NRC Shutters Offices, Furloughs Thousands

Oct 9, 2013

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission has all but ceased operations as their funds dried up today, forcing the government safety regulator to furlough more than 90 percent of its employees.

In a statement, spokesman Neil Sheehan said the NRC website, including information portals that allow the public to see the status of all nuclear power plants, will be “static after tonight.”

Among the 300 remaining at work are the resident inspectors assigned to each nuclear power plant across the U.S.

The commission’s public affairs office will remain all but closed, responding to plant-specific queries only if there is a “safety situation” at a given plant. That means any issues not deemed relevant to safety will be unknown to the public at large.

The furloughs contribute to growing concerns about public health and safety amid the shutdown. A salmonella outbreak this week across 18 states isn’t being closely tracked by federal agencies, which are unable to assign staff to the issue.