NRC Hit Hard By Government Shutdown

NRC Hit Hard By Government Shutdown
by Eric Epstein, Chairman
Three Mile Island Alert

The government shutdown hit the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Thursday October
10, 2013. The NRC furloughed 3,600 employees. Approximately 300 “essential” workers
have remained on the job as well as 150 resident inspectors.

The mission of the NRC is to focus on the oversight of nuclear power plants. The
Commission also monitors the transport of radioactive materials and the disposal of nuclear
waste.

What does this mean?

The NRC is now operating at "skeleton staffing" levels due to insufficient funding. The
Commission has halted inspections relating to radiation and reactor safety and emergency
preparedness.

How does this impact Three Mile Island?

Resident inspectors will remain in place. However, the furloughs put a dent in staffing
levels at plants that are under heightened oversight like TMI Unit-1 and Susquehanna Unit-1.

So what happens if there is an emergency at a plant?

According to Neil Sheehan of the NRC, “employees could be called out of their furlough
status. After this situation was resolved, the workers would go into the furlough status until
the shutdown ends.”

When will this end?

Until Congress authorizes the funding, the nuclear industry will essentially be monitoring
itself.