1986-05-06 – NRC – Chernobyl – Information for Licensee Regarding the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Accident – ML031250016


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·’;<) I • I LIS ORIGINAL UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION • OFFICE OF INSPECTION AND ENFORCEMENT WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555 May 6, 1986 SSINS No.: 6835 --IN 86-33 IE INFORMATION NOTICE NO. 86-33: INFORMATION FOR LICENSEE REGARDING THE CHERNOBYL NUCLEAR PLANT ACCIDENT ~essees: Fuel cycle licensees and Priority 1 material licensees. furpose: • The purpose of this notice ts to provide background information only and requires no action on the part of recipients. The reference background information relates . to the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident and fs contained in the enclosed copy o.f Information Notice No. 86-32 sent to NRC nuclear power plant licensees on May 2, 1986. Discussion: As indicated by thr. enclosed information, radioactive material from the Chernobyl accident ts expected to be detected in the continental United States through EPA environmental surveillance, perhaps as assisted by Department of Energy facilities and NRC-lfcensed nuclear power reactor sites. The level·Of activity ta the United States ts expected to be low and should have little, if"any, impact on licensee monitoring programs. As stated in the enclosed notice~ any anomalous detection of radioactive material should be evaluated in ·accordance with your license to assure that any detected materials are properly identified as to source (i.e., licensed activities or the Chernobyl Event). , :J If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact the Regional Administrator of the appropriate NRC regional office, or this office. Technical Contact: L. Rouse, NMSS 427-4205 Attachments: 1. Information Notice 86-32 "'"'1~ard L. Jod !:f:3 Division of~~.~~ Preparedness and Engineering Response Office of Inspection and Enforcement 2. List of Recently Issued I£ Information Notices ([6oso6os:W g lt0E>OU2
rt>R :t:€ la }Jo\\c.e. ~-~
May 2,. 1986
SSINS No.: b~J~
IN 86-32
Attachment 1
rn 86-33
May 6, 1986
Page 1 of 9
All nuclear power reactor faC:ilfty licensees holding an operating license (OL)
or construction permit (CP).
The pu·rpose of this information notice is to update licensees of the recent
Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident and to request voluntary reporting of
any licensee environmental radioactivity measurement data probably caused by
that event.
In order to enhance the Federal and state monitoring programs, all nuclear power
rea1;tor facilities with on-going environmental monitoring programs are requested
to consider the NRC request to report confirmed anomalous environmental radioactivity
measurements probably caused by radioactive material released in the
accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the U.S.S.R. It is requested
that recipients review the attached information and provide the enviro,nmental
data discussed herein.
Description of Circumstances:
Information issu~d by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning the
recent reactor accident in Chernobyl, USSR is contained in Attachments 1, 2 and 3.
In the week following the accident at Chernobyl, elevated levels of radioactivity
have been detected in air, rainwater, soil and food in many European countries.
The radionuclides that have been detected in air in these countries include:
I-131, Cs-137, Cs-134, Te-U2, Ru-103, Mo-99, Np-239, and Nb-95. Although
estimates of plume arrival time and location of entry into the continental
United States are highly uncertain at this time, the plume may arrive in the
Pacific Northwest United States during Hay 7-10, 1986.
It appears likely that radioactive material from the Chernobyl accident may
arrive within the continental U.S. in concentrations that are readily detectable.
In order to enhance nationwide environmental surveillance, the EPA (and some
states) have increased the airborne monitoring sampling frequencies to be better
able to detect any traces of the plume. In order to supplement and reinforce
this state and federal nationwide surveillance program, the NRC licensees [as
IN St”-32
Hay 2, 1986
Page 2 of 2
part of their routine Environmental Monitoring Program (EMP)] are requested to
voluntarily provide the following information:
1. Report to the NRC any anomalous environmental radiation or radioactivity
measurement that can be reasonably assumed to have resulted from the
Chernobyl accident. These confirmed measurement results from the
licensee’s routine EMP should be telephonically reported to the NRC
Operations Center (301-951·0550) wf thf n 24 hours of d~termining that
material from the accident has been measured. (Environment air sampling
probably is the most sensitive and thus most likely means of detecting
the airborne materials. Some other less-sensitive potential means of
detection may include personnel whole body counting equipment).
The reporting format should provide for:
1. Sample date(s) and approximate locations(s).
2. Medium or pathway (e.g., air particulate, air charcoal, milk).
3. Type of analysis (e.g., gross beta, iodine-131, other gamma emitter).
4. Statistical data (mean, range, number of samples).
Any data provided by NRC licensees wf 11 be shared with appropriate federal
agencies. The NRC as part a combined Interagency Task Force is providing daily
technical information reports to the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations (I~PO).
