Well well, so much for Entergy's brilliant laid out pre-hiring screening process. Seems that are Nuclear Reactor Worker at Vermont Yankee has been fired after testing positive for REEFER! The first clue for Steets and Entergy was catching said employee sniffing spent fuel fumes while singing Helter Skelter! Where there is one bad apple, there are sure to be others, and it seems wise that NRC A) order immediate drug testing of all Entergy employees, and B) hand down some very harsh fines. Gives a whole different spin to aging management in Indian Point's license renewal application. Guess they are trying to manage a group of old washed up drug addicts?
Vt. Yankee employee fails drug test
July 21, 2007
By Susan Smallheer
Herald Staff BRATTLEBORO
A licensed control room operator at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant was fired this week after he tested positive for marijuana.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said that the operator was given a random drug test on Sunday and when the results came back on Wednesday, the operator was immediately fired.
NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said the testing was part of Entergy Nuclear's "fitness for duty" testing program and he declined to say the level of the marijuana in the person's bloodstream.
Sheehan said that as soon as a worker tests positive for drugs, it must act and notify the NRC.
"We will be following up and making a determination on whether enforcement action is necessary," Sheehan said.
Entergy Nuclear spokesman Robert Williams said that a review of that person's work history is underway.
Entergy spokesman Larry Smith said that he didn't know how high the former employee tested, saying that it was a personnel matter.
He also refused to say how long the person was employed at the plant, and exactly where he or she worked.
He said that it was a random drug test, which is accomplished by giving a blood sample. He said that alcohol levels are tested by urinanalysis.
"I was tested just last week," Smith said, noting that the random testing was conducted by a special program at Entergy Nuclear, and that employees on average are tested twice a year.
He said that there is also "for cause" testing, that would be triggered if an employee suspected another employee of impaired behavior.
Smith said he believed that this wasn't the first time that an employee was fired for testing positive for drug use.
He said that licensed control room operators work in both the reactor in Vernon, and also the plant's training facility in Brattleboro, located at Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee's corporate headquarters.
"We take this seriously," said Entergy spokesman Robert Williams.
He said the fitness-for-duty program is designed to protect the public health and safety, and he said that the testing proved "that it works."
He said that the company has an employee assistance program with counseling and referral services.
"We are committed to safety and a review of the employee's previous work is under way," he said.