Nuclear Watchdog Bares His Teeth

| June 18, 2003

When Oscar Shirani discovered that his employer, Exelon Corporation, used shoddily constructed casks to store its nuclear waste, he demanded that Exelon force the cask?s manufacturer, U.S. Tool & Die, to remedy the issue. Unfortunately, Shirani lost his job and the story disappeared.

Shirani tells J.A. Savage of AlterNet that ?unqualified workers? welded his company?s nuclear waste storage casks together and that the ?materials control performed was inadequate to the task.? He also alleges that the company falsified quality assurance documents and misled the Nuclear Regulatory Commission when it investigated the problem last year. According to David Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists, ?The regulations require a certain level of performance and [Shirani?s] findings were below that minimum level. It may not be that the casks will fail when challenged, but they are unnecessarily and illegally close to the failure point.?

Officials at Exelon, the nation?s largest nuclear power plant operator, insist that ?there is no substantiation for [Shirani?s] claims.? Shirani, sticks by his story, though, and vows to keep fighting.
?Amelia Bauerly

Go there>>A Nuclear Whistleblower at Home

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