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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 9111130118 . IN 91-72 November 19, 1991 Page 2 of 2 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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