United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Report to Congress on Abnormal Occurrences - Fiscal Year 2003 (NUREG-0090, Volume 26)

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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 2003.

The report describes five medical events at facilities licensed by the NRC. Three events involved patients undergoing therapeutic brachytherapy treatments, one event involved an unintentional therapeutic dose of sodium iodide (I-131) to an embryo/fetus, and one event involved a diagnostic overexposure of a minor. The report also discusses nine AOs at facilities licensed by Agreement States. Agreement States are those 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 33 Agreement States. Seven Agreement State events were medical events (five therapeutic and two diagnostic), one Agreement State event involved overexposure to a radiographer, and one Agreement State event involved overexposure to members of the public from a damaged gauge. Appendix A to this report presents the criteria for selecting AOs and the guidelines for selecting ?Other Events of Interest”. Appendix B, “Update of Previously Reported Abnormal Occurrences,” gives updates on a previously reported AO and an event of interest. Appendix C, “Other Events of Interest”, describes three nuclear power reactor events and one materials event.

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