Information Notice No. 85-55: Revised Emergency Exercise Frequency Rule

                                                            SSINS No.: 6835 
                                                            IN 85-55       

                                UNITED STATES
                           WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555

                                July 15, 1985



All nuclear power reactor facilities holding an operating license (OL) or a 
construction permit (CP). 


This notice is to alert licensees of revised requirements regarding the 
frequency of participation by state and local governments in emergency 
preparedness exercises at nuclear power reactor sites. It is expected that 
addressees will review the information provided for applicability to their 
program. Suggestions contained in this notice do not constitute NRC 
requirements; therefore, no specific action or written response is required.

Description of Circumstances: 

On July 6, 1984, the Commission published in the Federal Register (49 FR 
27733) (Attachment 1) a revised rule effective August 6, 1984, relating to 
emergency preparedness exercises. The revised 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E, 
Section IV. F. relaxes the frequency of participation by state and local 
governments in emergency preparedness exercises from annually to biennially.
This relaxation applies to state and local governments that have fully 
participated (as defined in the revised rule) in a joint exercise since 
October 1, 1982. In addition, the new rule requires (1) each licensee at 
each site to conduct an exercise of its onsite plan annually, (2) each 
licensee to provide an opportunity for state and local governments to 
participate annually, (3) each state within the plume exposure pathway EPZ 
of a given site to fully participate in an offsite exercise for that site at 
least once every 7 years, (4) each state within any ingestion exposure 
pathway EPZ to exercise its plans and preparedness related to ingestion 
exposure pathway measures every 5 years at some site, and (5) the NRC, in 
consultation with FEMA, to determine the need for and extent of state and 
local participation in remedial exercises. 

This rule change also specifies that a full participation exercise shall be 
held within 1 year before operation above 5 percent of rated power and 
"shall include participation by each [s]tate and local government within the 
plume exposure pathway EPZ and each [s]tate within the ingestion exposure 
pathway EPZ." (Note, however, that the United States Court of Appeals for 
the D.C. Circuit in UCS v. NRC, 735 F.2d 1437 vacated the 1982 amendment to 
the NRC's regulations which stated that emergency preparedness exercises 
were part of the operational inspection process and not part of any 
operating license hearing. Therefore, an 


                                                              IN 85-55     
                                                              July 15, 1985 
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applicant should consider scheduling a full participation exercise to permit
litigation of issues concerning the implementation of emergency preparedness
as demonstrated by the exercise.) To meet the intent of this revised 
regulation, the NRC staff has determined that licensees should conduct 
exercises involving onsite participation at least once each calendar year 
(annually) and joint exercises involving the participation of offsite 
agencies, which meet the above requirements, at least once every second 
calendar year (biennially). 

The degree of participation of offsite agencies is specified in the 
regulation. The licensees are expected to coordinate the scheduling of the 
participation of offsite agencies with the appropriate state and local 
governments and with the NRC and FEMA regional offices. For example, a 
licensee holding a joint exercise in November of 1985 would meet the 
biennial requirement by holding another joint exercise during 1987, and 
would meet the annual requirement by holding an onsite exercise during 1986. 
The conduct of a remedial exercise does not alter annual and biennial 
exercise requirements. 

Licensees were previously requested by the respective NRC Regional 
Administrators to use the milestones established in FEMA Guidance Memorandum
#17, "Conducting Pre-Exercise and Post-Exercise Activities," dated January 
8, 1981, in submitting exercise objectives and scenarios for FEMA and NRC 
review (Attachment 2). Licensees should continue to adhere to these 
milestones for each exercise involving offsite participation. Guidance 
concerning the criteria to be used for determining when remedial exercises 
will be required is contained in the attached FEMA Guidance Memorandum EX-l 
(Attachment 3). 

No specific action or written response is required by this information 
notice. If you need additional information regarding this matter, please 
contact the Regional Administrator of the appropriate NRC regional office or
this office. 

                                   Edward L. Jordan Director 
                                   Division of Emergency Preparedness 
                                     and Engineering Response 
                                   Office of Inspection and Enforcement 

Technical Contact:  Edward M. Podolak, IE
                    (301) 492-7290

1.   Federal Register Notice 49 FR 27733
2.   FEMA Guidance Memorandum #17.
3.   FEMA Guidance Memorandum EX-1
4.   List of Recently Issued IE Information Notices

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