Protective Action Recommendations

If an incident at a nuclear power plant could result in a radiation dose exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency's protective action guides, responsible plant personnel evaluate the situation and then make protective action recommendations (PARs) for public safety to State and local government agencies. Plant personnel must report the PARs to State or local officials within 15 minutes of a General Emergency declaration. The responsible State or local officials make the final decision on what protective actions to take in order to protect public health and safety, and then relay those decisions to the public in a timely manner.

The NRC monitors a plant's PAR process to ensure appropriate actions are taken or recommended by plant personnel. Additionally, State and local agencies may independently assess the situation to ensure that the correct protective action decisions are made. Independent assessments performed during an accidental radiological release from a nuclear power plant ensure that the best possible action is taken.

In the unlikely event of a nuclear power plant accident, it is important that you follow directions from State or local officials to make sure protective actions are implemented safely and effectively for the affected population.