Information Notice No. 85-44: Emergency Communication System Monthly Test
SSINS No.: 6835
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
OFFICE OF INSPECTION AND ENFORCEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555
May 30, 1985
Information Notice No. 85-44: EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION SYSTEM MONTHLY
All nuclear power reactor facilities holding an operating license and NFS
Erwin, General Atomics, UNC Montville, B&W LCR Lynchburg, and B&W Lynchburg.
This information notice is being issued to bring malfunctions of the
communication system to the attention of licensees and remind them of their
responsibility to test required communication systems in accordance with 10
CFR 50. It is expected that recipients will review the information for
applicability to their facilities and consider actions, if appropriate, to
preclude a similar problem occurring at their facilities. However,
suggestions contained in this information notice do not constitute NRC
requirements; therefore, no specific action or written response is required.
Section 50.54(q) of Part 50 requires licensees to follow emergency plans
which meet the requirements of Appendix E to Part 50. Section IV.E.9.d of
Appendix E requires monthly tests of provisions for communicating with NRC
from the control room, the Technical Support Center, and the Emergency
Operations Facility. Licensee emergency plans might contain additional
Emergency preparedness exercises and specific tests by NRC Headquarters
Operations Officers have identified serious communication malfunctions,
which were previously undetected because of inadequate monthly testing. In
most of those cases, neither the Emergency Notification System (ENS) nor
Health Physics Network (HPN) telephones were found to have been tested
This Information Notice reminds licensees of their responsibility for
satisfying the requirement for monthly testing of the ENS and HPN
telephones. The NRC is responsible for testing ENS and HPN telephones
located in the NRC Resident Inspector's office and for testing the link
between the NRC Operations Center and the Regional Office Operations Center
since communications with the licensee via HPN and ENS are completed through
the Headquarters Operations Center.
This Information Notice also clarifies that violations in this area may be
categorized at Severity Level III, and civil penalties may be considered.
May 30, 1985
Page 2 of 2
Compliance with the regulation cited above may be achieved through
implementation of the testing scheme shown in Attachment 1.
The primary system for emergency communications with the NRC is a
combination of the ENS and the HPN. Licensees should note that the backup
means of communications for a given link is not required to be tested unless
the primary system is not available.
No specific action or written response is required by this information
notice. If you have any questions about this matter, please contact the
Regional Administrator of the appropriate Regional Office or the technical
contact listed below.
Edward L. Jordan, Director
Division of Emergency Preparedness
and Engineering Response
Office of Inspection and Enforcement
Technical Contact: H. M. Hawkins, IE
1. Testing of Emergency Communications Links
Between Licensees and NRC
2. List of Recently Issued IE Information Notices
May 30, 1985
TESTING OF EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS LINKS BETWEEN LICENSEES AND NRC
The matrix below indicates the primary modes of operation for the NRC
communications links which are to be tested monthly by the licensee.
Control Room ENS only
Technical Support Center ENS and HPN
Emergency Operations Facility ENS and HPN
ENS = Emergency Notification System
HPN = Health Physics Network
* Communication between the Licensee and appropriate Regional NRC Office
will always be completed through the Headquarters Operations Center.
The communications link between the Headquarters Operations Center and
the Regional Office is tested by NRC.
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