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NRC COVID-19 Update

NRC COVID-19 infographic

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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:

  • Initiating Phase 2 of a re-occupancy plan for NRC headquarters in Rockville, Md., Region I in King of Prussia, Penn., and Region III near Chicago, which outlines steps for the return of additional staff to regular work stations. Phase 1 continues in place for Region II in Atlanta, Region IV near Dallas, and the Technical Training Center in Chattanooga, Tenn.

  • 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, fire brigade staff requirements, and other matters.

  • Providing the nuclear power industry 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.

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

  • Issuing deferred invoices in July for all affected licensees, annual fees (Part 171) and user fees (Part 170), originally due in the 3rd quarter of FY 2020.

  • 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.

  • Phasing our resident inspectors at nuclear plants, the Vogtle Units 3 & 4 construction site, and Category 1 fuel fabrication facilities back to increased in-person activities. On a site-specific basis, the inspectors and related staff will increase visits to the sites while continuing remote monitoring of 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.

  • Deferring force-on-force security inspections during the public health emergency as the staff has developed an inspection procedure for limited-scope tactical response drills and other prudent inspection activities to ensure licensees can fulfill the requirements of their security programs.

  • 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 Wednesday, August 05, 2020