Nuclear power plant workers fired for faking documents

Four employees at Entergy’s (NYSE: ETR) 852 MWe Fitzpatrick nuclear power plant in New York were fired and 34 others disciplined after investigations found some of the workers falsified safety equipment tests at the plant.

News reports said one worker admitted that in 32 documented cases between 2006 and 2009, he did not adequately perform tests to make sure workers’ emergency respirators were properly fitted and sealed, and then falsified documents saying they were. The worker, Michael McCarrick, pleaded guilty to one felony count of violating the Atomic Energy Act. He will be sentenced January 10.

An Entergy spokeswoman was quoted as saying most of the 34 workers who were disciplined should have known their tests were either not done properly or were incomplete.

The spokeswoman was also quoted as saying the plant conducted an internal investigation in June 2009 after learning the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) received a phone call about the potential violation. The plant is required to perform the tests every year.

The NRC notified Entergy it could face civil actions pending the result of either an enforcement conference or a mediation session.

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