WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – A former chemistry manager at Indian Point was sentenced to 18 months of probation and fined $500 by a federal judge in White Plains in connection with fabricating chemical test results of the power plant’s emergency generators.
Daniel Wilson, 57, pleaded guilty in October and faced a maximum of three years in prison.
He told investigators that tests done in 2011 showed the quality of fuel in Indian Point’s emergency generators didn’t meet Nuclear Regulatory Commission standards. He told investigators he hid those results and fabricated a test to prevent the Buchanan power plant from shutting down, Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.
The three emergency generators power the two units in the event of a power outage and shutdown.
Entergy Spokesman Jim Steets has said the test results would not have caused Indian Point to shut down.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan agrees. But, if just one of Indian Point’s six emergency generators was unavailable, he said it could be required to shut down until it was made available again.
“The safe operation of the Indian Point nuclear power facility is of critical importance to our communities in and around it,” Bharara said. “This office will be vigilant about prosecuting criminal misconduct that takes place at the facility.”
Wilson worked at Indian Point from 2007-12 and was responsible for ensuring certain aspects of the operation met NRC standards. The actual test taken in 2011 showed the ratio of particulate matter, a mixture of acids, organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles, in the diesel fuel exceeded the NRC limit. He submitted fabricated results that showed the particulate matter was below that limit.
Other employees uncovered fabrication and reported it to their managers, who then reported it to the NRC. Wilson wrote a report explaining why supporting documents were missing when questioned by those co-workers, and then admitted to falsifying records when questioned by NRC personnel in February 2012.
He resigned a few months later in April 2012.
He was charged with one-count of deliberate misconduct in connection with a matter regulated by the NRC.
Read the full complaint filed against Wilson in federal court here.