Officials from the Palisades nuclear power plant in Michigan operated by Entergy have confirmed that 22 workers have been placed on paid leave after it was found that fire inspection records had been falsified.
One of the duties of security officers at some nuclear power plants is to conduct routine checks to ensure that there are no indications of fires. These fire inspections are part of a commitment made by licensees instead of upgrading or modifying nuclear power plants to remove the threat of fires affecting the performance of critical safety systems.
Val Gent, spokeswoman for the nuclear power plant said, “we cannot tolerate employees stating they completed a task when they didn’t, and we are obligated to fully investigate any such instances.”
Several of the security officers placed on leave have told reporters that they are being treated as scapegoats by plant management, and claim they were never trained to perform the fire inspections.
“Now the company [Entergy] lawyer is asking us questions, saying the NRC will be speaking with us…and that we could be criminally liable,” a suspended security officer told a reporter from WWMT News Channel 3.
The falsification of fire reports was discovered in June when physical documents indicating fire inspections had been performed were found to not match the digital records from security key cards tracking employee movements in the plant. Entergy began an internal investigation after finding the discrepancy.
In 2013 and 2014, employees at the Entergy-owned Waterford nuclear power plant in Louisiana were also found to have falsified nearly a year’s worth of fire watch logs.w
Source: Detroit Free Press