Manager at CA nuclear plant sues over firing, claims whistleblower retaliation

(photo by Jason Hickey)

The Orange County Register reports that a manager at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station claims he was fired after reporting safety concerns, according to a suit filed today.

According to the suit, a nuclear power watchdog group received in February 2010 calls and emails from workers in the plant regarding shortcuts on testing new generators, safety violations, and a "culture of cover-up." The Nuclear Regulatory Commission then sent a letter to Southern California Edison regarding the "chilling effect" of the work environment at the plant, the suit claims. The letter was to make sure the company encouraged workers to speak up about safety concerns.

The suit claims that when Diaz told his boss, Pamela Panek, about concerns brought to his attention by other employees, he was told not to address the complaints. According to the suit, management also told the employees they should not have talked to him about the problems.

Previously on Boing Boing: "So. California's San Onofre nuclear plant, near fault line and sea, built to withstand less than Japan plant"


  1. “the ex-manager said his safety concerns centered on labor issues not physical safety conditions”

    still, i worry about any facility that hushes up any type of safety issue

    1. Diaz said he is concerned about the safety and health of the employees that still work at the plant.

      As millrick mentioned above… this also makes me wonder what other safety issues will be ignored in the future under threat of termination. Not a “healthy” environment when so much is at stake for “mistakes” or outright violations of safety, is it?

  2. And these are the folks the pro-nuclear crowd thinks can be trusted with LESS regulation of their industry.

  3. Anyone who is concerned about safety issues at these stations should probably have a look at pg 3-9 of the following report, paying particular attention to the sections on Hatch, Indian Point and Salem:

    Then google “Davis-Besse Lessons Learned Task Force” for another NRC report on the second most dangerous US accident no one has heard about. Accidents and accidental releases (of varying severity) are a regular industry occurrence!

    1. Thanks for the info, but those facts are impossible because of the overwhelming fact that nuclear energy is safe.

    2. Your documentation proving that nuclear facilities cannot be run safely due to the completely predictable behavior of human beings is unwelcome, because the new thorium cycle nuclear plants will be staffed only by inhumanly trustworthy saints descended directly from the fertile loins of Jesus.

  4. I live 20 miles downwind of that f—er.

    Oh, and a few years ago Dick Cheney’s assets tried to pull a false-flag terrorism stunt there. Back when he was running out of options to start a war with Iran and suspend the Constitution.

  5. Same sort of thing coming out of the Maritime industry. Captains are sitting on the concerns brought to them by their Cheif Mates because corporate will do the same thing.

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