This updated technical information is available to member utilities through INPO’s
Nuclear Network system. Because the sensitivity and broad scope of existing
licensee programs, augmentation of the NRC licensee EMPs is not necessary.
Any anomalous detection of radioactive material should be evaluated in
accordance with facility license, technical specifications and applicable
regulations to assure that the detected materials are properly identified as
to source (e.g., either plant operations or the Chernobyl Event).
We appreciate your cooperation with us on thts matter. If you have any
questions regarding this matter, please contact the Regional Administrator of
the appropriate NRC regional office, or thts office.
• ~/;.~ Divf si of Emergency Preparedness
and E gineertng Response
Office of Inspection and Enforcement
Technical Contacts: James E. Wigginton, IE
Roger L. Pedersen, IE
(301) 492-9425
1. EPA Task Force Report (May 1, 1986)
2. Talking Points (April 30, 1986)
3. Fact Sheet (May 2, 1986)
4. List of Recently Issued IE Information Notices
– I f
~ ~-~–~nir1-11m 8:6:-‘3:2″ 1’,–~~—-~~ Soviet Nuclear Mayz.
Page 3 of
. ‘
ZOR KELEASE: 2:00 P.M., 1’BURSDAY, MAY l, ·1986
. .
A-Task Force Report
. (202) 382-4355 0n· Tues-‘ay:, thtt tnvtronrnental Protection Ag.,ncy, which
maintains the na~ion’s radiation ~onitoring net~ork,, increased
its Aa”plinQ frequency for airborne ra.,loactivlty to, daily. Results
o~tained thus far show no increase in radioactivity abov~ n~rT-tal
background levels. Th• Canadian air nonltorinQ network has also
increased lts sa~plin; frequency to daily. Results there show no
increase in radioactivity.
The air ~ass containing the radloactlvltf frOI~ t~~ initial
Ch•rnobyl nuclear event ls no~ widalt dispersed throughout
~orth•rn Europe and Polar regions. P~rti~~~ nf radioactivity.off
the north~•st norwe9ian coast yesterday ~ornlng shnulj continue to
disperse with possi~le no~eQent toward the east In the next s~~er&\
days. Other portions of the radioactive air ~ass may nove east~ar~
~hrough the Soviet Union and through th~ Polar regions over the
coning week.
The Soviets ~ave r•ported they t\a~e snoth~re~ the fire. From
our infot’Jllation.tt is not clear whether the fire is out or not. ~~
also cannnt confi CTt n.-•;; r.er>orts of ja.’!laoe at a second react•~L·, ~’Jt
the second hot spot seen in t.he L.,:.ans~T photos ls not a reAc~~c.
The u.~. Government has offered to provide technical
assistance to the Soviet GoverfU’llent to deal with the accident.
O~ Wednesday afternoo”• a senior Soviet official frona their
En~assy in WashinQton delivered a note to the ~part~ent of
State exrsressinQ appreciation for n’1c of fer of assistance and
stating that for the time being, assistanc\! is not n~eded •
. ,t the present tir”e, the! tl.S. no”-tC’n’=’ent has no data ~”
ra~latio” \e~~la oc- conta~lnatlon levels at •~Y location ~ithin
the Soviet Oniof\. Ye slso t\ave no fl rn l nforAat.ion concern t •l’J
the nuMhec- of casualties f co~ the aeci~ent.
(more) –
-2-. .. . . . . .
‘l’he Department of State is not advising ·against travel to the
S.oviet. Union, Scandinavia and eastern !urope. As a ·-result of the
nuclear.accident, the State Department has iaaued a travel advisory
recommending agalnilt travel to Xi•v and adjacent areas. We are
largely dependent on the Soviet• for information on conditions
within tbe USSR and we are doing everything posaible to obtain
relevant information frcn Soviet authorities. Americana plannino
travel to the sovi•t Union and adjacent countries abould carefully
monitor preaa reports on thi• rapidly changing a~tuation to make aa
fully jnfo~ed a decision aa poaalble with respect to their travel
plane. ·They .should bear in mind that many of these countries have
reported ·1nci.·e . aaed level• o-f radiation in ~· environment • . – ‘ .The State Department Off lee of Legia~atlve Affai~s has
commented that customary international law requires the soviet
Union to notify other-States/Countries of the possibility o!
transboundary effecta of the incident and to !urniah them with
the information neceaaa.ry to addreaa those effects.
