492-4102.  An NRC test monitor person will be
available between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. eastern time on days scheduled for
testing.  The schedule is arranged by weeks of a calendar quarter, with the
first week of a quarter taken to be the first entire work week (Monday to
Friday) of the quarter.  Scheduled test days that fall on Federal holidays
will be rescheduled to Monday or Friday of the same week.  Retesting may be
scheduled and implemented on appropriate Mondays and Fridays per mutual
agreement of the NRC and the licensee.

Based on experience of both the industry and the NRC, the NRC staff has
developed a testing program that would demonstrate acceptable operation of
ERDS.  The NRC recommends, but does not require, that each addressee use this
testing program.  The program consists of demonstrating the ability to
(1) establish a link with ERDS, (2) transmit all parameters in the plant ERDS
database for 2 hours while meeting the requirements of the final rule, (3)
reconnect with ERDS upon a loss of telephone connection, and (4) terminate the
ERDS link.

If an addressee chooses to test the ERDS in a different manner, the addressee
should document and retain in appropriate plant records a justification that
the alternative program satisfies the final rule.

The ERDS testing program will begin on April 1, 1993.

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

The NRC will record the results of each test in the NRC Operations Center.
Following each test, the NRC will review the transmitted data and inform the 
licensee of any testing anomalies noted.  The NRC does not expect applicable
licensees and applicants to submit any report after a test.  In the event that
the NRC cannot perform the scheduled ERDS test within the quarter, NRC will 


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Generic Letter 93-01                 - 3 -                      March 3, 1993



communicate and document this to the affected licensee(s).  No written reply
is required in response to this generic letter.

BACKFIT DISCUSSION

The final rule requires each licensee and applicant to test the ERDS each
quarter.  In this generic letter, the staff recommends but does not require 
(or seek to impose) an ERDS testing schedule and procedure to implement the
testing required by the rule.  Because the staff recommendations are voluntary
in nature, this action is not considered to be a backfit under NRC procedures. 
The recommended test schedule is designed to efficiently use limited
facilities at the NRC Operations Center.  The recommended elements of the
testing program are based on the experience of both industry and the NRC in
setting up the ERDS system during the past several years, as documented in
NUREG-1394, Revision 1.  The recommended program should enable the licensee or
applicant to successfully test the ERDS with a minimum of inconvenience and
yet with sufficient detail to ensure satisfactory performance of ERDS. 

A notice of opportunity for public comment was published in the 
Federal Register on August 20, 1992.  Comments were received from seven
licensed utilities, one industry organization, and one State agency.  Copies
of two documents containing the staff evaluation of these comments have been
made available in the public Document Room (Accession Numbers 9210210136 and
9211040117).

The information collection contained in this request is covered by Office of
Management and Budget Clearance Number 3150-0011, which expires June 30, 1994. 
The estimated average number of burden hours is 4 person hours for each
licensee's response (for each unit) each calendar quarter.  This estimate of
the average number of burden hours pertains to the requested action.  Comments
on the accuracy of this estimate and suggestions to reduce the burden may be
directed to Ronald Minsk, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs 
(3150-0011), NEOB-3019, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, D.C.
20503, and to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Information and Records
Management Branch (MNBB 7714), Division of Information Support Services,
Office of Information and Resources Management, Washington, D.C. 20555. 
.

Generic Letter 93-01                 - 4 -                      March 3, 1993



If you have any questions about this matter, please contact John Jolicoeur,
Office for Analysis and Evaluation of Operational Data, NRC, or your project
manager in this office.


                                  Sincerely,


                                  ORIGINAL SIGNED BY


                                  James G. Partlow
                                  Associate Director for Projects

                                  Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

Enclosures:
1.  ERDS Quarterly Test Schedule
2.  List of Recently Issued Generic Letters

TECHNICAL CONTACT:     John Jolicoeur, AEOD
                       (301) 492-4155

LEAD PROJECT MANAGER:  John Hickman, NRR
                       (301) 504-3017


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                                                                Enclosure 1
                                                                GL 93-01
                                                                March 3, 1993
                                                                Page 1 of 1

                       ERDS QUARTERLY TEST SCHEDULE  
1.  This recommended schedule is made necessary because only three telephone
    lines are available in the NRC Operations Center to ERDS for testing.  On
    some days, for example, the second and eighth Wednesdays of each quarter,
    a single utility is scheduled to test four units.  To accommodate the
    testing, the licensee should establish a sequence with the test monitor
    person in the NRC Operations Center, (301) 492-4102.

2.  The formal test on the ERDS computer at the NRC Operations Center (step 10
    of the ERDS implementation process described on page A-3 of NUREG-1394,
    Revision 1, "Emergency Response Data System (ERDS) Implementation," which
    is referenced in 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E) will serve as the test for
    the quarter in which it is completed.  Quarterly testing as described in
    the generic letter begins in the next calendar quarter.

3.  Applicants receiving operating licenses after the date of this generic
    letter will be added to this recommended quarterly schedule. 

WEEK       TUESDAY                  WEDNESDAY                THURSDAY
 1       BEAVER VALLEY 1, 2      CALVERT CLIFFS 1, 2      HOPE CREEK
         FITZPATRICK             GINNA                    INDIAN POINT 2, 3

 2       LIMERICK 1, 2           MILLSTONE 1, 2, 3        NINE MILE PT 1, 2
         MAINE YANKEE            HADDAM NECK              OYSTER CREEK

 3       PILGRIM                 SEABROOK                 SUSQUEHANNA 1, 2
         PEACH BOTTOM 2, 3       SALEM 1, 2               THREE MILE ISLAND 1

 4       VERMONT YANKEE          BROWNS FERRY 2, 3        BRUNSWICK 1, 2
         CRYSTAL RIVER 3         SEQUOYAH 1, 2            GRAND GULF

 5       CATAWBA 1, 2            FARLEY 1, 2              HATCH 1, 2
         McGUIRE 1, 2            ROBINSON                 HARRIS

 6       NORTH ANNA 1, 2         OCONEE 1, 2, 3           SUMMER
         SURRY 1, 2

 7       ST LUCIE 1, 2           VOGTLE 1, 2              BRAIDWOOD 1, 2
         TURKEY POINT 3, 4       CALLAWAY                 BYRON 1, 2

 8       CLINTON                 DRESDEN 2, 3             DAVIS BESSE
         COOK 1, 2               LASALLE 1, 2             DUANE ARNOLD
                                                          FERMI 2

 9       KEWAUNEE                MONTICELLO               QUAD CITIES 1, 2
         POINT BEACH 1, 2        PRAIRIE ISLAND 1, 2      ZION 1, 2

10       PALISADES               ARKANSAS NUCLEAR 1, 2    FT CALHOUN
         PERRY                   COMANCHE PEAK 1, 2       SOUTH TEXAS 1, 2
         COOPER

11       RIVER BEND              DIABLO CANYON 1, 2       PALO VERDE 1, 2, 3
         WATERFORD               TROJAN
         WOLF CREEK

12       SAN ONOFRE 2, 3         WASHINGTON NUCLEAR 2
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