Dismissal Raises Questions of Nuclear Plant Security

Matt Simon, a former guard and weapons trainer at the Byron nuclear generation station 80 miles west of Chicago, says he was fired because he spoke out about the facility’s consistent policy of using poorly trained, unqualified security guards. More than a workplace dispute, his dismissal has raised concerns about security in nuclear power plants in general.

In an article on the Chicago Tribune website, Ron Grossman says Simon’s attorney, Lynne Bernabei, “argues that the issues in the case go beyond her client’s grievances to how well the government regulates the plants.” Byron is operated by Exelon Corp., which runs 10 nuclear plants. Exelon claimed it investigated Simon’s allegations, found them unfounded and dismissed them. But in other such whistle-blower cases, the Project on Government Oversight said it has interviewed hundreds of guards at nuclear power plants, many of which were inadequately trained or equipped, echoing Simon’s complaints.

Mitchell Singer, an officer of the Nuclear energy Institute, said the charge was ludicrous. “If our plants are shut down because of security problems,” he said, “they don’t generate electricity and make money.”

To read the Chicago Tribune article click here:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-met-byron-whistleblower-20100404,0,2859570.story