United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 91-72: Issuance of a Revision to the EPA Manual of Protective Action Guides and Protective Actions for Nuclear Incidents

                                UNITED STATES
                        NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                    OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION
                           WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555

                             November 19, 1991 


NRC INFORMATION NOTICE 91-72:  ISSUANCE OF A REVISION TO THE EPA MANUAL OF 
                               PROTECTIVE ACTION GUIDES AND PROTECTIVE 
                               ACTIONS FOR NUCLEAR INCIDENTS


Addressees

All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power 
reactors.

Purpose

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this information 
notice to notify addressees of the recent issuance of the revised Chapters 
1, 2, and 5 and a new Appendix C to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) Manual of Protective Action Guides and Protective Actions for Nuclear 
Incidents.  Suggestions contained in this information notice are not NRC 
requirements; therefore, no specific action or written response is required.

Description of Circumstances

On October 15, 1991, EPA issued revised Chapters 1, 2, and 5 and a new 
Appendix C of its Manual of Protective Action Guides and Protective Actions 
for Nuclear Incidents (cover letter attached).  EPA revised this manual to 
incorporate in it the current health physics practice for dose units and to 
expand the applicability of the guidance to include nuclear incidents for 
both commercial and Federal facilities.

The revisions update the 1980 EPA Guidance in several important ways.  The 
most important feature of this revision is that it uses the committed 
effective dose equivalent to express the protective action guides (PAGs) for 
the plume instead of using a whole body dose.  This revised approach 
accounts for the contribution from the following: 

1.   External exposure to the plume 

2.   The committed effective dose equivalent from inhaling particulates in 
     the plume 

3.   Four-day exposure to external gamma radiation from deposited materials


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                                                       November 19, 1991
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Using the committed effective dose equivalent allows the revised guidance to 
apply to incidents involving the release of radioactive material at 
facilities other than commercial nuclear power plants.

One other important feature of this revision is the clarification made on 
the protective actions most suitable for the plume PAG range.  EPA 
emphasized that for most incidents, under normal conditions, evacuation of 
members of the public should be initiated at a projected dose of 1 rem.  
Sheltering the public may be used as an alternative to evacuation under 
abnormal circumstances.

The NRC will publish guidance for applying and implementing the revised 
guidance in conjunction with EPA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency 
(FEMA).  The implementation schedule for this revised guidance is expected 
to be in phase with the implementation of the recently revised Part 20 of 
Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations.  To avoid confusion in taking 
protective actions, the licensee may wish to coordinate its activities with 
State and local agencies regarding any future revisions to the various 
emergency plans supporting a reactor facility.

Requests for copies of the PAG Manual can be directed to Allan C.B. 
Richardson (ANR-460), Office of Radiation Programs, Environmental Protection 
Agency, Washington, D.C. 20460.

This information notice requires no specific action or written response.  If 
you have any questions about the information in this notice, please contact 
one of the technical contacts listed below or the appropriate Office of 
Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) project manager.




                                   Charles E. Rossi, Director
                                   Division of Operational Events Assessment
                                   Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation


Technical contacts:  N. Prasad Kadambi, NRR
                     (301) 492-0841

                     A. Mohseni, NRR
                     (301) 492-0925


Attachments:
1.  Letter from EPA Announcing Revision of the PAG Manual
2.  List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices
.
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