Information Notice No. 89-19: Health Physics Network
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555
February 23, 1989
Information Notice No. 89-19: HEALTH PHYSICS NETWORK
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.
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.
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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February 23, 1989
Page 2 of 3
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.
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
W. D. Reckley, AEOD
Attachment: List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices
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
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
89-12 Dose Calibrator Quality 2/9/89 All NRC medical
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.
89-10 Undetected Installation 1/27/89 All holders of OLs
Errors In Main Steam Line or CPs for BWRs.
Pipe Tunnel Differential
at Boiling Water Reactors.
OL = Operating License
CP = Construction Permit
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