Rulemaking Activities for Emergency Preparedness and Response


Past events, including Three Mile Island, the terrorist attacks on September 11th, and those in Fukushima, Japan, have resulted in lessons learned for emergency preparedness (EP) at nuclear power plants.  In response to events that identify areas where nuclear power plant EP can be enhanced, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) engages in rulemaking.  Through rulemaking, the NRC develops regulations to strengthen onsite EP, improve offsite response, and provide for better coordination among State, local, Tribal, and Federal officials in the event of an emergency.

Completed Rulemaking Activity

The NRC has amended certain EP requirements in its regulations that govern domestic licensing of production and utilization facilities. The 2011 EP final rule (76 Federal Register 72560) added a conforming provision in the regulations that govern licenses, certifications, and approvals for new nuclear power plants. The final rule codified certain voluntary protective measures contained in NRC Bulletin 2005-02, "Emergency Preparedness and Response Actions for Security-Based Events," and generically applicable requirements similar to those previously imposed by Commission orders. In addition, the final rule amended other licensee emergency plan requirements based on a comprehensive review of the NRC's EP regulations and guidance. The requirements enhance the ability of licensees in preparing to take and taking certain EP and protective measures in the event of a radiological emergency; address, in part, security issues identified after the terrorist events of September 11, 2001; clarify regulations to effect consistent emergency plan implementation among licensees; and modify certain EP requirements to be more effective and efficient.

  • To view the documents associated with the EP Rulemaking, including background information and related guidance documents, go to and search for Docket ID NRC-2008-0122.
  • FEMA guidance documents and related information can be found under Docket ID FEMA-2008-0022 and Docket ID FEMA-2010-0032.

Current Rulemaking Activities

There are two rulemaking activities currently related to EP. These rulemaking activities are "Regulatory Improvements for Power Reactors Transitioning to Decommissioning" and "Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Small Modular Reactors and Other New Technologies

Information about these two EP-related rulemaking activities can be found under "Rules".

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, July 07, 2020