Union releases internal N-plant documents
By JIM McELHATTON Staff Writer, (609)
WALL TOWNSHIP - The union representing striking
workers at the Oyster Creek Generating Station disclosed on Monday
internal company documents that members say raise serious safety
concerns at the nation's oldest nuclear power plant.
plant management questioned the workers' motivation for disclosing
the documents three days before a negotiating session and six weeks
into a strike. Management said the documents described routine
troubleshooting measures that take place at all nuclear power
The disagreement is the latest proof of rising
tensions in the ongoing labor dispute.
The union, in a small
briefing at their headquarters here Monday, released the documents,
called corrective action plans. The documents detail problems in the
power plant's radiation surveillance, fire protection and radiation
Each of the three units is the target of a new
management plan to broaden workers' scope of responsibilities, while
consolidating positions. The union opposes the plan and cites it as
a key reason for the strike.
According to a corrective action
plan filed Jan. 20, workers who took over the responsibilities of
fire technicians - a three-member unit that was eliminated last year
- received too little training.
A management response
attached to the corrective action plan on the report disagrees with
Another corrective action plan filed Jan.
10, questions whether the plant has sufficient staffing of radiation
Management responded to that allegation,
saying that one vacant position had been filled and that they plan
to add more cyclical training.
In another corrective action
plan, which was filed March 25, the state Division of Fire Safety
fined the plant after finding a lack of illuminated exit
Management responded saying that previous fire
inspectors had allowed for reflective signs.
A plan filed
Jan. 3, found operator inexperience and deficient procedures in the
plant's radiation waste unit.
Personnel have not "executed
operations fundamentals" and failed to "exhibit an appropriate
questioning attitude," according to the document.
management response notes, "All of these issues have been previously
identified and are being addressed." Union officials disagreed
"These things need to be fixed and they're not being
addressed," said Ed Stroup, president of the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1289. "The union workers are
the plant's last line of defense."
The plant's Nuclear
Oversight Committee, a management team that audits operations in the
plant, filed the corrective action plans.
Dave Simon questioned the union's decision to release the
"There is definite motivation in the statements
coming from the union in terms of how the plant is being made to
look," Simon said.
"We're trying to make some changes in how
the plant is being run," Simon said. "We want a safe and effective
business enterprise ... but safety always comes first."
said the corrective actions plans are a normal part of running a
nuclear power plant. He said such plans are filed at any
Stroup, however, said the documents point to serious
Both sides will get to discuss the issues
on Thursday, when talks between Oyster Creek management and labor
are scheduled with a state mediator.