Information Notice No. 92-08: Revised Protective Action Guidance for Nuclear Incidents
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
OFFICE OF NUCLEAR MATERIAL SAFETY AND SAFEGUARDS
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555
January 23, 1992
Information Notice No. 92-08: REVISED PROTECTIVE ACTION GUIDANCE FOR
All fuel cycle and materials licensees authorized to possess large
quantities of radioactive material.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this information
notice to notify addressees of recent revisions to the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) Manual of Protective Action Guides and Protective
Actions for Nuclear Incidents (PAG Manual). It is expected that recipients
will review the information for applicability to their operations and
consider actions, as appropriate, to update emergency response procedures.
Suggestions contained in this information notice are not new NRC
requirements, and no written response is required.
Description of Circumstances
On October 15, 1991, EPA revised Chapters 1, 2, and 5, and added a new
Appendix C to its PAG Manual. The EPA's transmittal letter to emergency
response planners is attached. EPA revised this manual to incorporate new
dose units and to expand the scope of the manual to include nonreactor
facilities, although the primary focus of the manual is still nuclear power
The revisions update the PAG Manual in several important ways. The most
important revision is the use of committed effective dose equivalent units,
to express the protective action guides, instead of using whole-body dose
units. This revision allows the use of a total dose that includes: 1)
external exposure from airborne radioactive material; 2) internal exposure
from inhaled airborne radioactive material; and 3) external exposure from
radioactive materials deposited on the ground.
Another important revision clarifies what offsite protective actions are
most suitable. EPA emphasizes that, for most incidents, under normal
conditions, evacuation 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 certain circumstances.
January 23, 1992
Page 2 of 2
An important factor to consider when preparing for an emergency is that most
incidents involving radioactive materials at nonreactor facilities are
likely to occur quickly and with little warning. Therefore, any necessary
offsite protective actions must be taken quickly to be effective. Usually,
there will not be enough time for complicated dose projections or lengthy
consultations, during an incident. Licensees should be prepared to
recommend offsite protective actions to local officials immediately after an
incident occurs. This can only be accomplished by evaluating potential
consequences during the planning process and having preliminary
recommendations for offsite protective actions ready for use before an
Chapter 2 of the PAG Manual also provides guidance for controlling doses to
emergency workers onsite and should be discussed with those offsite
emergency workers (i.e., firemen, etc.) likely to respond to your facility
during an emergency.
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 regional
Richard E. Cunningham, Director
Division of Industrial and
Medical Nuclear Safety
Office of Nuclear Material Safety
Technical contacts: Kevin M. Ramsey, NMSS
W. Scott Pennington, NMSS
1. Letter from EPA Announcing Revision of the PAG Manual
2. List of Recently Issued NMSS Information Notices
3. List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 25, 2021