Nuclear Agency Chairman: We’re Closed

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has run out of funds to continue operations and will be forced to close down Thursday until it receives a new appropriations measure.

Ninety percent of the NRC’s budget comes from collected fees that must be deposited in the U.S. Treasury and Congress must pass a new funding measure for the NRC to open again, Chairman Alison Macfarlane wrote in a blog post published Wednesday.

“We will not conduct non-emergency reactor licensing, reactor license renewal amendments, emergency preparedness exercises, reviews of design certifications or rulemaking and regulatory guidance,” she wrote.
“All of our resident inspectors will remain on the job and any immediate safety or security matters will be handled with dispatch.”

Non-emergency reactor licensing, reactor license renewal amendments, emergency preparedness exercises, reviews of design certifications or rulemaking and regulatory guidance functions will be paused until the agency can open again.

Routine licensing, inspection of nuclear materials and waste licensees, Agreement State support and rulemakings such as Waste Confidence will also be temporarily halted during the shutdown.

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Profile Photo Dale M. Posthumus

Can anybody translate this into impact? If these activities are suspended, say, for the next two weeks, in addition to the people being furloughed, what does this mean to the nuclear energy industry (and the rest of us) in terms of economics and safety?