Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2005 17:51:49 -0400

On April 5, 2005, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) informed Dr. Nancy Kymn Harvin that its investigations failed to substantiate her allegations of wrongful termination.

The NRC overlooked compelling evidence to reach this erroneous conclusion.

In September 2003, Dr. Harvin filed allegations with the NRC.

Dr. Harvin contended then, as she still does today, that PSEG managers at the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear plants in New Jersey fired her for raising safety concerns.

"Despite audio tapes of executives revealing their own nuclear safety concerns, fears about speaking up, and the Site Vice President saying, 'They are out to get you,' the NRC ruled there was no wrongdoing by the company or its executives,

" Dr. Harvin told me. "I went to the NRC as a last resort, knowing that becoming a whistleblower would likely end my nuclear career.

But I thought the safety issues had to be brought to light. I feel betrayed by the NRC -- and by the people who lied to the NRC during its investigation.

" Because of Dr. Harvin's efforts, the NRC investigated the conditions at Salem and Hope Creek and formally determined the plants safety culture represented a serious problem that must be corrected.

The Independent Assessment Team brought in by PSEG in response to the NRC's mandate substantiated many of the safety concerns she raised to the PSEG Chief Nuclear Officer and raised many others.

 All of these costly steps validated Dr. Harvin's allegations, yet the NRC found that PSEG terminated her for "business" reasons.

The NRC is being deceitful. The NRC ordered PSEG to fix the safety culture problems that Dr. Harvin reported but failed to acknowledge that these very same safety culture problems played a critical role in her termination.

It's ludicrous to believe that the broad-based, pervasive safety culture problems that resulted in many PSEG senior managers being replaced and extensive repairs to Employee Concerns Program and Safety Conscious Work Environment processes did not play a role in PSEG axing Dr. Harvin.

 The NRC is sending a very loud message to whistleblowers to remain silent.

They are telling the next Dr. Harvins to keep your mouths shut, we don't want to hear about it. And with antics like this, the NRC will not hear.

Their not hearing will at least match their not caring.

The NRC let Dr. Harvin, thousands of nuclear workers, and millions of Americans down. Again.

From: "Dave Lochbaum" <dlochbaum@ucsusa.org>