As Hurricane Irma barrelled toward Florida, federal regulators on Friday said they had deployed additional inspectors to two nuclear power plants potentially in Irma's path. The Category 5 storm was expected to make landfall on Sunday.
The Turkey Point nuclear plant, south of Miami, and the St. Lucie nuclear plant on Florida’s east coast, were expected to weather the storm with no impact on the public, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a press release.
“The NRC has additional inspectors in Florida now, and is also prepared to dispatch region-based inspectors or inspectors from unaffected plants to other sites in the region, should it become necessary,” the agency said. NRC will monitor the situation throughout the storm from its incident response center in Atlanta.
Also on Friday, the Office of Personnel Management authorized agencies to conduct emergency hiring in support of recovery efforts related to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey in Texas last week, and in anticipation of Hurricane Irma hitting Florida this weekend.
“The devastation of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma will have an adverse impact on many agencies and their ability to operate,” said Kathleen M. McGettigan, OPM acting director.
Last week, OPM issued information on other human resources flexibilities agencies can use during emergencies, including 30-day critical need and direct hire authorities. Federal employees affected by Harvey may apply for emergency leave, under a program that allows other feds to donate unused time off to those in need. OPM will establish a similar leave bank for those affected by Irma if needed, the agency said.