Information Notice No. 85-79: Inadequate Communications Between Maintenance, Operations, and Security Personnel

                                                         SSINS No.:  6835
                                                            IN 85-79 

                               UNITED STATES 
                           WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555 

                             September 30, 1985

                                   MAINTENANCE, OPERATIONS, AND SECURITY 


All nuclear power reactor facilities holding an operating license (OL) or 
construction permit (CP), research and nonpower reactor facilities, and fuel
fabrication and processing facilities using or processing formula quantities
of special nuclear material. 


This information notice is provided to alert addressees of the need to 
ensure that actions of a temporary or permanent nature taken by operations, 
maintenance, or other personnel that may affect the integrity of the 
physical barriers used 1/2 to control access to protected, material access, 
and vital areas, or other portions of the overall security program, are 
coordinated with the organization, directly responsible for security before 
being implemented. It is expected that the recipients will review the 
information for applicability to their facilities and consider actions, if 
necessary, to preclude a similar ,problem occurring at their facilities. 
Suggestions contained in this information notice do not constitute NRC 
requirements; therefore, no specific action or written response is required.

Description of Circumstances: 

During plant walkdowns and/or inspections, NRC and licensee personnel have 
identified instances where actions by plant organizational elements other 
than security have resulted in the degradation of protected and vital area 
barriers and other security/safeguards measures without proper compensation.
Some examples are: 

     o    removal of portions of protected and vital area barriers, 
          including fences, hatches, or other portals that allow 
          unauthorized access to the protected area or vital areas 

     o    removal of equipment that had formed part of the barrier, such as 
          piping or valves that would allow passage of small objects into or
          out of a material access area or vital area 

     o    creation of holes in protected and, vital area barriers to facili-
          tate construction 



                                                       IN 85-79 
                                                       September 30, 1985 
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     o    leaving vital area door alarms in access mode after work is 

     o    removal of essential telephone lines from an independent power 

     o    building or placing equipment, structures, or vehicles within the 
          isolation zone of the protected area or within exterior "clear" 
          zones of sensitive facilities, such as storage vaults 

The incidents that lead to the issuance of this information notice have re-
sulted in the degradation of protected and vital area barriers and access 
controls necessary for protection of vital equipment and, in one case, the 
loss of the means to communicate with local law enforcement officials or 
emergency response personnel. In many cases, the loss of this protection has
been accompanied by the failure of the licensee to notify the NRC in accor-
dance with the applicable provisions of 10 CFR 73.71, depending on the 
degree to which the security system has been degraded. 


A review of each incident has indicated that the modification or repairs 
that degraded the protected and vital area barriers and communications 
systems were made without an adequate, or in some cases any, notification of 
the facility's security organization by the organization planning or 
performing the modifications or repairs. 

The likelihood of degradation may be substantially lessened at sites where 
the organization responsible for security is part of the planning or sche-
duling phase of any facility modifications or repairs. In such facilities, 
the barriers and equipment necessary to provide security to the facility are
identified and the proper compensatory measures planned and scheduled to 
allow for the efficient implementation of the planned modifications or re-
pairs. An integrated planning system allows for all facility organizations 
to have input to the planning and scheduling phase of maintenance and facil-
ity modifications, especially when the actions taken can negatively impact 
on the effectiveness of other essential programs. 

The reporting requirements of 10 CFR 73.71 may apply to security incidents 
of the type described above, depending on the degree to which the security 
system has been degraded. 


                                                       IN 85-79 
                                                       September 30, 1985 
                                                       Page 3 of 3 

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 NRC regional office or this 

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

Technical Contact:  R. Rosano, IE 
                    (301) 492-4006 

Attachment:  List of Recently Issued IE Information Notices 

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, May 22, 2015