Tbe Whit• Bouse has established an Interagency Taak Force
to coordinate the Government’s response to the nuclear reactor
accident in Chernobyl. Th• Task Poree is under the direction
o! Lee M. Thomas, Adminlatrator of the Environmental Protection
Agency, with representatives from th• White Bouse, Department of
State, EPA, Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Camn1as1on,
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adm1n1atratlon, o.s. Air Force,
Department of Agriculture, food and Drug Administration, Pederal
Emeroency Management Agency, Department of Interior, Federal . .
Aviation Adm1n1atratloA, the u.s. Public Health Service, and
other agenci••· ·
• I• •

— —
.. -,. ‘ . ~
April 30, 1986: .
. ·- — -· ………. “” …
I~ 86-32
May Z, 1986
o Late Friday, April 25, or early:saturday, April 26, a
serious accident occurred at the Chernobyl· nuclear facility
near ~lev in the Soviet Union. As a result of :an apparent
loss of reactor coolant, the facility experienced a core·
meltdown, explosion, and fire. Causes of the ~ccident ·are .
not known.
o The explosion and resulting fire released a plu=e of
radioactive materials to the atmosphere. So long as the
reactor ~re.fire continues, radioactive gases will be given
off. · . · . · · ·
• – o The facility involved is a graphite-moderated,,
boiling-water-cooled, pressure-tube unlt. It is one df four
such units at Chernobyl. To our knowledge, only this one
unit, known as Onit t4, is involved in the accident.
o The initial plume traveled in a northwest direction
toward Scandanavia. Predictions now suggest it will move in
an eastward direction. Radiation levels above normal background
have been detected in Scandanavian countries. However, these
levels pose no significant risk to human health or the
o The U.S. government has made an offer of technical
assistance to the Soviets. This good faith offer vas made
out of genuine concern for the health and safety of the Soviet
people. The Soviet government responded April 30 that no ·
foreign assistance is needed. •
o We have also requested specific information on the
accident. To date, ve have not received a full response to
that request. This is also a matter of great concern to the
UnitP.d States.
o The radiation plume emitted as a result of the Chernobyl
accident will disperse over time throughout the Northern
Hemisphere. Eventually, some radioactive contamination will
reach the Onlted States. However, based on the limited
information we now have. there is no reason to believe that
levels reaching this country will pose any significant risk
to human health or the environment. Please see the accompanying
fact sheet on radiation health effects for basic information
on exposure.
Page 5 of
o It is very· unlikely t._hat any a~gnificant· :amoun~s of
radiation from the accident will reac~ the u.s~ during the
next few days. The Environmental Protection Agency’s •.
Environmental Radiation Ambient Monitoring:syst~ — ERAM$ -~
is conducting daily sampling throughout the nat~on. In
addition to ambient air, the system also monitors radiatlo~
levels in drinking .water., surface water, and milk.
o The White House has established an interagenc:y task
force to monitor the health, safety and environmental consequences
of the Chernobyl accident. T~e task force is chaired-by Lee
Thomas, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection·
Agency. Members represent the following federal agencies:
EPA, DOE, N~C~ NOAA, HHS, USDA, DOD, DOT and others. On a
daily basia, the task force compiles, evaluates, and widely
distributes ·current technical information on the Chernobyl
accident and its environmental and health consequencers.


” .
Fact Sheet-Chernobyl
Attachment 3
IN 86-S
May 2, 1986
FOR RELEASE: 2:00 P.M., FRIDAY, MAY 2, 1986
CONTACT: DAVE COHEN (202) 382-4355
Radiation monitoring networks ~n the United States and
Canada are continuing to analyze for airborne radioactivity •
daily. No increases fn radioactivity above normal background
levels have been detected in either country. Canadian officials
intend to increase the sampling frequency of their milk
monitoring network, which consists of 16 stations near
population centers in southern Canada, to weekly beginning
next week.
It is believed that air containing radioactivity now covers
much of Europe and a large part of the Soviet Union. The distribution
of radioactivity is likely to be patchy. Afr containing
radioactivity detected by aircraft at 5000 feet about 400 miles
west of no,rthern Norway is believed to have moved westward and now
appears to be heading south or southeastward perhaps to return to
western Europe. There is no independent confirmation O·f the radioactivity
in the air moving eastward across Asia.
(A weather map should be attached to today’s Task Force Report.
