United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Report to Congress on Abnormal Occurrences - Fiscal Year 2009 (NUREG-0090, Volume 32)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: June 2010
Date Published: June 2010

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 that 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 the NRC report AOs to Congress annually.

This report describes three events that NRC identified as AOs during Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 based on the criteria defined in Appendix A to this report. All three events occurred at NRC-licensed or regulated medical institutions and are medical events, as defined in Title 10, Part 35, of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR Part 35).

In addition, this report describes six events that Agreement States identified as AOs during FY 2009, based on the criteria in Appendix A to this report. Agreement States are those States that have entered into formal agreements with 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 37 Agreement States. The first and second Agreement State events involved radiation exposure to an embryo/fetus. The other four Agreement State events were medical events, as defined in 10 CFR Part 35.

Appendix A to this report presents NRC’s criteria for selecting AOs as well as the guidelines for selecting “Other Events of Interest.” Appendix B, “Updates of Previously Reported Abnormal Occurrences,” provides updated information for one event reported in the FY 2008 Report to Congress on Abnormal Occurrences regarding the medical events at the Department of Veterans Affairs. During FY 2009, one item was identified as meeting the guidelines for inclusion in Appendix C, "Other Events of Interest" on leaks in underground pipes at some nuclear power plants. Appendix D, “Glossary,” contains a glossary of terms used throughout this report. Appendix E, “Conversion Table,” presents commonly used conversions when calculating doses.

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