New NRC protocol after positive I-131 and other isotope samples linked to Fukushima

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From: West, Steven
Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 8:54 AM
Cc: Reynolds, Steven; OBrien, Kenneth; Boland, Anne; Louden, Patrick
Subject: Inspector Guidance For Dealing with Licensee Information Regarding Positive Samples for 1-131


By now you’ve probably seen reports of positive sample results for radioactive iodine-1 31 and other isotopes, which are being reported in the United States by NRC licensees and linked to the damaged reactors in Japan.




Given the numerous inquiries the agency has and expects to receive on these results, the agency has developed a protocol for handling such information. You should follow the new agency protocol, which may differ from what you’ve been asked to do in the past, as outlined below.

For now, the Environmental Protection Agency is the lead federal agency for handling communications on this issue. NRC coordination with EPA is being handled by Headquarters.

The agency has also arranged for the Nuclear Energy Institute to collect all such data from the licensees, which they will then provide to the NRC.



Please follow the steps below if you receive any such information or requests from your licensee:

1) If the licensee voluntarily provides REMP (or other) sample results to you (particularly those indicating 1-131 or other elevated isotopes believed to be tied to the Japanese events), ask the licensee if it has provided the information to NEI, per the arrangement reached between the NRC and NEI. If not, ask the licensee to do so.

2) You should also ask the licensee to provide any future sample results directly to NEI. They need only inform you for awareness and to keep you updated, as appropriate, on any information that may implicate the licensee’s own REMP for the site.

3) Obviously, the licensee should continue to communicate to you any radiological information that may pose a threat to health and safety of NRC inspectors or plant workers.

4) Reporting requirements or arrangements for normal REMP activities should not be affected or altered by this direction.

5) Please communicate any interactions between you and the licensee with your branch chief, as appropriate.



If you have any questions about this guidance, please contact your branch chief. Finally, it’s always a good idea to keep Billy’s group informed of any unexpected or unusual results. Continue to use your best judgment in this regard.



Steven West, Director
Division of Reactor Projects
NRC, Region III
[email protected]


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