March 23, 2006
A note about the NRC report on Harris security
To correct some news stories: The Shearon Harris guards are NOT under investigation for cheating. The complaint is that Progress and Securitas routinely forced guards to take answer keys into the exams. NRC’s report stated it correctly, but its press statements, and those of Progress Energy, both implied the guards are at fault.
Also, Progress Energy and NRC predictably and artfully phrased their language to downplay the risks of the confirmed and outstanding allegations, and to protect the company. One example is Progress’ claims that guards were posted at all inoperable security doors until they thought the doors were repaired. Over such a long time, this would have cost many hundreds of thousands of dollars in labor costs. And our complaint would have been filed as utility ratepayers demanding they simply replace the few dozen faulty doors.
Several of the charges NRC “could not substantiate” came down to the word of the guards versus the word of security managers. Since November, the guards’ have been painstakingly honest, and their accounts entirely consistent and largely confirmed.
NC WARN and the Union of Concerned Scientists stand with these professional security officers.
We’ll have more to say when the NRC and Inspector General investigations are finalized.
A follow-up from David Lochbaum, Nuclear Safety Expert, Union of Concerned Scientists:
The NRC’s investigation into security guards’ allegations shows Progress Energy had the Open Door policy concept wrong. Their Open Door policy was improperly applied to security access doors. It was improperly not applied to security force personnel who came upon the non-secure security doors and could not go to Progress, could not go to NRC, but had to go to NC WARN with the concerns because the communication doors were locked.
Progress Energy needs to revamp its Open Door policy. The security doors at Shearon Harris need to be locked. The communication doors at Harris need to be unlocked. That is the key to adequate security.”