United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Response Technical Manual 96 (TRM-96) (NUREG/BR-0150, Volume 1, Revision 4)

On this page:

Download complete document

Publication Information

Date Published: March 1996

Prepared by:
T. McKenna, J. Trefethen,
K. Gant (ORNL), J. Jolicoeur,
G. Kuzo, G. Athey

Incident Response Division
Office for Analysis and Evaluation
of Operational Data
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001


Before You Begin

This manual contains simple methods for estimating the possible consequences of different kinds of radiological accidents. The resulting estimates will help officials determine or confirm where to recommend protective actions to the public. These methods should be used only by trained personnel who can interpret the calculations, table, and figures in this document.

There are two objectives for the use of this manual:

  • To prevent early health effects (deaths and injuries) by
    - taking action before or shortly after a major (core damage) release from a light water reactor or nuclear material accident and
    - keeping the acute dose equivalent (due to both external exposure and inhalation) below the early health effects thresholds.

  • To reduce the risk of delayed effects on health (primarily cancer and genetic effects) by implementing protective actions in accordance with EPA
    - early phase Protective Action Guides (PAGs) and
    - intermediate phase PAGs (both ingestion and relocation concerns).

This manual contains methods (procedures) used to perform the assessments necessary to meet the public protection objectives. The methods are in the approximate order that assessments will be performed and are located at the front of the manual. Later sections contain the tables, figures, worksheets, and reference material that are necessary or useful in performing the procedures.

Each assessment section contains at least one stand-alone procedure. The more complicated assessments involve the use of more than one method (a separate procedure) to complete the assessment. Each method is organized into purpose, discussion, and steps. The discussion may provide a summary of the steps, assumptions, cautions, and other relevant information. Method steps provide the instructions for the procedure.

This manual is conservative; that is, the results should overestimate the dose or result in actions at levels below those recommended in the guidance. Do not add additional conservatism (e.g., do not divide a guideline by 10 just to be safe). Adding additional conservatism will cause confusion and will make it difficult to compare the risk of the action to the risk avoided.

This manual is intended to be consistent with the guidance in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's May 1992 Manual of Protective Action Guides and Protective Actions For Nuclear Incidents (EPA 400-R-92-001).

The following suggestions will help in getting the best use of this manual.

  • Use one of the charts in the following overview to guide the initial assessment.
  • Read the remainder of this introduction and the discussion at the beginning of each section before performing assessments.
  • Read each method completely before applying it.
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, April 25, 2016