Feds allege Xcel contractors falsified weld tests at Monticello nuclear plant via The Star Tribune

Federal investigators have accused two former contract employees for Xcel Energy Inc. of willfully violating procedures and falsifying reports about safety-related tests of casks filled with high-level nuclear waste stored at the Monticello, Minn., nuclear power plant.

The findings released Monday by investigators for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) also allege that Xcel officials did not monitor the work of the contract employees as they placed dye on welds to look for cracks in late 2013. The improper testing was discovered by an NRC inspector who checked videos of the work.

David Lochbaum, who directs the nuclear safety project for the Union of Concerned Scientists, said oversight of outside contractors “is a continuing problem in the nuclear industry.” He agreed with Xcel that the Monticello casks appear to be safe.

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