United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 82-44: Clarification of Emergency Plan Exercise Requirements

                                                            SSINS No.: 6835 
                                                            IN 82-44 

                               UNITED STATES 
                       NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 
                    OFFICE OF INSPECTION AND ENFORCEMENT 
                          WASHINGTON, D. C. 20555 

                             November 18, 1982 

Information Notice No. 82-44:   CLARIFICATION OF EMERGENCY PLAN EXERCISE 
                                   REQUIREMENTS 

Addressee: 

All nuclear power reactor facilities holding an operating license (OL) or 
construction permit (CP). 

Purpose: 

This information notice is provided to clarify certain exercise requirements
contained in the emergency planning rule. It is expected that recipients 
will review the information for applicability to their facilities. No 
specific action or response is required. 

Discussion: 

The Statement of Consideration contained in the Federal Register Notice of 
the Emergency Planning, Final Regulations (45 FR 55408, August 19, 1980) 
stated: 

     On an annual basis, all commercial nuclear power facilities will be 
     required by NRC to exercise their plans; these exercises should involve
     exercising the appropriate local government plans in support of these 
     facilities. The State may choose to limit its participation in 
     exercises at facilities other than the facility (site) chosen for the 
     annual exercise(s) of the State plan. 

and 

     Each State and appropriate local government shall annually conduct an 
     exercise jointly with a commercial nuclear power facility. 

To carry out this intent, the emergency planning regulations contained in 10
CFR 50, Appendix E, Section IV.F, state in part: 

     A full-scale exercise which tests as much of the licensee, State, and 
     local emergency plans as is reasonably achievable without mandatory 
     public participation shall be conducted: 

     a.   For each site at which one or more power reactors are located and 
          licensed for operation,... at a frequency which will enable each 
          State and local government within the plume exposure pathway EPZ 
          to participate in at least one full-scale exercise per year.... 

At some facilities this requirement has been interpreted to mean that when a 
State does not fully participate in an exercise, because of previous or 
planned full participation at another site that year, the licensee or local 
government 


8208190251  
.

                                                         IN 82-44  
                                                         November 18, 1982 
                                                         Page 2 of 2 

need not fully participate. This is not the case. The regulations require 
that each facility, State, and local government participate fully in the 
exercise of their emergency plans each year. Less than full participation by
a State or local government during a facility's exercise is acceptable only 
when the State or local government is participating fully with another 
facility that year. Full participation involves testing as much of the 
emergency plan as is reasonably achievable without mandatory public 
participation. Whenever less than full participation by offsite authorities 
is appropriate, that participation shall be small scale as defined in 10 CFR
50, Appendix E, Section IV.F.3. 

Therefore, when a local government or State is affected by only one site, 
that local government or State would need to participate fully in the annual
emergency planning exercise at that site. When a local government is 
affected by only one site and the appropriate State is affected by more than 
that one site, the local government would need to participate fully in the 
annual emergency planning exercise at that site even if the State is 
participating on a small scale at that site that year. At least once every 
five years, the full-scale exercise for every facility must include full 
participation by the State and local governments. Where full participation 
of an organization (i.e., local government) is restricted by the lack of 
participation of another organization (i.e., State), the actions of the 
other organization should be simulated sufficiently for the exercise 
objectives to be met. With the exception of these simulated actions, it is 
not expected that a local government will perform any function that it would 
not normally be responsible for if the State were fully participating. 
Simulation of licensee activity would not be appropriate, as the licensee 
must exercise its plan on an annual basis. 

Questions have also been raised on the leeway allowed with respect to the 
annual exercise frequency requirements. An average of one exercise per year 
must be maintained, as called for by the Commission's regulations. It is 
unlikely that the Commission would take enforcement action if the annual 
exercise is held within three months of the anniversary of the previous 
annual exercise.  

No written response to the Information Notice is required. If you need 
additional information regarding this matter, please contact the Regional 
Administrator of the appropriate NRC Regional Office or this office. 



                              Edward L Jordan, Director 
                              Division Engineering and  
                                Quality Assurance 
                              Office of Inspection and Enforcement 

Technical Contact:  K. Perkins, IE 
                    301-492-7361 

Attachment: 
List of Recently Issued IE Information Notices 


Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, November 12, 2013