NRC Releases Findings Into Sleeping Guards

Oct 9, 2007

Walt Hunter DELTA, Pa. (CBS 3) Philadelphia

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission released their findings Tuesday after an investigation into video showing guards asleep on the job at an area nuclear power plant.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission now says their inspections reveal, "A number of security officers, primarily from one security team, were, at times during the past year, inattentive to their duties," while working inside the Peach Bottom station in York County.

The revelations came in a letter from the NRC's regional administrator to the president of Exelon Nuclear.

The NRC's special inspection team found that 10 guards, hired to protect the plant, went to sleep on a regular basis, through February and September, on the day shift, night shift and weekends.

"We have confirmed that multiple security guards were inattentive on multiple occasions," said Marsha Gamberoni of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

According to the NRC, Exelon officials failed to detect the sleeping guards and sleeping became an acceptable part of the guards daily work schedule.

"We found that Exelon, the company that operates Peach Bottom, did not do a good enough job of getting across the message that inattentiveness, would not, in any way, shape or form, be tolerated," Gamberoni said.

All 10 guards, seen sleeping, have been placed on administrative leave and Exelon Nuclear has terminated their contract with Wackenhut Security following the release of the footage.

The NRC said because the employees were sleeping in a "ready room" and not while on patrol in the plant, there was no threat to the public.

The NRC credited Exelon with immediately taking action to stop the problem of guard inattentiveness.

A public meeting was held Tuesday evening at the Peach Bottom Inn in Delta to discuss the findings with members of the community.

Exelon officials said that even though Wackenhut had been removed from the Peach Bottom facility, it would continue to provide security at nine other facilities, including ones in Montgomery and Salem Counties.

Video is available at the CBS3 site.

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