United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

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Security & Emergency Preparedness COVID-19 Activities: Power Reactor Training & Qualification for Personnel Performing Security Duties | Emergency Preparedness

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Emergency Preparedness and Response

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Biennial Exercise Postponements

Highlights

  • Regulations in several parts of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) require full-participation biennial emergency plan exercises, including Part 30, Part 40, Part 50, Part 70, Part 72 and Appendix E to Part 50. The COVID-19 PHE has affected licensees' ability to conduct these exercises.

  • On May 14, 2020, the NRC issued a letter outlining the process and specific criteria that would facilitate expedited review if licensees request exemptions from full-participation exercises. If approved, the exemption's conditions will maintain reasonable assurance of safety and security during a defined, limited period.

  • The NRC is prepared to use its existing authority in granting, upon request from individual licensees, exemptions from the above requirements if the conditions in the May 2020 letter are met.

  • These provisions apply to all licensees under Parts 30, 40, 50, 52, 70, and 72 that have a radiological emergency plan.

  • Any granted exemptions will ensure licensees engage in activities that do not conflict with practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to limit the spread of COVID-19.

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Related Communication

  • On April 15, 2020, NRC staff and industry agreed on the contents of FAQ 20-02, "Emergency Preparedness – Emergency Response Organization (ERO) Performance Indicator," regarding ERO drill participation.

  • On May 14, 2020, the NRC issued a letter to outline the process by which the NRC is prepared to grant temporary exemptions from the biennial emergency plan exercise requirements specified in Parts 30, 40, 50, 52, 70, and 72.

  • On September 2, 2020, the NRC issued a letter as an addendum to the May 14, 2020, letter to provide clarification and additional information to power reactor licensees seeking exemption from the conduct of the calendar year 2020 offsite biennial exercise required by Section IV.F.2.c of Appendix E to 10 CFR Part 50.

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Emergency Plan Requirements

Highlights

  • Regulations in several parts of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) require development and maintenance of, and compliance with Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) Emergency Plans (EPlan). The COVID-19 PHE has provided challenges for some licensees in meeting certain EPlan requirements.
  • Attachment 3 to EGM 20-002 details guidance that will be used by the NRC in considering enforcement discretion for apparent violations of emergency preparedness regulations during the COVID-19 PHE.
  • The NRC is prepared to use its existing authority in granting, upon request from individual licensees, exemptions/relief from applicable regulations in 10 CFR Parts 30, 40, 50, 52, 70 and 72, or license amendments, if the conditions in Attachment 3 are met.
  • Any methods of relief will require reasonable assurance that the effectiveness of a licensee’s emergency response readiness is maintained in operation of nuclear power reactors, decommissioned reactors, generally-licensed independent spent fuel storage installations, and non-power production and utilization facilities (which include non-power reactors and medical radioisotope irradiation and processing facilities), and with respect to byproduct, source and special nuclear material.

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Related Communication

  • On May 27, 2020 the NRC issued Attachment 3 to EGM 20-002 to provide guidance to NRC inspection staff for the disposition of apparent violations of NRC emergency preparedness requirements during the COVID-19 PHE.

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Frequently Asked Questions – EPlan Requirements

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, September 03, 2020