§ 50.72 Immediate notification requirements for operating nuclear power reactors.
(a) General requirements.1 (1) Each nuclear power reactor licensee licensed under §§ 50.21(b) or 50.22 holding an operating license under this part or a combined license under part 52 of this chapter after the Commission makes the finding under § 52.103(g), shall notify the NRC Operations Center via the Emergency Notification System of:
(i) The declaration of any of the Emergency Classes specified in the licensee's approved Emergency Plan; 2 or
(ii) Those non-emergency events specified in paragraph (b) of this section that occurred within three years of the date of discovery.
(2) If the Emergency Notification System is inoperative, the licensee shall make the required notifications via commercial telephone service, other dedicated telephone system, or any other method which will ensure that a report is made as soon as practical to the NRC Headquarters Operations Center at the numbers specified in appendix A to part 73 of this chapter.
(3) The licensee shall notify the NRC immediately after notification of the appropriate State or local agencies and not later than one hour after the time the licensee declares one of the Emergency Classes.
(4) The licensee shall activate the Emergency Response Data System (ERDS) 3 as soon as possible but not later than one hour after declaring an Emergency Class of alert, site area emergency, or general emergency. The ERDS may also be activated by the licensee during emergency drills or exercises if the licensee's computer system has the capability to transmit the exercise data.
(5) When making a report under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the licensee shall identify:
(i) The Emergency Class declared; or
(ii) Paragraph (b)(1), “One-hour reports,” paragraph (b)(2), “Four-hour reports,” or paragraph (b)(3), “Eight-hour reports,” as the paragraph of this section requiring notification of the non-emergency event.
(b) Non-emergency events--(1) One-hour reports. If not reported as a declaration of an Emergency Class under paragraph (a) of this section, the licensee shall notify the NRC as soon as practical and in all cases within one hour of the occurrence of any deviation from the plant's Technical Specifications authorized pursuant to Sec. 50.54(x) of this part.
(2) Four-hour reports. If not reported under paragraphs (a) or (b)(1) of this section, the licensee shall notify the NRC as soon as practical and in all cases, within four hours of the occurrence of any of the following:
(i) The initiation of any nuclear plant shutdown required by the plant's Technical Specifications.
(iv)(A) Any event that results or should have resulted in emergency core cooling system (ECCS) discharge into the reactor coolant system as a result of a valid signal except when the actuation results from and is part of a pre-planned sequence during testing or reactor operation.
(B) Any event or condition that results in actuation of the reactor protection system (RPS) when the reactor is critical except when the actuation results from and is part of a pre-planned sequence during testing or reactor operation.
(xi) Any event or situation, related to the health and safety of the public or onsite personnel, or protection of the environment, for which a news release is planned or notification to other government agencies has been or will be made. Such an event may include an onsite fatality or inadvertent release of radioactively contaminated materials.
(3) Eight-hour reports. If not reported under paragraphs (a), (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section, the licensee shall notify the NRC as soon as practical and in all cases within eight hours of the occurrence of any of the following:
(ii) Any event or condition that results in:
(A) The condition of the nuclear power plant, including its principal safety barriers, being seriously degraded; or
(B) The nuclear power plant being in an unanalyzed condition that significantly degrades plant safety.
(iv)(A) Any event or condition that results in valid actuation of any of the systems listed in paragraph (b)(3)(iv)(B) of this section, except when the actuation results from and is part of a pre-planned sequence during testing or reactor operation.
(B) The systems to which the requirements of paragraph (b)(3)(iv)(A) of this section apply are:
(1) Reactor protection system (RPS) including: Reactor scram and reactor trip. 4
(2) General containment isolation signals affecting containment isolation valves in more than one system or multiple main steam isolation valves (MSIVs).
(3) Emergency core cooling systems (ECCS) for pressurized water reactors (PWRs) including: High-head, intermediate-head, and low-head injection systems and the low pressure injection function of residual (decay) heat removal systems.
(4) ECCS for boiling water reactors (BWRs) including: High-pressure and low-pressure core spray systems; high-pressure coolant injection system; low pressure injection function of the residual heat removal system.
(5) BWR reactor core isolation cooling system; isolation condenser system; and feedwater coolant injection system.
(6) PWR auxiliary or emergency feedwater system.
(7) Containment heat removal and depressurization systems, including containment spray and fan cooler systems.
(8) Emergency ac electrical power systems, including: Emergency diesel generators (EDGs); hydroelectric facilities used in lieu of EDGs at the Oconee Station; and BWR dedicated Division 3 EDGs.
(v) Any event or condition that at the time of discovery could have prevented the fulfillment of the safety function of structures or systems that are needed to:
(A) Shut down the reactor and maintain it in a safe shutdown condition;
(B) Remove residual heat;
(C) Control the release of radioactive material; or
(D) Mitigate the consequences of an accident.
(vi) Events covered in paragraph (b)(3)(v) of this section may include one or more procedural errors, equipment failures, and/or discovery of design, analysis, fabrication, construction, and/or procedural inadequacies. However, individual component failures need not be reported pursuant to paragraph (b)(3)(v) of this section if redundant equipment in the same system was operable and available to perform the required safety function.
(xii) Any event requiring the transport of a radioactively contaminated person to an offsite medical facility for treatment.
(xiii) Any event that results in a major loss of emergency assessment capability, offsite response capability, or offsite communications capability (e.g., significant portion of control room indication, Emergency Notification System, or offsite notification system).
(c) Followup notification. With respect to the telephone notifications made under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, in addition to making the required initial notification, each licensee, shall during the course of the event:
(1) Immediately report (i) any further degradation in the level of safety of the plant or other worsening plant conditions, including those that require the declaration of any of the Emergency Classes, if such a declaration has not been previously made, or (ii) any change from one Emergency Class to another, or (iii) a termination of the Emergency Class.
(2) Immediately report (i) the results of ensuing evaluations or assessments of plant conditions, (ii) the effectiveness of response or protective measures taken, and (iii) information related to plant behavior that is not understood.
(3) Maintain an open, continuous communication channel with the NRC Operations Center upon request by the NRC.
1. Other requirements for immediate notification of the NRC by licensed operating nuclear power reactors are contained elsewhere in this chapter, in particular Secs. 20.1906, 20.2202, 50.36, 72.216, and 73.71.
2. These Emergency Classes are addressed in Appendix E of this part.
3. Requirements for ERDS are addressed in Appendix E, Section VI.
4. Actuation of the RPS when the reactor is critical is reportable under paragraph (b)(2)(iv)(B) of this section.
[48 FR 39046, Aug. 29, 1983; 48 FR 40882, Sept. 12, 1983; 55 FR 29194, July 18, 1990, as amended at 56 FR 944, Jan. 10, 1991; 56 FR 23473, May 21, 1991; 56 FR 40184, Aug. 13, 1991; 57 FR 41381, Sept. 10, 1992; 58 FR 67661, Dec. 22, 1993; 59 FR 14087, Mar. 25, 1994; 65 FR 63786, Oct. 25, 2000; 72 FR 49502, Aug. 28, 2007; 85 FR 65662, Oct. 16, 2020]
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, March 24, 2021