Upgraded Emergency Plans (Generic Letter 79-63)


                               UNITED STATES 
                          WASHINGTON, D. C. 20555 

                             November 21, 1979 




This letter is being sent to applicants for licenses to operate nuclear 
power plants. The purpose of this letter is to advise you of our present 
requirements regarding emergency planning, including a proposed rule change 
which we are invoking pending promulgation of a final rule. 

The NRC licensing requirements dealing with an applicant's emergency plans 
are set forth in Appendix E to 10 CFR Part 50, "Emergency Plans for 
Production and Utilization Facilities," and in Regulatory Guide 1.101, 
"Emergency Planning for Nuclear Power Plants." These documents require that 
applicants for power reactor licenses develop plans for coping with 
radiological emergencies within their plant sites. 

In addition, applicants are required to make certain emergency preparedness 
arrangements with State and local organizations to cope with plant-related 
emergencies outside the site boundary. In this regard, the NRC, in 
conjunction with several other federal agencies, has attempted, on a 
cooperative and voluntary basis, to provide for training and instruction of 
State and local government personnel and to establish criteria to guide the 
preparation of emergency plans. However, in the past, NRC concurrence in 
State and local emergency plans has not been required as a condition of 
nuclear power plant operation. We now are requiring, pending the results of 
a proposed rule change, that NRC concurrence in State and local emergency 
response plans be obtained as a condition for issuing an operating license. 

To accomplish this change in requirements, we require that upgraded 
emergency plans be submitted in accordance with the format of Regulatory 
Guide 1.101. The upgraded emergency plans will be evaluated against the 
requirements of Appendix E to 10 CFR Part 50, the regulatory positions set 
forth in Regulatory Guide 1.101, and the acceptance criteria contained in 
Emergency Planning Review Guidelines Number One - Revision One, dated 
September 7, 1979 (Enclosure 1). Your plans should be submitted by June 
1980. For those applicants which have not yet submitted their FSAR the 
upgraded emergency plans may be submitted at the time of FSAR submittal. 

To aid you in developing your response, each reactor site will be visited by
an NRC emergency planning review team consisting of NRR personnel and 
consultants. The team will visit each site and hold discussions with the 
applicant and State and local officials responsible for emergency 

                                  - 2 -

Each applicant will have the responsibility for insuring that appropriate 
arrangements are made for discussions between the NRR review teams and State
and local officials during the team site visits. However, initial contacts 
with State officials will be made by the NRC. Each applicant should provide 
copies of relevant material to the cognizant State and local entities, and 
also to known regional federal offices involved in emergency preparedness 

In addition to our present requirements described above, proposed rule 
changes for 10 CFR Part 50, Sections 50.33 and 50.34 and Appendix E are 
being considered as an interim upgrade of NRC emergency planning regulations 
to provide prompt clarification and expansion in areas that have been 
perceived to be deficient as a result of past experiences. These proposed 
rule changes are deemed interim because the staff anticipates that further 
changes in the emergency planning regulations may be proposed as more 
experience is gained by implementing these revised regulations. Also, 
changes have recently been and may further be proposed as the various Three 
Mile Island investigations are concluded and the results become available 
for efforts in such areas as instrumentation and monitoring, and generic 
studies of accident models. 

The proposed rule, Enclosure 2, contains three major changes from current 
practices. The proposed rule would: 

1.   Require that an applicant's emergency plans, including State and local 
     governmental emergency response plans, be submitted to and concurred in
     by the NRC as a condition of operating license issuance. (NRC 
     concurrence for State and local plans is not required at the 
     construction permit stage.) Additionally: 

     a.   An operating plant may be required to cease operation or reduce 
          power levels if a State or local emergency plan has not received 
          NRC concurrence within 180 days of the effective date of the final

     b.   An operating plant may be required to cease operation or reduce 
          power levels if a State or local emergency plan does not warrant 
          continued NRC concurrence and the State or locality does not 
          correct the deficiencies within four months of notification of NRC
          concurrence withdrawal. 

