U.S. NRC Blog

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Photo Friday — The NRC Operations Center

fotofridayopcenterVisitors got a rare glimpse of the NRC’s Operation Center last week when tours were offered as part of the annual Regulatory Information Conference. Here, NRC officials show off the Executive Team room, from where an NRC response effort would be managed. Other sections of the center include the Reactor Safety team, the Protective Measures team, the Liaison team and the Public Affairs team, among others. The Op Center is staffed 24/7 by specially trained Headquarters Operations Officers.

7 responses to “Photo Friday — The NRC Operations Center

  1. CaptD March 22, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    I’d like to know how big the restrooms are for this area and how many it can seat, since if we get one or more Fukushima’s there will a BIG demand as everyone tries to access them at once!

    • frank March 24, 2015 at 10:51 am

      The people working in these facilities are not only physically but also mentally fit.

      Moderator: Some verbiage removed to adhere to comment guidelines.

  2. prophetjoshua March 21, 2015 at 6:31 am

    looks like quite an interesting place to work in, i would jump at the opportunity. i suggest they have these tours for high school students also and highlight the career opportunities in government department

  3. Public Pit Bull March 20, 2015 at 11:38 am

    How many exercises are conducted annually to allow NRC responders to practice? I know the NRC requires nuclear power plants to conduct emergency exercises periodically but how often is a full activation of this NRC Operations Center practiced? Also have such full-scale exercises included doomsday scenarios? That is, a worst case nuclear accident involving core melt, containment breach, and total prolonged loss of the ability to cool all spent fuel stored in overloaded spent fuel pools?! One such scenario is a jet-liner crash into the auxiliary building surrounding the reactor containment building. The raging fire that results causes a complete loss of the plant reactor operator’s ability to monitor, let alone control the reactor.

    • Moderator March 23, 2015 at 8:38 am

      The HQ Operations Center participates in full activation exercises approximately four times a year. These exercises involve a variety of safety and security scenarios that require the staff to conduct an independent assessment of any protective actions the participating plant is recommending to protect the public. Both the NRC and FEMA assess and grade the participating plant’s efforts to adequately protect public health and safety. Impartial evaluators also grade the NRC’s notification/coordination with our local, state, and federal partners. Additionally, the NRC may participate in government-wide National Level Exercises on an annual basis, depending on the extent to which nuclear materials are involved.

      Scott Burnell

      • Public Pit Bull March 23, 2015 at 11:55 am

        Glad to hear that the NRC practices what it preaches. As I understand it the NRC has the final say in signing off on any required protective actions. If the NRC disagrees with the licensee’s proposed protective action recommendations, the NRC can overrule the licensee. The same is even true if the NRC feels that the state or even FEMA is not carrying out adequate public protective actions. Is this true? If it is true then a federal agency can overrule a state authority, even the governor, if the NRC so chooses. This is an awesome responsibility. Do your exercises include the resolution of conflicts between FEMA, the NRC, the state, and the licensee? Practicing such conflict resolution I believe would be very critical and important. Unless timely conflict resolution is achieved the public may not be well served.

      • Moderator March 24, 2015 at 8:15 am

        During an incident the NRC would independently assess Protective Action Recommendations provided by the licensee and, if necessary, the NRC would provide additional support and information to state or local decision-makers, who have the authority to implement Protective Action Decisions within their jurisdiction. The NRC regularly exercises coordination with other federal agencies, as well as state and local organizations, to stay prepared for possible accidents. Our website has more information at http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/emerg-preparedness/about-emerg-preparedness/federal-state-local.html and http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/emerg-preparedness/about-emerg-preparedness/protective-action-recommendations.html .

        Scott Burnell

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