United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 85-44: Emergency Communication System Monthly Test

                                                        SSINS No.: 6835 
                                                            IN 85-44       

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

                                May 30, 1985 

Information Notice No. 85-44:   EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION SYSTEM MONTHLY 
                                   TEST 

Addressees: 

All nuclear power reactor facilities holding an operating license and NFS 
Erwin, General Atomics, UNC Montville, B&W LCR Lynchburg, and B&W Lynchburg.

Purpose: 

This information notice is being issued to bring malfunctions of the 
communication system to the attention of licensees and remind them of their 
responsibility to test required communication systems in accordance with 10 
CFR 50. It is expected that recipients will review the information for 
applicability to their facilities and consider actions, if appropriate, to 
preclude a similar problem occurring at their facilities. However, 
suggestions contained in this information notice do not constitute NRC 
requirements; therefore, no specific action or written response is required.

Discussion: 

Section 50.54(q) of Part 50 requires licensees to follow emergency plans 
which meet the requirements of Appendix E to Part 50. Section IV.E.9.d of 
Appendix E requires monthly tests of provisions for communicating with NRC 
from the control room, the Technical Support Center, and the Emergency 
Operations Facility. Licensee emergency plans might contain additional 
testing requirements. 

Emergency preparedness exercises and specific tests by NRC Headquarters 
Operations Officers have identified serious communication malfunctions, 
which were previously undetected because of inadequate monthly testing. In 
most of those cases, neither the Emergency Notification System (ENS) nor 
Health Physics Network (HPN) telephones were found to have been tested 
routinely. 

This Information Notice reminds licensees of their responsibility for 
satisfying the requirement for monthly testing of the ENS and HPN 
telephones. The NRC is responsible for testing ENS and HPN telephones 
located in the NRC Resident Inspector's office and for testing the link 
between the NRC Operations Center and the Regional Office Operations Center 
since communications with the licensee via HPN and ENS are completed through 
the Headquarters Operations Center. 

This Information Notice also clarifies that violations in this area may be 
categorized at Severity Level III, and civil penalties may be considered. 


8505280195 
.

                                                             IN 85-44      
                                                             May 30, 1985  
                                                             Page 2 of 2   

Compliance with the regulation cited above may be achieved through 
implementation of the testing scheme shown in Attachment 1. 

The primary system for emergency communications with the NRC is a 
combination of the ENS and the HPN. Licensees should note that the backup 
means of communications for a given link is not required to be tested unless 
the primary system is not available. 

No specific action or written response is required by this information 
notice. If you have any questions about this matter, please contact the 
Regional Administrator of the appropriate Regional Office or the technical 
contact listed below. 


                                   Edward L. Jordan, Director 
                                   Division of Emergency Preparedness 
                                     and Engineering Response 
                                   Office of Inspection and Enforcement 

Technical Contact:  H. M. Hawkins, IE 
                    301-492-4145 

Attachments: 
1.   Testing of Emergency Communications Links 
       Between Licensees and NRC 
2.   List of Recently Issued IE Information Notices  
.

                                                             Attachment 1  
                                                             IN 85-44      
                                                             May 30, 1985  

   TESTING OF EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS LINKS BETWEEN LICENSEES AND NRC  

The matrix below indicates the primary modes of operation for the NRC 
communications links which are to be tested monthly by the licensee. 

          FROM                                    TO 
                                             Headquarters* 

     Control Room                            ENS only 

     Technical Support Center                ENS and HPN 

     Emergency Operations Facility           ENS and HPN 

                                   ENS = Emergency Notification System 

                                   HPN = Health Physics Network 

*    Communication between the Licensee and appropriate Regional NRC Office 
     will always be completed through the Headquarters Operations Center. 
     The communications link between the Headquarters Operations Center and 
     the Regional Office is tested by NRC.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, November 12, 2013