Information Notice No. 87-54: Emergency Response Exercises
SSINS No.: 6835
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555
October 23, 1987
Information Notice No. 87-54: EMERGENCY RESPONSE EXERCISES
All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power
This information notice is being provided to remind addressees of flexibility
that exists in certain requirements contained in emergency planning rules. It
is expected that recipients will review the information for applicability to
their program. However, suggestions contained in this information notice do
not constitute NRC requirements; therefore, no specific action or written
response is required.
Description of Circumstances:
To satisfy the current requirements of 10 CFR 50.47 and 10 CFR Part 50, Appen-
dix E, each licensee must annually exercise its emergency plan. In addition,
each licensee is required to exercise with offsite authorities such that the
State and local government emergency plans are exercised biennially.
Currently there are no specific requirements which address whether each
exercise scenario must lead to the declaration of a General Emergency.
However, perhaps as a carryover from the previous requirements for annual
State and local exercises, almost all exercise scenarios are planned to
progress to a General Emergency condition.
While it may be appropriate for biennial offsite exercises to proceed to a
General Emergency declaration, exercises other than biennial offsite exercises
(off-year exercises) are not required to proceed to severe core damage. Such
exercises can provide an opportunity for more realistic emergency response
training and evaluation of licensee staff. For example, before severe core
damage would be expected to occur, the operating staff may be given the oppor-
tunity to diagnose and attempt to correct the problem through an interactive
scenario. In addition, some exercise scenarios may be designed with
initiating events at the Alert or Site Area Emergency classification. Since
actual events may go directly to these higher level classifications without
October 23, 1987
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through each emergency class, advance opportunity to activate response facili-
ties may not occur. The flexibility within the requirements allows for the
development of other realistic scenarios which, in turn, can improve emergency
10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E, Section IV.F.3.f, states that "licensees shall
enable any State or local government located within the plume exposure pathway
EPZ to participate in annual exercises when requested by such State or local
government." To satisfy this requirement, it may be necessary for licensees
to develop an exercise scenario which provides opportunities to test the
appropriate aspects of the offsite response plan. Such participation may need
to be negotiated between the licensee and the offsite authorities.
Licensees that have conducted realistic and interactive exercises have identi-
fied and corrected weaknesses in their ability to respond to such simulated
onsite events as fire, loss of electrical power, and equipment failure. The
response of personnel and availability and utilization of alternate equipment
to mitigate simulated severe off-normal plant conditions have been challenging
and have led some licensees to conduct further training and provide added
procedures and support equipment. In addition, interactive exercises can
provide a training opportunity for personnel that would be called upon to make
strategic decisions in areas that are not addressed by existing procedures.
Licensees and applicants may wish to consider incorporating these concepts in
planning and conducting off-year emergency response exercises.
The revision to the exercise frequency requirements of 10 CFR Part 50,
Appendix E has been previously discussed in Information Notice No. 85-55,
"Revised Emergency Exercise Frequency Rule."
No specific action or written response is required by this information notice.
If you have any questions about this matter, please contact the technical
contact listed below or the Regional Administrator of the appropriate regional
Charles E. Rossi, Director
Division of Operational Events Assessment
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
Technical Contact: Cheryl A. Sakenas, AEOD
Attachment: List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, March 24, 2021