2.   Require that emergency planning considerations be extended to 
     "Emergency Planning Zones," as defined in NUREG-0396, "Planning Basis 
     for the Development of State and Local Government Radiological 
     Emergency Response Plans in Support of Light Water Nuclear Power 
     Plants," December 1978. 


3.   Require that detailed emergency planning implementing procedures of 
     both licensees and applicants for operating licenses be submitted to 
     NRC for review. This review would determine the acceptability of such 
     procedures in providing reasonable assurance that emergency measures 
     can be taken to protect the public health and safety in the event of a 
     radiological emergency. The Office of Inspection and Enforcement would 
     perform this review. 
A discussion of each of the above major changes is provided in Enclosure 3. 
In addition, sections of Appendix E that would, be expanded by the proposed 
rule are: 

1.   Specification of "Emergency Action Levels" (Sections IV.B and C), 

2.   Dissemination to the public of basic emergency planning information 
     (Section IV.D), 

3.   Provisions for prompt alerting of the public and instructions for 
     public protection (Section IV.D), 

4.   Onsite and offsite emergency control centers (Section IV.E), 

5.   Specialized training (Section IV.F), and 

6.   Provisions for up-to-date plan maintenance (Section IV.G). 

The staff is concerned that important considerations related to the 
workability of the proposed rule changes may have been overlooked and that 
all significant impacts to NRC applicants, licensees, and State and local 
governments may not have been identified. Therefore, the staff intends to 
hold a public workshop during the public comment period to (a) present the 
proposed rule changes to State and local governments, utilities, and other 
interested parties, and (b) to obtain comments concerning the costs, impacts
and practicality of the proposed rule changes. The staff believes it is 
likely, as a result of expected public comment, that significant changes may
be indicated in the rule as proposed. 

Pending the receipt of comments and the promulgation of a final rule, NRR 
intends to use the proposed amendment in reviewing an applicant's emergency 
plans for an operating license. In accordance with Section V of the proposed
rule, ten copies of emergency plan implementing procedures are to be 
submitted to the appropriate NRC regional offices within 180 days prior to 
scheduled issuances of your operating license. Thereafter, ten copies of any
changes to these implementing procedures are to be submitted to this same 
regional office within 15 days of such changes. 


Enclosure 4 provides for your information and use, a document on the basis 
for emergency action levels that has been provided to the review teams for 
interim use. Your comments on this document are invited. Comments should be 
sent to the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
Washington, D. C. 20555, Attention: Docketing and Service Branch. All 
comments received by December 1, 1979 will be considered by the Commission. 

For further information or comments please contact M. Frank G. Pagano on 
(301) 492-7846 or your assigned licensing project manager. 


                                        Domenic B. Vassallo, Acting Director
                                        Division of Project Management 
                                        Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

1.   Emergency Planning Review Guideline
       Number One - Revision One, dated
       September 7, 1979 
2.   Federal Register Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
3.   Discussion of Major Proposed Changes to the
     Emergency Planning Regulations 
4.   Basis for Emergency Action Levels for 
     Nuclear Power Facilities

Service List

                              UNITED STATES 
                          WASHINGTON, D. C. 20555 

MEMORANDUM FOR:     Emergency Planning Staff 

FROM:               James R. Miller, Acting Assistant Director 
                    for Site and Safeguards 

     Enclosed Is Emergency Planning Review Guideline Number One - Revision 
One - Emergency Planning Acceptance Criteria for Licensed Nuclear Power 
Plants. The review guideline supercedes Review Guideline Number One dated 
August 17, 1979. This review guideline is to be used to review upgraded 
emergency plans for operating plants and near term OL's. This review 
guideline has approved by NRR management. 

                                 James R. Miller, Acting Assistant Director 
                                   for Site and Safeguards 
                                 Division of Operating Reactors 

As stated


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