United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Report to Congress on Abnormal Occurrences - Fiscal Year 2002 (NUREG-0090, Vol. 25)

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Publication Information

Date Published: April 2003

Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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Abstract

Section 208 of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-438) defines an abnormal occurrence (AO) as an unscheduled incident or event which the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) determines to be significant from the standpoint of public health or safety. The Federal Reports Elimination and Sunset Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-66) requires that AOs be reported to Congress annually. This report describes those events which have been determined to constitute AOs by the NRC during Fiscal Year 2002.

The report describes three AOs at facilities licensed by the NRC. One event involved the degradation of the reactor head at a nuclear power plant, the second event involved a gamma stereotactic radiosurgery misadministration and the third event involved an overexposure of a radiopharmacist at a materials facility. The report also discusses seven events at facilities licensed by Agreement States. Agreement States are states which have entered into a formal agreement with the NRC pursuant to Section 274 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) to regulate certain quantities of AEA material at facilities located within their borders. Currently, there are 32 Agreement States. One of the Agreement State AOs involved elevated radiation levels from a package during its transport, three events involved radiography overexposures and three events involved medical misadministrations, two therapeutic and one diagnostic. In addition, Appendix C of the AO report, "Other Events of Interest," describes three nuclear power reactor events, including a generic event of interest regarding an emerging issue involving reactor vessel head degradation, one event involving accountability failure at a fuel cycle facility, and four materials events.

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