Browns Ferry Nuclear, conspiracy, corruption, dangers of nuclear, Department of Labor, DOL, environment, false income tax returns, false statements, FBI, international money laundering, Iran, Masoud Bajestani, NRC, nuclear, nuclear accident, nuclear disaster, nuclear energy, nuclear power, nuclear reactors, nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons program, nuclear weapons upkeep, Robert Klock, Scalice, Sequoyah nuclear, Tennessee Valley Authority, tritium, tritium nuclear weapons, tritium production, TVA, US DOJ, US NRC, USA, violations of IEEPA, Watts Bar Counterfeit Substandard parts, Watts Bar Nuclear Power Station, whistleblowers
“The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a federally owned corporation in the United States created by congressional charter on May 18, 1933 to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development to the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly affected by the Great Depression.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_Valley_Authority
TVA Power Stations Map
In 2005, it was believed that Iran was trying to obtain tritium: http://www.iranwatch.org/library/ncri-project-acquire-deuterium-and-tritium-8-25-05 The TVA’s nuclear reactors play a key role in tritium production for US weapons upkeep. Masoud Bajestani worked throughout the TVA system for decades, including as Assistant Plant Manager at Watts Bar Nuclear Power Unit 1; Plant Manager at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant; Site VP at Sequoyah Nuclear Plant: http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0123/ML012320261.pdf
“Tritium is a heavy isotope of hydrogen and a key component of nuclear weapons, but it decays radioactively at the rate of 5.5 percent each year and must be replenished continually. This is accomplished by recycling tritium from existing warheads and by extracting tritium from target rods irradiated in nuclear reactors that are operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Recycled and extracted gases are purified to produce tritium that is suitable for use.” http://www.srs.gov/general/news/factsheets/tf.pdf
“More information confirms in January of this year the presence of 500 Counterfeit Substandard Parts (enclosed) were discovered at the construction site of Watts Bar Unit 2 in Tennessee. In addition, a former TVA vice president, Masoud Bajestani (enclosed) was charged & arrested for illegally trying to ship money to his native Iran after he lied to TVA about why he needed the 1.2 million from his retirement account. Mr. Bajestani was in charge of TVA’s $2.5 Billion completion project for the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 2 until he was fired.” (Stephen Comley, Sr., April 2013 Letter to Michelle Obama: http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1314/ML13140A169.pdf )
From the US DOJ: “In February 2013, a federal grand jury returned an 11-count superseding indictment against Bajestani, charging him with conspiracy, violations of the IEEPA and the Iranian Transactions Regulations, making a false statement to a federal agency, international money laundering, and filing false income tax returns.” https://www.justice.gov/usao-edtn/pr/former-tva-vice-president-pleads-guilty-unlawful-financial-investments-iran-and-filing (DOJ appears to want to cover up nuclear ties, for they don’t mention Watts Bar.)
From the FBI:
“According to the indictment on file with the U.S. District Court, Bajestani filed a false document with TVA in order to withdraw $1,500,000 from his deferred compensation account when he was employed as a vice president at the Watts Bar Unit II nuclear power plant during its construction phase. The indictment alleges that Bajestani then conspired with others and sent $600,000 of those funds to Iran for financial investment purposes… Bajestani was indicted on four felony charges by a federal grand jury in Knoxville on December 4, 2012, for allegedly violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and making false statements to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).” https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/knoxville/press-releases/2013/former-tva-vice-president-indicted-for-unlawful-financial-investments-in-iran
“TVA’s Failure To Discipline Its Managers Who Discriminated Against Robert Klock.
