Washington, DC – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced Thursday it was sending a team of inspectors to conduct a special security inspection at the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant in Delta, Pennsylvania located in southern York County. In reaction to inquiries from CBS News and other local and national media reports, the team will be investigating “inattentive” security officers while on duty. The Peach Bottom nuclear facility is owned BY the Exelon Corporation. The Wackenhut Corporation provides security for Exelon nuclear power plants.
Danielle Brian, Executive Director of POGO said, “We are relieved to see the NRC finally taking steps to investigate this very serious security breach. The real heroes here are the employees who were willing to put their careers and families’ livelihood on the line to expose the rampant disregard by NRC’s Region I management of problems at the Peach Bottom plant. Unfortunately, NRC has chosen investigative team members who have failed in their duties and have not been held responsible.”
CBS News began its investigation after reading a report issued in 2002 by the Project on Government Oversight, an independent nonprofit which investigates and exposes corruption. POGO has been monitoring related safety issues in the nuclear industry for several years. During the CBS News team’s investigation, they were provided taped evidence of sleeping guards and contacted NRC.
This past March, Ms. Brian wrote to Chairman Dale E. Klein of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission urging the NRC to make rules more stringer regarding overwork and fatigue by security officers. A POGO study had found extreme fatigue and understaffing to be a serious problem.
The Wackenhut Company recently lost a $9.6 million per year contract to provide security serves at the Department of Homeland Security headquarters after revelations of extensive site security breeches.