United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment
Home > NRC Library > Document Collections > FAQ Index > NRC COVID-19 Update

NRC COVID-19 Update

Justin Fuller, senior resident inspector at the Millstone nuclear plant in Connecticut, practices social distancing and hygiene protocols while on site to conduct an inspection of an emergency diesel generator.

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 emergency, our full-time inspectors assigned to U.S. nuclear power plants remain #ONTHEJOB. Millstone nuclear plant Senior Resident Inspector Justin Fuller conducts an inspection of an emergency diesel generator while following social distancing protocols.

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

The NRC is taking a variety of measures to ensure the health and safety of employees while maintaining its important safety and security mission despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus.

NRC actions include:

  • Following the Office of Management and Budget guidance and ensuring maximum telework for employees in response to the coronavirus.

  • Ensuring the health and safety of our resident inspector workforce at nuclear plants and Category 1 fuel fabrication facilities by requiring remote work in support of the national priority of limiting the spread of COVID-19. Our resident inspectors remain in a ready status, prepared to respond immediately should there be developing safety issues. The resident inspectors make regular visits to operating nuclear power reactor sites and remotely monitor plant data systems, meetings and other information. Back-up inspectors are available from regional offices or headquarters should they be necessary to maintain oversight.

  • Communicating regularly with nuclear plants to discuss current activities and future plans including plant staffing, medical screening, reductions in non-essential maintenance work, and other matters. NRC regulations set minimum reactor operator and security staffing requirements. Nuclear power plants also have plans to maintain appropriate staffing under adverse conditions. If necessary, the NRC is prepared to consider temporary relaxation of select staffing levels and work hour limits if power plant operators can satisfy the agency that they will maintain safe operations. The NRC will require plants to shut down if they cannot appropriately staff their facilities.

  • Re-evaluating scheduled routine inspections of materials licensees as conditions warrant to ensure the safety of both NRC and licensee personnel. This includes decommissioning reactor sites and stand-alone spent fuel storage facilities.

  • Ensuring the NRC construction resident inspectors assigned to Vogtle Units 3 & 4 continue to monitor NRC-regulated activities and are able to perform their duties remotely through reviews of procedures, test results and other documents, ongoing communications with licensee construction managers and staff, online meetings and other forms of electronic communication.

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

  • Deferring most travel and inspections conducted by region-based inspectors, although preparations for some region-based inspections continues remotely as inspectors review documents and have remote discussions with plant personnel.

  • Ensuring other agency functions, including reviews of license applications and renewals, license amendment requests, enforcement and others, continue under telework conditions.

  • Postponing public meetings or reorganizing them to take advantage of communication technology, such as teleconference, videoconference, webinars and other means. The Public Meetings webpage will be updated to reflect these changes.

  • Establishing internal communication mechanisms that keep employees informed of agency actions and more general coronavirus guidelines from the CDC.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, April 03, 2020