United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 89-19: Health Physics Network

                                  UNITED STATES
                          NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                      OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION
                             WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555

                                February 23, 1989


Information Notice No. 89-19:  HEALTH PHYSICS NETWORK


Addressees:

All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power 
reactors, and the following fuel facilities:  Nuclear Fuel Services of Erwin, 
General Atomic, UNC Montville, B&W LRC Lynchburg, and B&W Lynchburg.

Purpose:

This information notice is being provided to alert addressees to potential 
problems resulting from failure of the health physics network (HPN) telephone 
system and to provide minor revisions to the instructions for the initiation 
of repairs.  Further, the method for establishing communications over the HPN 
in the event of an emergency is clarified.  It is expected that recipients 
will review the information for applicability to their facilities and consider 
actions, as appropriate, to avoid future problems.  However, suggestions 
contained in this information notice do not constitute NRC requirements; 
therefore, no specific action or written response is required.

Background:

The regulations 10 CFR 50.47 and 10 CFR 50, Appendix E, require each licensee 
to establish provisions for prompt notifications to local, State, and Federal 
agencies in the event of an emergency.  The addressees have met these require-
ments as related to notifications to the NRC via the installation of the 
emergency communications subsystems (the emergency notification system (ENS) 
and the health physics network (HPN)).  The ENS is an automatic ring-down 
service that provides dedicated telephone circuits to the NRC Operations 
Center.  The information contained in Information Notice 86-97, "Emergency 
Communications System," remains valid regarding the use of the ENS and means 
to initiate repairs if ENS problems are encountered. 

The HPN system consists of (1) the NRC Headquarters Operations Center HPN 
telephone conference bridge; (2) two commercial local telephone lines to each 
licensee facility, one line with two telephone sets, usually in the technical 
support center (TSC), and one line with two telephone sets in the emergency 
operations facility (EOF); and (3) the HPN communicator telephone in the NRC 







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regional office Incident Response Center.  The HPN system is established by 
the NRC during its standby or initial activation mode of operations after the 
licensee's TSC/EOF has been activated and is operational.  Preliminary infor-
mation from the licensee (before establishment of the HPN) is provided via
the ENS and includes both reactor safety and health physics data.  After it 
has been established, the HPN is the primary means of communicating radiolo-
gical data (onsite and offsite measurements and dose assessment information) 
from the licensee to the NRC.  The ENS remains the primary means of communi-
cating reactor safety-related information throughout an emergency.

Discussion:

Information Notice 86-97 states that failure of either the ENS or the HPN is 
to be reported to the NRC Operations Center in Bethesda, Maryland, over the 
normal commercial telephone system, and that the NRC will make arrangements 
to have the failed system returned to service.  A minor change has been im-
plemented for initiation of repairs to HPN telephone lines.  If there is a 
failure of the HPN telephone service, the licensee is to report the failure 
to its local telephone service office (usually by dialing 611) so that repairs 
can be made.  The NRC will pay all costs incurred for repairs, and the local 
service company will bill NRC directly.  If a problem arises with a telephone 
set (which is furnished by the NRC), it is important that the licensee notify 
the NRC Operations Center (via ENS or commercial telephone service) that an 
HPN phone is inoperable; it is also important that the licensee notify the 
NRC Operations Center when the telephone set has been returned to service.

Problems have been experienced during emergency exercises with the establish-
ment of the HPN, and the following procedure is provided as clarification to 
address these problems.  As the NRC and licensee response facilities become 
staffed, either the NRC regional office or NRC headquarters may decide that 
establishment of the HPN is warranted.  An announcement of this fact will be 
made over the ENS.  It is important that the licensee provide a technically 
qualified communicator to staff the HPN as soon as possible after the announce-
ment on the ENS.  To gain access to the HPN, the licensee's HPN communicator 
calls the NRC Operations Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on one of the following 
telephone numbers (in the order listed):  (301) 951-1212, (301) 951-6000, or 
(301) 951-0550.  These telephone numbers are already provided on the sticker 
affixed to each HPN telephone.  (If an HPN telephone does not have the affixed 
sticker, the licensee can contact NRC Telecommunications at (301)492-8000 to 
obtain one.)  The licensee's HPN communicator indicates that he/she is the 
licensee HPN communicator and that he/she would like to be connected to the 
HPN teleconference bridge.  It is important that the communicator have direct 
access to health physics and dose assessment information.

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                                                            February 23, 1989
                                                            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 one of the 
technical contacts listed below or the Regional Administrator of the 
appropriate regional office. 




                                   Charles E. Rossi, Director
                                   Division of Operational Events Assessment
                                   Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

Technical Contacts:  C. L. Gould, AEOD
                     (301) 492-8597

                     W. D. Reckley, AEOD
                     (301) 492-9916

Attachment:  List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices
.
                                                            Attachment 
                                                            IN 89-19
                                                            February 23, 1989
                                                            Page 1 of 1

                             LIST OF RECENTLY ISSUED
                             NRC INFORMATION NOTICES
_____________________________________________________________________________
Information                                  Date of 
Notice No._____Subject_______________________Issuance_______Issued to________

89-18          Criminal Prosecution of       2/22/89        All holders of OLs
               Wrongdoing Committed by                      or CPs for nuclear
               Suppliers of Nuclear                         power reactors.
               Products or Services

89-17          Contamination and Degra-      2/22/89        All holders of OLs
               dation of Safety-Related                     or CPs for nuclear
               Battery Cells                                power reactors.

89-16          Excessive Voltage Drop        2/16/89        All holders of OLs
               in dc Systems                                or CPs for nuclear
                                                            power reactors.

89-15          Second Reactor Coolant Pump   2/16/89        All holders of OLs
               Shaft Failure at Crystal                     or CPs for nuclear
               River                                        power reactors.

89-14          Inadequate Dedication         2/16/89        All holders of OLs
               Process for Commercial                       or CPs for nuclear
               Grade Components Which                       power reactors. 
               Could Lead to Common Mode
               Failure of a Safety System

89-13          Alternative Waste Management  2/8/89         All holders of NRC
               Procedures in Case of Denial                 specific licenses.
               of Access to Low-Level Waste
               Disposal Sites

89-12          Dose Calibrator Quality       2/9/89         All NRC medical
               Control                                      licensees.

89-11          Failure of DC Motor-Operated  2/2/89         All holders of OLs
               Valves to Develop Rated                      or CPs for nuclear
               Torque Because of Improper                   power reactors.
               Cable Sizing

89-10          Undetected Installation       1/27/89        All holders of OLs
               Errors In Main Steam Line                    or CPs for BWRs.
               Pipe Tunnel Differential
               Temperature-Sensing Elements
               at Boiling Water Reactors.
_____________________________________________________________________________
OL = Operating License
CP = Construction Permit 
..
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