The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday that it had approved the first step of "Project Aim," a plan to downsize the agency to “meet the demands of an evolving work load, while maintaining its ability to project public health and safety.”
In so many words, the stalled demand for nuclear power plants and the expected increase in plants moving towards decommissioning allows for a smaller regulatory agency to oversee the country’s nuclear power plants.
“In a Staff Requirements Memorandum issued today, the Commission accepted many of the recommendations presented by the staff’s Project Aim 2020 report,” the NRC said in a statement. “The Project Aim report recommended 17 strategies related to planning, processes and the workforce to ‘re-baseline’ the agency and prepare it for the future,” the NRC sad.
The agency avoided words like “smaller” and “down sizing” but instead declared it needed to be the “right size, while retaining appropriate skills sets to accomplish its mission and streamline processes to use resources more wisely and improve timeliness of regulatory decision making.”
NRC Chairman Stephen Burns said the agency “is now moving forward with a set of sound, common-sense steps.”
“The time has come for the agency to take stock of itself,” Burns sad.
The NRC said that the commission had approved a staffing target of 3,600 full time equivalent employees, down from the 2015 fiscal year budget that calls for 3,778 employees, which includes the office of the Inspector General.
The office also said it would defer setting a 2020 staffing target “until after the re-baselining review is completed.”
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