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Use of Deadly Force by Guards Protecting Nuclear Power Reactors against Radiological Sabotage
UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555 January 19, 1989 Information Notice No. 89-05: USE OF DEADLY FORCE BY GUARDS PROTECTING NUCLEAR POWER REACTORS AGAINST RADIOLOGICAL SABOTAGE Addressees: All holders of operating licenses for nuclear power reactors. Purpose: This information notice is being provided to present NRC responses to questions raised during safeguards inspections and discussions with licensees concerning use of deadly force by guards protecting nuclear power reactors against radio-logical sabotage. The information provided in this notice does not constitute NRC requirements; therefore, no specific action or written response is required. Description of Circumstances: During recent inspections and discussions with the NRC staff, some licensees expressed reservations about their authority to use deadly force to protect nuclear power reactors. The NRC considers use of deadly force justifiable in protecting nuclear power reactors against radiological sabotage in circum- stances under which a guard could reasonably believe that the use of deadly force is necessary to counter an immediate threat of death or severe bodily injury to self, to others in the facility, or to members of the public. This is already embodied in NRC regulation 10 CFR 73.55(h)(5), which requires licensees to "instruct every guard and all armed response personnel to prevent or impede attempted acts of theft or radiological sabotage by using force suf- ficient to counter the force directed at him including the use of deadly force when the guard or other armed response person has a reasonable belief it is necessary in self-defense or in the defense of others." Discussion: The staff considers use of deadly force justifiable in protecting nuclear power reactors against sabotage if there is reasonable belief that an act of radiological sabotage will be perpetrated unless deadly force is used to prevent it. Radiological sabotage as defined in 10 CFR 73.2(p) means any "deliberate act" directed against a plant or against a component of 8901120432 . IN 89-05 January 19, 1989 Page 2 of 3 a plant, that "could directly or indirectly endanger the public health and safety by exposure to radiation." At nuclear power reactors, the principal focus of safeguards is to protect against deliberate acts that could result in sub-stantial meltdown of the core. Components of a plant that must be protected are those considered "vital equipment," defined in 10 CFR 73.2(i) as "any equipment, system, device, or material the failure, destruction, or release of which could directly or indirectly endanger the public health and safety by exposure to radiation. Equipment or systems which would be required to function to protect public health and safety following such failure, destruction, or release are also considered to be vital." Some situations and circumstances that could justify the use of deadly force in protecting nuclear power reactors are as follows: (1) Defending Against Violent Armed Assault Use of deadly force could be justified in defending a power reactor against a determined violent armed assault. (2) Defending Against Armed Attack By Stealth Use of deadly force could be justified for defenders intercepting armed intruders who have penetrated the protected area and are at- tempting to break into an area containing vital equipment, ignoring defenders' challenges and warnings to stop. (3) Defending Against Attackers Employing Explosives and/or Incendiaries Use of deadly force could be justified for defenders intercepting intruders placing explosives or incendiary devices near vital equipment if the intruders ignore defenders' warnings to stop. (4) Defending Against Perceived Armed Attack Use of deadly force could be justified for defenders intercepting heavily armed intruders who enter the protected area ignoring challenges and warnings. Under these and similar conditions, facility guards do not have to abandon cover and concealment or their defensive positions, or wait for the ad- versaries to fire the first shot. Such actions may expose the guards to casualties and jeopardize their ability to defeat or contain the attacking forces. . IN 89-05 January 19, 1989 Page 3 of 3 No specific action or written response is required by this information notice. If you have any questions about this matter, please contact the technical contact listed below or the Regional Administrator of the appropriate regional office. Charles E. Rossi, Director Division of Operational Events Assessment Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation Technical Contact: Nancy Ervin, NRR (301) 492-0946 Attachment: List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notice . Attachment IN 89-05 January 19, 1989 Page 1 of 1 LIST OF RECENTLY ISSUED NRC INFORMATION NOTICES _____________________________________________________________________________ Information Date of Notice No._____Subject_______________________Issuance_______Issued to________ 89-04 Potential Problems from 1/17/89 All holders of OLs the Use of Space Heaters or CPs for nuclear power reactors and test and research reactors. 89-03 Potential Electrical 1/11/89 All fuel cycle and Equipment Problems major nuclear materials licensees. 89-02 Criminal Prosecution of 1/9/89 All holders of a Licensee's Former President U.S. NRC specific for Intentional Safety license. Violations 88-23, Potential for Gas Binding 1/5/89 All holders of OLs Supp. 1 of High-Pressure Safety or CPs for PWRs. Injection Pumps During a Loss-of-Coolant Accident 89-01 Valve Body Erosion 1/4/89 All holders of OLs or CPs for nuclear power reactors. 88-46, Licensee Report of Defective 12/30/88 All holders of OLs Supp. 2 Refurbished Circuit Breakers or CPs for nuclear power reactors. 88-101 Shipment of Contaminated 12/28/88 All holders of OLs Equipment between Nuclear or CPs for nuclear Power Stations power reactors. 88-100 Memorandum of Understanding 12/23/88 All major nuclear between NRC and OSHA materials licensees Relating to NRC-licensed and utilities Facilities (53 FR 43950, holding CPs and October 31, 1988) OLs. 88-99 Detection and Monitoring 12/20/88 All holders of OLs of Sudden and/or Rapidly or CPs for PWRs. Increasing Primary-to- Secondary Leakage _____________________________________________________________________________ OL = Operating License CP = Construction Permit ..
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