Nuke Worker Guilty of Falsifying Data

Monday, October 21, 2013 @ 08:10 PM gHale

A former supervising chemist at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, NY, pleaded guilty last Wednesday to federal charges after he admitted falsifying diesel-fuel sample test data at the plant in an attempt to keep it from shutting down.

Daniel Wilson, 57, of Walden, NY, faces up to two years in prison but will most likely is receive fewer than 6 months, if any prison time at all, after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors.

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Authorities said Wilson falsified the test data after previous tests showed that particulate matter in the fuel, which powers backup generators at the plant, exceeded Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) limits in 2011, imperiling the plant’s operation.

Wilson, who worked at the plant for 29 years, fabricated the results and lied in a written report in advance of a later NRC inspection. He ended up charged in U.S. District Court in White Plains in August with making false statements and willfully violating NRC rules.

He pleaded guilty Wednesday to a single count of deliberate misconduct in violation of NRC rules and regulations. A lawyer for Wilson was not immediately available for comment. Wilson faces sentencing Jan. 16.

Entergy, the company that operates the plant, said previously the plant was never “in an unsafe condition.” The falsification ended up uncovered by Wilson’s co-workers, who reported it to plant management, who in turn told the NRC.

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