Daniel Wilson, 57, of Walden, NY, was charged by Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, with willfully violating rules of the NRC by engaging in deliberate misconduct, and making false statements. If convicted, Wilson faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
“Any alleged deliberate misconduct at a facility like Indian Point is a matter of grave concern to this office,” Bharara said. “One need look no further than recent natural disasters to know that at important facilities, backup generators and other systems must be maintained in working order because in an emergency they may be critical.”
Wilson, the chemistry manager at Indian Point from 2007 to 2012, was responsible for ensuring that certain aspects of the operation at the much maligned nuclear facility were in compliance with the required technical specifications. One such requirement regards the amount of particulate matter in the diesel fuel used to power emergency generators at Indian Point, which must not exceed a set limit.
In 2011, tests of the diesel fuel maintained for use in powering the emergency generators at Indian Point showed the ratio exceeded the allowable limit. In February 2012, Wilson allegedly concealed material facts from his employer and the NRC by fabricating test data for non-existent resamples of the diesel fuel, falsely showing that the resamples of diesel fuel tested below the NRC limit. In fact, no such resamples were taken.
In addition, Wilson wrote a report in which he gave a false explanation for the lack of supporting documentation for his fabricated test results. In a subsequent interview with NRC personnel, Wilson admitted he had fabricated the results so Indian Point would not have to shut down.
“The NRC relies on nuclear power plant employees to behave in a responsible and trustworthy manner,” said NRC Region 1 Administrator Bill Dean. “When it comes to ensuring the operability of a plant’s emergency diesel generators, or any other vital nuclear safety equipment, there can be no room for anything other than employees adhering to the highest standards of integrity.”