Information Notice No. 91-72: Issuance of a Revision to the EPA Manual of Protective Action Guides and Protective Actions for Nuclear Incidents
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555
November 19, 1991
NRC INFORMATION NOTICE 91-72: ISSUANCE OF A REVISION TO THE EPA MANUAL OF
PROTECTIVE ACTION GUIDES AND PROTECTIVE
ACTIONS FOR NUCLEAR INCIDENTS
All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this information
notice to notify addressees of the recent issuance of the revised Chapters
1, 2, and 5 and a new Appendix C to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) Manual of Protective Action Guides and Protective Actions for Nuclear
Incidents. Suggestions contained in this information notice are not NRC
requirements; therefore, no specific action or written response is required.
Description of Circumstances
On October 15, 1991, EPA issued revised Chapters 1, 2, and 5 and a new
Appendix C of its Manual of Protective Action Guides and Protective Actions
for Nuclear Incidents (cover letter attached). EPA revised this manual to
incorporate in it the current health physics practice for dose units and to
expand the applicability of the guidance to include nuclear incidents for
both commercial and Federal facilities.
The revisions update the 1980 EPA Guidance in several important ways. The
most important feature of this revision is that it uses the committed
effective dose equivalent to express the protective action guides (PAGs) for
the plume instead of using a whole body dose. This revised approach
accounts for the contribution from the following:
1. External exposure to the plume
2. The committed effective dose equivalent from inhaling particulates in
3. Four-day exposure to external gamma radiation from deposited materials
November 19, 1991
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Using the committed effective dose equivalent allows the revised guidance to
apply to incidents involving the release of radioactive material at
facilities other than commercial nuclear power plants.
One other important feature of this revision is the clarification made on
the protective actions most suitable for the plume PAG range. EPA
emphasized that for most incidents, under normal conditions, evacuation of
members of the public should be initiated at a projected dose of 1 rem.
Sheltering the public may be used as an alternative to evacuation under
The NRC will publish guidance for applying and implementing the revised
guidance in conjunction with EPA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA). The implementation schedule for this revised guidance is expected
to be in phase with the implementation of the recently revised Part 20 of
Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations. To avoid confusion in taking
protective actions, the licensee may wish to coordinate its activities with
State and local agencies regarding any future revisions to the various
emergency plans supporting a reactor facility.
Requests for copies of the PAG Manual can be directed to Allan C.B.
Richardson (ANR-460), Office of Radiation Programs, Environmental Protection
Agency, Washington, D.C. 20460.
This information notice requires no specific action or written response. If
you have any questions about the information in this notice, please contact
one of the technical contacts listed below or the appropriate Office of
Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) project manager.
Charles E. Rossi, Director
Division of Operational Events Assessment
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
Technical contacts: N. Prasad Kadambi, NRR
A. Mohseni, NRR
1. Letter from EPA Announcing Revision of the PAG Manual
2. List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, May 22, 2015