NRC COVID-19 Update

NRC Region I inspectors, left to right, Chris Highley, Nate Mentzer and Larry Grimes are #OntheJob participating in a training course at an emergency diesel generator factory in Wisconsin to help ensure they can continue to assess the condition and operability of EDGs.

NRC Region I inspectors, left to right, Chris Highley, Nate Mentzer and Larry Grimes are #OntheJob participating in a training course at an emergency diesel generator factory in Wisconsin to help ensure they can continue to assess the condition and operability of EDGs.

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

The NRC continues to maintain its important safety and security mission despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Significant NRC actions include:

  • Maintaining employee safety and effectiveness as the agency employs a hybrid work model with continued adherence to government-wide vaccine mandates, and Safer Federal Workforce Taskforce and CDC guidance related to masking, visitors, social distancing, self-health assessments and other safety measures.

  • Maintaining web pages outlining temporary flexibilities, if needed, for nuclear power plant licensees and nuclear materials licensees, consistent with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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

  • Planning for a hybrid Regulatory Information Conference in 2023; virtual RICs were held in 2021 and 2022.

  • Providing information to NRC licensees to facilitate the expedited review of requests for temporary exemptions to some emergency exercise requirements.

  • Providing information on how non-power reactors remain safe during the pandemic and how those facilities can request extensions to requirements to account for special nuclear materials.

  • Conducting full onsite activities at nuclear plants, the Vogtle Unit 4 construction site, and Category 1 fuel fabrication facilities. On a site-specific basis, the inspectors and related staff may perform some remote monitoring.

  • Conducting a lessons-learned/best practices review on how the agency dealt with COVID-19-related licensing and oversight issues.

  • Adjusting inspection plans and schedules, if necessary, to safeguard the health and safety of NRC and licensee staff while effectively implementing the Reactor Oversight Program.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Reorganizing public meetings to use communication technology, such as teleconference, videoconference, webinars and other means.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, November 23, 2022