United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment
Home > About NRC > NRC COVID-19 Update

NRC COVID-19 Update

Region II Emergency Response Coordinator Gena Poe is #OnTheJob from home monitoring recent storm activity and providing regular updates.

Region II Emergency Response Coordinator Gena Poe is #OnTheJob from home monitoring recent storm activity and providing regular updates.

This page includes links to files in non-HTML format. See Plugins, Viewers, and Other Tools for more information.

The NRC is ensuring the health and safety of employees while maintaining its important safety and security mission during the COVID-19 health emergency.

Significant NRC actions include:

  • Providing guidelines to NRC licensees with agency-approved emergency plans on how to request temporary exemptions to some emergency exercise requirements.

  • Developing COVID-19 specific pages related to nuclear power plant licensees and nuclear materials licensees to keep the public informed on how we're adapting our regulatory approach during the public health emergency.

  • Communicating regularly with nuclear facilities to discuss current activities and future plans including staffing, reactor control room operator licensing, reductions in non-essential maintenance, and other matters.

  • Providing the nuclear power industry specific guidelines for requesting temporary exemptions to work-hour limits to allow flexibility in maintaining an appropriate workforce to meet the NRC's minimum reactor operator and security staffing requirements.

  • Deferring invoicing licensees for annual fees (Part 171) and user fees (Part 170) normally due in the 3rd quarter of FY 2020. Those invoices, which would have been issued in April, May and June, will be issued in July.

  • Providing information on how research and test reactors, as well as other non-power production facilities, remain safe during the health emergency. We've also informed those facilities how to request extensions to requirements to account for special nuclear materials.

  • Requiring resident inspectors at nuclear plants, the Vogtle Units 3 & 4 construction site, and Category 1 fuel fabrication facilities to work remotely. The inspectors make regular visits to the sites and remotely monitor NRC-regulated plant data systems, meetings and other information, and remain in a ready status to respond immediately, if necessary.

  • Informing NRC non-reactor licensees (such as medical and industrial users and fuel cycle facilities) about the existing ways to request temporary relief from some agency requirements while maintaining safety. These licensees have also been informed about using email to submit these requests, and impacts on the agency's ability to process some important information.

  • Preparing to resume force-on-force security inspections in July, to meet the Atomic Energy Act 3-year mandate. Contingency plans permit the agency to meet the mandate with later start dates.

  • Issuing general enforcement guidance on how the agency will examine COVID-19-related potential violations of NRC regulations. The NRC also issued specific enforcement guidance on COVID-19-related potential security training and qualification violations.

  • Ensuring the NRC’s Office of Small Business and Civil Rights mitigates the pandemic's impact on small businesses and continues to safeguard the agency's equal employment opportunity and civil rights non-discrimination laws.

  • Postponing public meetings or reorganizing them to take advantage of communication technology, such as teleconference, videoconference, webinars and other means.

  • Extending public comment deadlines, depending on the circumstances of each activity, specific impacts of the COVID-19 health emergency, and the activity's significance to the NRC's mission.

  • Creating a new NRC eLearning initiative to help parents with children out of school and for adults who would like to know more about science, nuclear technology and the NRC.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, May 28, 2020