The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing its oversight procedures after a guard at a Pennsylvania nuclear power plant blew the whistle on co-workers asleep while they were supposed to be protecting the facility.
An NRC investigation into the allegation concluded the report had no validity. The commission mainly relied on the plant owner's denials about the complaint in reaching its conclusions.
The whistle blower then videotaped other guards sleeping on the job to document his complaint. An airing of the tape by a New York City television station shook finally shook things up. The plant owner fired the security company. And the NRC says it's now taking a second look at the way it investigates such reports.
It should go without saying that any such allegation from someone in a position to know should not be so easily dismissed.
So here's another little bit of information for the NRC. I know of another nuclear plant, also in Pennsylvania, whose guard shack is left unattended and the gate open.
Perhaps there's another layer of security closer to the core that, under federal regulations, suffices. But, if it's not necessary, why have the outer perimeter security in the first place?
I won't reveal which plant it is because I don't want to draw the attention of this potential vulnerability to terrorists. But I'm more than happy to give the information to the NRC. If the commission will actually listen to what I have to say.