Monday, January 23, 2006

More nuclear lies and cover up from FirstEnergy

Would you buy a new nuclear power station from these guys? FirstEnergy Corp admitted on Friday that some of its employees lied to US regulators about safety violations at its Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Ohio.

It said it had fixed a deal with the US Department of Justice to pay $28 million in fines, restitution and community-service projects in order to avoid indictment of the utility. Ie, it bribed the Dept of Justice to prevent the possibility of its employees going to jail. These guys are deliberately not named publicly.

The penalty is the largest ever imposed for nuclear safety violations in the United States.

Davis-Besse, which can produce electricity for about 900,000 homes, was forced to close in early 2002 when it was discovered that leaking boric acid had chewed a pineapple-sized hole in the reactor vessel's carbon steel lid, a serious safety violation. Officials said it was the most extensive corrosion ever seen at a U.S. nuclear reactor.

On Thursday, a federal grand jury indicted two former Davis-Besse employees and a contractor, charging them with hiding damage from federal regulators.

In a nice touch, the fine includes $5 million partly for Habitat for Humanity environmental work and university research into energy efficiency!

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