The Department of Labor, in a final decision, Klock v. TVA, found that Masoud Bajestani discriminated against Mr. Klock, another TVA nuclear whistleblower. See Klock v. TVA, Case No. 95-ERA-20 (ALJ Sept. 29, 1995) (attached and incorporated herein as Exhibit 10). ALJ Burke found that Mr. Bajestani, who reported directly to Mr. Scalice, fired Mr. Klock only two weeks after Mr. Klock engaged in protected activity“. [That is, whistleblower activity]”Id. at 12. Mr. Scalice, Mr. Bajestani’s first-line supervisor, ratified Mr. Bajestani’s decision. ALJ Burke noted that Mr. Bajestani’s testimony lacked credibility and was pretextual. Id. at 17. ALJ Burke concluded that Mr. Bajestani’s actions were motivated by Mr. Klock’s reputation as a whistleblower. Id. at 21. At that time, Mr. Bajestani was the test group lead for the NSSS Group (Nuclear Steam Supply System Group). Id. at 4.
Once again, instead of disciplining Mr. Bajestani, TVA promoted him to Assistant Plant Manager at Watts Bar, then to Plant Manager at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, then to Site Vice President at Sequoyah Nuclear Plant, and most recently to Senior Vice President of Fossil Operations. See Inside TVA, “Bajestani new SVP in FPG,” at 1-2 (July 18, 2000)….” (LAW OFFICES BERNABEI & KATZ, PLLC, 2001)
“SUMMARY OF MAJOR U.S. EXPORT ENFORCEMENT, ECONOMIC ESPIONAGE, TRADE SECRET AND EMBARGO-RELATED CRIMINAL CASES (January 2008 to the present: updated October 22, 2014)
Prohibited Investments in Iran – On June 20, 2014, former Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) vice president, Masoud Bajestani, of Chattanooga, Tenn., was sentenced in the Eastern District of Tennessee to 2 years probation, $300 special assessment and the forfeiture of $600,000. On September 4, 2013, Bajestani pleaded guilty to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and filing false tax returns. On February 4, 2013, agents arrested Bajestani as he arrived at the Atlanta airport on a flight from Dubai. Bajestani was charged by superseding indictment in the Eastern District of Tennessee with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, making false statements to the TVA, international money laundering, filing false tax returns and failure to file reports of foreign bank accounts. According to the superseding indictment, Bajestani filed a false document with TVA in order to withdraw $1,500,000 from his deferred compensation account when he was employed as a vice president at the Watts Bar Unit II nuclear power plant during its construction phase. Bajestani then conspired with others and sent $600,000 of those funds to Iran for financial investment purposes, without authorization from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control. The case was investigated by ICE, IRS, the TVA Office of Inspector General, and the FBI.” https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/pages/attachments/2014/10/22/export-case-fact-sheet-201410.pdf (If the $600,000 was already in Iran, how did he forfeit it? He left in in Iran? They forced him to repatriate it in exchange for going so easy on him? What about the rest of the money?)
“KNOXVILLE, TN—Federal agents arrested a former TVA vice president, Masoud Bajestani, 57, formerly of Chattanooga, Tennessee, as he arrived at the Atlanta international airport on a flight from Dubai Sunday morning. Bajestani was indicted on four felony charges by a federal grand jury in Knoxville on December 4, 2012, for allegedly violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and making false statements to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
Bajestani appeared in court on February 4, 2013, before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley, Jr. and pleaded not guilty. The United States made a motion for Bajestani to be detained pending trial and a detention hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, February 6, 2013, in U.S. District Court, in Knoxville.
According to the indictment on file with the U.S. District Court, Bajestani filed a false document with TVA in order to withdraw $1,500,000 from his deferred compensation account when he was employed as a vice president at the Watts Bar Unit II nuclear power plant during its construction phase. The indictment alleges that Bajestani then conspired with others and sent $600,000 of those funds to Iran for financial investment purposes. Economic sanctions have been imposed against Iran, and it is unlawful to make financial investments in Iran without authorization from the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control….” https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/knoxville/press-releases/2013/former-tva-vice-president-indicted-for-unlawful-financial-investments-in-iran
“Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Former TVA Vice President Pleads Guilty To Unlawful Financial Investments In Iran And Filing False Income Tax Returns
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On September 4, 2013, former TVA Vice President Masoud Bajestani, 58, formerly of Chattanooga, Tenn. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and Iranian Transactions Regulations, and two counts of filing false income tax returns. Bajestani also agreed to the forfeiture of $600,000 in U.S. currency, representing the funds used to promote the specified unlawful activity.
