In response to COVID-19 crisis, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission relaxed work hour rules for nuclear stations that request a temporary exemption. The alternative work hour rules that apply to this temporary exemption are: a worker cannot work greater than sixteen hours in a twenty-four hour period; no more than eighty-six hours in a seven day period. A minimum break of ten hours is still required between successive work periods; twelve-hour shifts are limited to fourteen consecutive days, and a minimum of six days off must be provided in any thirty day period.
This temporary exemption, once granted, is good for sixty days. Quad Cities and Braidwood Stations are the only sites employing Local 15 members that have requested the exemption. Quad Cities’ exemption, approved from April 8th to June 9th, is being used in the Operations and Instrument Maintenance Departments. Quad Cities successfully wrapped up their outage on April 15th.
Next up is Braidwood’s outage which is scheduled from April 20th to May 8th. The NRC is guiding nuclear plants in what work activities and time intensive jobs they can put off, such as exemptions to refueling outage inspections. Braidwood intends to follow this guidance in several jobs, such as deferring their steam generator inspections. In an effort to reduce the number of outside contractors working onsite during the refueling outage, Braidwood removed approximately one thousand activities and 15,000 hours of work, reducing the number outside contractors by nearly four hundred.
Exelon’s nuclear generating stations have been performing body-temperature screening since April 10th. As of April 15th, there have been five cases within Nuclear Stations we represent; three at Quad Cities Station, one at Byron Station and one at Dresden Station.