POGO Letter to NRC Chairman Klein regarding his Senate testimony potentially defaming a nuclear security whistleblower
Chairman Dale E. Klein
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
11555 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852
Via facsimile: (301) 415-1757
Dear Chairman Klein:
The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is disturbed by some of the statements in your oral testimony before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on February 28, 2008. The hearing was held to examine the NRC’s failure to investigate allegations of security officers sleeping while on duty at Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station. As you know, John Jasinski, a former Wackenhut supervisor at Peach Bottom and other nuclear power plants, wrote to the NRC in March 2007 about sleeping guards at Peach Bottom—a letter the NRC failed to investigate. Because of the NRC’s failure, another Wackenhut security officer, Kerry Beal, felt compelled to videotape his sleeping colleagues.
POGO is concerned by your disparaging comments about Mr. Jasinski, although you never refer to him by name. Our primary concern, however, is that on page 16 of the written transcript you state that “the individual had been terminated for cause. And there was [sic] some hostile feelings.” In fact, according to witnesses, Mr. Jasinski was forced to resign in 2006 under pressure from Wackenhut because he was raising the same issues that he again raised in the March 2007 letter—including sleeping guards, fatigue, and problems with the ready room—problems that were later exposed in the national press. He was simply trying to do the right thing.
We understand Mr. Jasinski raised these issues early on to the NRC, yet the NRC found no evidence. Clearly, based on the corroborating evidence, the NRC was wrong. POGO is concerned that, because of the NRC’s earlier involvement with Mr. Jasinski, the Commission did not take the subsequent March 2007 letter seriously.
We further understand Mr. Jasinski brought claims against Wackenhut for firing him in retaliation for his whistleblowing, and that he subsequently entered into a settlement with the stipulation that he could not discuss the matter publicly. As a result, he could not discuss the facts of the situation with POGO. We have pieced together the situation as best we could from other sources.
Your attack on Mr. Jasinski at the February 28, 2008 hearing is unfair and misleading.
It appears that Wackenhut breached the settlement agreement by disclosing confidential info rmation about Mr. Jasinski to you, information that is not accurate but that Mr. Jasinski cannot refute because he is complying with his settlement agreement. It also appears that you are defaming Mr. Jasinski. Your public statements about him are false, as you must be aware because the safety allegations raised by Mr. Jasinski have been corroborated.
We believe that it is only appropriate that you correct your statements about Mr. Jasinski for the record, and offer him a public apology. He is a courageous nuclear worker who should be congratulated, not defamed.
Enclosure: Page 16 from the hearing transcript
cc: Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee Chair Senator Thomas R. Carper
Subcommittee Ranking Member Senator George V. Voinovich
Senator Bob Casey