If you do not have a copy, ft can be picked up in the EPA press
office, room 311, West Tower, 401 M St., S.W. (202) 382-4355.)
Environmental monitoring data have been provided by the Swedish
government for the Stockholm area for April 28-30. Extrapolations
of those data suggest that radiation exposure levels at the Chernobyl
site would have been in a range from 20 rem to hundreds of rem
whole-body for the two-day period over which IDOSt of the radiation
release probably took place. Radiation doses for the thyroid gland
have been estimated to be in a range from 200 rem to thousands of rem
for the same period. These doses are sufficient to produce severe
physical trauma including death. It should be emphasized that these
are estimates subject to considerable uncertainty. The U.S. has
as yet no information from the Soviet Union as to actual radiation
levels experienced at the accident site.
Page 7 of
The Soviets have reported they have smothered the fire. We
still cannot confirm that the reactor fire in unit 4 has been
extinguished. There fs evidence that the reactor or associated
equipment continues to smolder. We also cannot confirm news
reports of damage at a second reactor, but the second hot spot
seen in the LANDSAT photos is not a reactor.
Based on the fact that no harmful levels of radioactivity are
expected to reach the continental United States, ft is highly
unlikely that potassium iodide (KI) will be needed to minimize
the uptake of radioactive iodine from the Russian nuclear power
plant accident. KI, although relatively harmless, has been
associated with certain allergic reactions; thus, since the use
of KI is not without some risk to the population, the U.S. Public
Health Service recommends against taking KI as a precautionary
measure. Federal authorities do not believe there is any reason
for concern at this time about the safety of either our domestic
food or drug supplies. Nor should there be concern over imported
products already in the United States or on their way to the
United States at the time of the nuclear accident in the Soviet
The State Department is continuing efforts to obtain relevant
information from Soviet authorities on the nuclear accident and
the potential health dangers that might be posed to individuals
in the Soviet Uni on and adjacent countries. State has noted, f.or
example, recent statements issued by Polish authorities concerning
public health precautionary measures.
The State Department is seeking more information from all the
governments in the region. The U.S. is sending experts to
potentially affected areas for medical consultation and to provide
relevant expertise on which to make appropriate reconnendations
with regard to the health of American citizens.
With the limited data at hand, the Departments of State and
‘- . Health and Human Services have issued an advisory against travel
to Kiev and adjacent areas. To minimize possible exposure to
radioactive contamination, we also suggest that those in Eastem
Europe avoid milk and other dairy products. In addition, State
is recommending that women of child-bearing age and children
i!:k should not travel to Poland until the situation ts clarf fied.
The State Department is receiving reports from our European
embassies, based on their discussions with local officials, as to
the impact of the accident and local reactions to it. We are
still not receiving the necessary technical information from the
Soviets on the details of the accident.
.Page”. cs. of–:~ ·.
,_ ….
The White House has .established an Interagency .Task Force
to coordinate the Government’s response to the nuclear reactor
accident in Chernobyl. The Task Force is under the direction
of Lee M. Thomas, Administrator of the Environmental Protection
Agency, with representatives from the White House, Department of
State, EPA, Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Conaission,
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Atr Force;
Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration,· Federal
Emergency Management Agency, Department of Interior. Federal
Aviation Administration. the U.S. Public Health Service, and
other agencies.
‘ ‘ ‘ •
Page 9 of 9
… ,.. .

.. . .
Notice No. Subject
86-32 Request For Collection Of
Licensee Radioactivity
Measurements Attributed To
The Chernobyl Nuclear Plant
86-31 Unauthorized Transfer and
Loss of Control of
Industrial Nuclear Gauges
86-30 Design Limitations of
Gaseous Effluent Monitoring
86-29 Effects of Changing Valve
Motor-Operator Switch
86-27 Access Control at Nuclear
86-26 Potential Problems In
Generators Manufactured By
Electrical Products
86-25 Traceability And Material
Control Of Material And
Equipment, Particularly
OL = Operating License
CP = Construction Permit
Date of
Attachment 2
IN 86-33
Hay 6, 1986
Issued to
All power reactor
facilities holding
an OL or CP ..
All power reactor
facilities holding
an OL or a CP
All power reactor
facilities holding
an OL or a CP
All power reactor
facilities holding
an Ol or a CP ·
All power reactor
facilities holding
an OL·or CP, research
and nonpower reactor
facilities, and fuel
fabrication & processing
All power reactor
facilities holding
an Ol or CP
All power reactor
facilities holding
an OL or CP