Davis-Besse Reactor Vessel Head Hole Incident Coming to a Close – Engineer Convicted of Lying to the NRC
The hole (pictured above) was detected in March of 2002.
Finally, on August 26, 2008, the engineer responsible for reactor systems was convicted by a jury in a federal court of lying to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Andrew Siemanszko now faces a possible sentence of five years in a federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Not everyone agrees with this verdict – especially the man convicted of the offense. He says that he was framed by a big company that altered his reports before sending them to the NRC. He is supported by the Union of Concerned Scientists and Ohio Citizen Action (both are anti-nuclear groups).
Siemanszko was fired by FirstEnergy after the hole was discovered and later filed a whistleblower complaint with the US Department of Labor. The complaint was later dismissed by the DOL.
Because of this incident, FirstEnergy was fined $5.45 million by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. That fine was the largest single fine ever proposed by the NRC.
For more information about the incident, the conviction, and the controvery, see these links: