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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.
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