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Tell the US NRC by November 4th 11.59 pm ET that they need to keep monitoring and investigating nuclear workers for drug and alcohol and not leave it to the utilities-fuel fabrication companies, as they seem to want to do. Comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NRC-2016-0185-0001 It’s quick and easy and can be anonymous.
In 2013 the US NRC blogged: “Watching over a nuclear reactor’s controls or supervising nuclear power plant maintenance are jobs that need a person’s full attention. Nuclear plant workers can’t perform properly if they’re … under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For those reasons, the NRC has strict “fitness for duty” requirements so companies can spot impaired workers and keep them out of the plant./ Human factors were in the spotlight after the Three Mile Island accident in 1979. Afterward, we closely examined how human behavior affects nuclear plant safety. In 1989 the agency issued the first fitness for duty rules covering anyone with unescorted access to a nuclear plant, as well as workers whose duties affect safety, security or emergency preparedness“. https://web.archive.org/web/20161030223430/https://public-blog.nrc-gateway.gov/2013/11/12/reporting-for-duty-means-being-fit-for-duty/
US Nuclear Industry Drug and Alcohol Use – 2014, p. 4
Nuclear Industry Drug and Alcohol Use – 2014 Results by Drug and Employment Type, p. 6
“Operating Experience in 2014 Fitness for Duty Programs – 10 CFR Part 26 “A Direct Contribution to Safety and Security” June 12, 2015 http://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/meeting/nrc-fitness-duty-programs-harris.pdf Unfortunately they aren’t keeping updated data: http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/ops-experience/fitness-for-duty-programs/performance-reports.html
A case is investigated every couple of months, according to the US NRC regulations change proposal (see below). 40 cases investigated in 96 months (8 yrs). Fairewinds investigation found a much higher rate of 173 over 60 months (5 years) or almost three per month!: “Fairewinds analysis of the last five years of reported Fitness for Duty events shows 173 Fitness for Duty event reports filed between 2008 and September 2013: During the past five years, reported Fitness For Duty violations in the United States have more than doubled, led by alcohol related events which have nearly quadrupled during the same time period. Most Fitness For Duty events are not reported to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission through the event notification system” http://www.fairewinds.org/fitness-for-duty-event-reports
The NRC needs to keep monitoring nuclear workers for drug and alcohol and not leave it to the utilities-fuel fabrication companies, as they seem to want to do. (They are also violating the clear writing rule, as is so often the case). They should add monitoring of uranium mining sites. They need to be more strict, not less, and forbid site access permanently if illegal drug use is found. The same is probably true for alcohol. And, they should ask workers not to drink alcohol for at least 24 to 48 hours prior to shift. Decades ago research showed that people were more likely to get into an auto accident the day after they had been drinking. This suggests that workers should have no detectable alcohol allowed in their blood.
Are they allowed to watch porn at work? Porn link on Nukeworker job web site: https://web.archive.org/web/20161026203658/https://www.nukeworker.com
Is illegal drug use why the new nuclear reactors are late and so often defective?
Bouygues, and two other companies working on EDF’s new nuclear reactor (EPR) in Flamanville France, were charged with involuntary homicide (manslaughter) after the death in January 2011 of a welder at the site. The bridge on which he was working was struck by a crane, which was being driven by someone who was under the influence of cannabis (marijuana). http://www.sortirdunucleaire.org/EPR-de-Flamanville-proces-de The new nuclear reactor (EPR) at Flamanville is years behind and overpriced and has been characterized by problems with concrete and rebar on site, as well as offsite defects. The same is true of the new nuclear reactors in the US (and Finland). Drunk or spaced out workers wouldn’t help.