United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Report to Congress on Abnormal Occurrences – Fiscal Year 2013 (NUREG-0090, Volume 36)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: May 2014
Date Published: May 2014

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, as amended (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 10 events that Agreement States identified as AOs during fiscal year (FY) 2013 based on the criteria defined in this report's Appendix A, "Abnormal Occurrence Criteria and Guidelines for Other Events of Interest." Agreement States are those States that have entered into formal agreements with the NRC, pursuant to Section 274 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (AEA) (Public Law 83-703), to regulate certain quantities of AEA material at facilities located within their borders. Currently, there are 37 Agreement States. Two events involved radiation exposure to an embryo/fetus and the other eight events were medical events, as defined in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 35, "Medical Use of Byproduct Material." It should be noted that 10 AOs is a small number, given the estimated 16 million medical procedures performed annually. During this reporting period, no events at NRClicensed facilities including commercial nuclear power plants, were significant enough to be reported as AOs based on the criteria defined in Appendix A.

Appendix A to this report presents the 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 three events reported or updated in the FY 2012 "Report to Congress on Abnormal Occurrences." The updates include a radiation exposure event at Caribbean Inspection & Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Services, Inc., in Port Lavaca, Texas; a medical event at Carolina East in New Bern, North Carolina; and a commercial nuclear power plant event at Fort Calhoun Station, Unit 1, in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska. During FY 2013, the NRC identified three commercial operating reactor events and one nuclear fuel facility event as meeting the guidelines for inclusion in Appendix C, "Other Events of Interest," either as an update to previously reported information, or as a new event that received significant public interest. Appendix D, "Glossary," presents definitions of terms used throughout this report. Appendix E, "Conversion Table," presents conversions commonly used when calculating doses.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, June 11, 2014