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NRC Probe Justifies Oyster Creek Worker’s Firing

Federal nuclear investigators affirm Exelon’s termination of a worker who hid a 2004 impaired-driving arrest while training to be a senior reactor operator.

A report released by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission follows last September’s completion of a probe stemming from notification by the company to the NRC.

The agency offered no identification of the worker, the police department that issued the charge, the post or posts held prior to applying for advancement, length of employment, nor whether any other employees’ histories are being scrutinized.

According to the release, the arrest occurred May 30, 2004, during non-work hours while the employee was off-duty.  Workers are required to report such incidents upon returning to their jobs.

Under questioning by investigators, the worker admitted waiting a week to tell a supervisor, and failing to inquire after getting no directions regarding the arrest. They also determined that the worker omitted the information from a psychological exam taken in January 2010 in preparation to train as a senior reactor operator. The incident surfaced in a medical history form dated April 12, 2012.

Members of the NRC Office of Investigation determined that upon notification that Exelon fired the employee and updated records to reflect an unfavorable termination, no further agency action was necessary.

According to NRC’s Neil Sheehan, the burden is on employees to report instances that potentially affect their status. There is no redundancy system in place that would direct police departments to report pertinent incidents to company managers or federal officials.

Oyster Creek spokesperson Suzanne D’Ambrosio refused to disclose any other details, citing company policy.

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