Congressman Seeks Answers Regarding NRC’s Culture of Retaliation via Corporate Whistleblower Blog

Congressman Edward Markey, D-Mass., sent a letter on Wednesday to Greg Jaczko, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”), urging him to investigate allegations of retaliation against NRC staff who report nuclear safety violations.  The letter comes after Congressman Markey, senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and an advocate for increased nuclear safety, received a letter on April 24, 2012 from the staff of the NRC’s Texas-based Region IV offices.  That letter brought to his attention the conduct of Troy Pruett, the Deputy Division Director of Division Reactor Projects in Region IV.  Among other things, the letter accused Mr. Pruett of:

  • Openly criticizing and denigrating professional staff who brought forward inspection findings that he did not agree with;
  • Berating and intimidating inspectors for raising issues;
  • Altering or removing safety findings from inspection reports prior to their release;
  • Downgrading the performance appraisals for staff members who identified regulatoiry violations with which he disagreed; and
  • Disagreeing with the staff’s recommendation to issue the most serious ‘red’ safety finding to the licensee of the Fort Calhoun Station because “it would result in a ‘political environment’ that would make his job, as the chairman of the Fort Calhoun Station restart committee, more difficult,” and subsequently mischaracterizing the technical staff’s views on the matter to NRC headquarters personnel.

The letter further states that although Mr. Pruett’s actions have allegedly been reported to NRC’s Senior Regional management, no meaningful steps have been taken to improve his behavior.

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