BUCHANAN, N.Y. – An Entergy employee with “unescorted access” inside the company’s power plants didn’t report to superiors that he was charged with felony robbery and attempted to cover up the matter, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said Friday.
Niel Sheehan, NRC spokesperson, said, "His job duties were not related in any way to plant safety," and that the employee was contracted to fix office equipment. Sheehan said the NRC is unable to release the man's identity because it is not taking enforcement action against Entergy.
While the employee was off from work, he was arrested and charged with felony robbery on Jan. 4, 2011, the NRC said. When he returned to work, the NRC said he not only failed to report his arrest, but during a regular investigation on March 21, 2011, to maintain his unescorted access, he provided Entergy Corporation with a document that stated he had not been arrested.
According to the NRC report, the employee admitted to investigators he knew he should have reported the incident. The NRC determined during its investigation that the employee deliberately violated the protocol of reporting any law enforcement incident, which could result in jail time or a court order, including arrests.
During the March reinvestigation, Entergy discovered the arrest, rescinded the employee’s unescorted access and fired him, according to a document from NRC. The NRC began its own investigation of the incident after reviewing Entergy’s Correction Action Program files. The agency said it is not taking any regulatory action against Entergy in the case.
"Employee and contract worker access to a federally licensed nuclear plant like Indian Point is a privilege and there are programs in place to ensure we meet NRC rules for background checks. The NRC determined that our program worked appropriately in this instance," said spokesperson for Indian Point, Jerry Nappi.
The NRC completed its investigation on Oct. 18, 2011.