[ RadSafe ] Re: Jury: Worker covered up damage at Ohio nuke plant
BLHamrick at aol.com
BLHamrick at aol.com
Wed Aug 27 19:30:01 CDT 2008
I found that to be a very strange story as well. It's ridiculous to think
there was one rogue employee that knew about the corrosion, and held the
information back. If one knew, many did. If one found it, there is no reason at
all not to report it to management, and many, many reasons to report it.
His attorney's are basically saying he DID speak out, and that is the reason
he was set up as a scapegoat. If he was the lone voice in the woods, how is
it he ended up the only one accused of not saying something?
That doesn't add up.
In a message dated 8/27/2008 7:12:53 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
cjb01 at health.state.ny.us writes:
As a follow-up to my previous post:
What motive could this guy have had to cover up the corrosion problem and
to lie about it to the NRC? Many people in the plant must have known about
the corrosion once it was discovered. Wouldn't he and others have informed
management immediately? Yet, "None of the company's senior leaders was
charged in the investigation." That means that management told NRC the
truth all along while their employee was lying about it?
The more I think about it the less sense this makes. I'm sure there is a
reasonable explanation. Anybody know what it is?
Aug 26, 3:06 PM (ET)
By JOHN SEEWER
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Jurors on Tuesday convicted a former nuclear plant
engineer of hiding information from government regulators about the worst
corrosion ever found at a U.S. reactor.
Prosecutors said Andrew Siemaszko and two other workers lied in 2001 so
the Davis-Besse plant along Lake Erie could delay a shutdown for a safety
inspection. Months later, inspectors found an acid leak that nearly ate
through the reactor's 6-inch-thick steel cap.
Siemaszko covered up the damage to the plant's reactor vessel head and
lied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the federal jury said.
It's not clear how close the plant, midway between Toledo and Cleveland,
was to an accident.
Siemaszko faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. He was
convicted on three of five counts, including concealing material
information from the government. The jury cleared him on two counts of
making false statements.
Following the discovery of the leak, the NRC beefed up inspections and
training and began requiring detailed records of its discussions with
Siemaszko's attorneys said the plant's owner set him up as a scapegoat
because he spoke out about safety concerns. They will consider an appeal.
"I'm disappointed," Siemaszko said. When asked what message the verdict
sends, he said: "Do not go against a big company."
Siemaszko was responsible for making sure the reactor vessel head was
cleaned and inspected. He said he was wrongly fired and that he had told
supervisors the reactor needed to be cleaned. He said managers rejected
Defense attorney Billie Pirner Garde said nuclear workers will be less
likely to raise concerns about safety. "This makes the nuclear industry
less safe," she said.
The plant's operator, Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. (FE), said Siemaszko
deserved to be fired and should have caught the damage.
FirstEnergy paid a record $28 million in fines a year ago while avoiding
federal charges. It also spent $600 million making repairs and buying
replacement power while the plant was closed from early 2002 until 2004.
None of the company's senior leaders was charged in the investigation.
Another former worker at the Davis-Besse plant was sentenced to three
years' probation in May for concealing information from the government. A
private contractor was acquitted.
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