United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 91-33: Reactor Safety Information for States During Exercises and Emergencies

                                UNITED STATES
                        NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                    OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION
                           WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555
 
                                May 31, 1991
 
 
Information Notice No. 91-33:  REACTOR SAFETY INFORMATION FOR STATES 
                                   DURING EXERCISES AND EMERGENCIES
 
 
Addressees: 
 
All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power 
reactors.  
 
Purpose: 
 
This information notice is intended to alert addressees to recent enhanced 
efforts on the part of the Office for Analysis and Evaluation of Operational 
Data (AEOD) of the NRC to interact with State decisionmakers on operational 
plant data during the early stages of an accident at a nuclear power plant, 
including both emergency response exercises and actual events.  It is 
expected that recipients will review the information for applicability to 
their facilities and consider actions, as appropriate.  However, suggestions 
contained in this information notice do not constitute NRC requirements; 
therefore, no specific action or written response is required.  
 
Description of Circumstances: 
 
The NRC is prepared to provide an analysis of plant conditions to the States 
during exercises and emergencies.  State receipt and use of this information 
for decisionmaking is on a voluntary basis.
 
The NRC, licensees, and State and local governments are all well aware that 
during the first few hours of an accident at a nuclear power facility, 
critical decisions may be necessary concerning public protective actions and 
that plant conditions are the major determining factors in early protective 
action recommendations.  Important roles of the NRC in an emergency are to 
confirm the utility's protective action recommendations and to support the 
State and local officials in their decisions regarding protective action 
implementation.  NRC has traditionally focused on protective measures 
communications (i.e., radiological releases, meteorological conditions) when 
interfacing with States during exercises and actual emergencies.  The NRC 
has extensive expertise in reactor safety and in protective measures areas.  
The NRC staff is trained to respond to plant emergencies and has a range of 
technical tools to assist in understanding the significance of events and to 
project consequences.
 
 
9105230062
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                                                            IN 91-33
                                                            May 31, 1991
                                                            Page 2 of 2
 
 
The NRC intends to increase its efforts to interact with offsite officials 
to assure they are aware of and confident in the NRC's ability to support 
them during the early stages of an accident.  The NRC will accomplish this 
through increased NRC Headquarters participation in exercises so that 
offsite officials can factor the NRC operational and analytical information 
into their decisionmaking processes.  The NRC is planning to increase 
interactions in additional ways such as emergency response workshops that 
describe NRC assessment tools and response capabilities, federally sponsored 
accident assessment courses, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency's 
(FEMA's) Emergency Education Network (EENET) broadcasts.
 
It is the intention of the NRC to strengthen the existing relationship 
between utilities and States in recommending and implementing protective 
actions.  State and local governments can rely on the NRC to provide them 
with independent reactor safety assessment capability.  Nevertheless, the 
early protective actions in the event of a rapid accident sequence should be 
considered based on licensee recommendations and must not await or be 
delayed by NRC assessments.  We hope through increased NRC efforts, States 
will have greater confidence in both the utility's ability and the NRC's 
ability to assist them in protecting the health and safety of the public.
 
This information notice requires no specific action or written response.  If 
you have any questions about the information in this notice, please contact 
the technical contact listed below or the appropriate NRR project manager.  
 
 
 
 
                                   Charles E. Rossi, Director
                                   Division of Operational Events Assessment
                                   Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
 
 
Technical Contact:  Eric W. Weinstein, AEOD
                    (301) 492-7836
 
 
Attachment:  List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices
.
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