Sentencing is set for 1:15 p.m., on January 15, 2014, in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Tennessee, before the Honorable Leon Jordan, U.S. District Judge. Bajestani faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for conspiracy to violate the IEEPA, and three years for each count of filing a false tax return. He also faces a maximum fine of $250,000 on each count.
In February 2013, a federal grand jury returned an 11-count superseding indictment against Bajestani, charging him with conspiracy, violations of the IEEPA and the Iranian Transactions Regulations, making a false statement to a federal agency, international money laundering, and filing false income tax returns.
Between February 2008 and May 2010, Bajestani agreed and conspired with an Iran-based coconspirator to engage in financial investments in Iran, in violation of the Iranian Transactions Regulations. These regulations impose economic sanctions against Iran, making it unlawful to make financial investments in Iran without authorization from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control. Bajestani transferred $600,000 to Iran for investment purposes. He and his coconspirator used an informal value transfer system known as a “hawala” to transfer the funds to Iran. Bajestani also falsely reported on his income tax returns that he did not have an interest in a foreign bank account.
This investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, IRS-Criminal Investigations Division, Tennessee Valley Authority-Office of Inspector General, and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Theodore represented the United States.
USAO – Tennessee, Eastern”
“Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). 2008c. Letter from Masoud Bajestani (Watts Bar Unit 2, Vice President) to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission dated July 2, 2008 in response to NRC letter dated June 3, 2008 and TVA letters February 15, 2008 and June 16, 2008, “Watts Bar 10 Nuclear Plant (WBN) – Unit 2 – Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement – Request 11 for Additional Information (TAC MD8203).” Accession No. MLO081850460. A reference within this document: http://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1129/ML11298A095.pdf This document could not be found: MLO081850460
This seems to be about Watts Bar 1: “We have completed our investigation of the circumstances surrounding a July 12, 1994, complaint which Robert 0. Klock, a former contract worker at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), filed with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). (Klock was a engineering specialist at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant [WBNI.) Klock alleged that TVA violated Section 21-1, of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended, by discriminating against him because he reported a safety concern to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). More specifically, Klock alleged that on June 22, 1994, during the Integrated Leak Rate Test (ILRT), he reported a safety concern regarding a valve misalignment to TVA, which TVA did not resolve. He then reported that concern to-the NRC; and, on July 5, 1994, TVA fired him. According to Klock, he was not given a reason for his termination, despite the fact had promised him further TVA employment in the Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) group after the ILRT ended.
We investigated Klock’s allegations to determine whether any current or former TVA employee engaged in misconduct. We did not address whether any Section 211 violation occurred since such determinations are, by statute, entrusted to DCL.1” http://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML0734/ML073450804.pdf
“Although TVA does not agree with the subject recommended decision and order, we are also aware that the actions of the manager who made the decision to terminate Mr. Klock could have been interpreted negatively given the timing of the termination and the circumstances surrounding Mr. Klock’s removal from the site. Accordingly, we have decided that the manager will receive one-on-one counseling sessions with WBN’s Vice President of Site Operations about avoiding any perception of discrimination when taking employment actions. Upon completion of such counseling sessions, the Vice President of Site Operations will make an assessment of the manager’s ability to continue carrying out his job responsibilities. The results will be discussed with TVA’s Senior Vice President of Nuclear Operations.”
http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0732/ML073270615.pdf Notice they want “any perception of discrimination” to be avoided, rather than discrimination to be avoided.
Related: “I am writing to inform you of two critical issues that should be taken into account by the NRC in deciding whether to take escalated enforcement action against TVA: (1) the continuing harassment of Mr. Overall for reporting of problems with the ice condenser system internally within TVA and externally, including actions so severe that they drove him off the job site; and (2) TVA’s practices regarding managers who were found to have discriminated and retaliated against nuclear whistleblowers by the Department of Labor in the past. Indeed, the continuing harassment forced Mr. Overall to file a second DOL complaint, as discussed in the next section….” (LAW OFFICES BERNABEI & KATZ, PLLC, 2001)