Bribery, contractor debarment, corroded spent fuel, corruption, damaged spent fuel, dry cask storage, fraud, George Norcross, Holtec, Holtec Board, Holtec International, India, Kickbacks, Krishna Singh, Machine Politics, New Jersey, New Jersey casinos, Nikki Haley, Norcross, NRC exemption, OIG, Trump, Trump Norcross, TVA, US Department of Justice, US DOJ, US India Nuclear Deal, US NRC, USA
Comment By Jul 30 2018, at 11:59 PM ET, ID: NRC-2018-0052-0058 on Holtec’s proposed spent nuclear fuel facility in New Mexico: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NRC-2018-0052
Most Americans would have no idea about how to bribe someone. This gives those who know how to engage in bribery and similar activities, and who do so, an unfair advantage in business, school, employment. Although bribery in America pre-dated the arrival of Holtec’s Kris Singh, it wasn’t an everyday thing like in his homeland of India: : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_India
Holtec was caught and fined in at least this one apparent bribery case. Holtec’s Kris Singh was also accused of attempted bribery of a whistleblower. How many times was Holtec-Singh not caught? Surely bribes are like cockroaches and mice, if you see one there are likely many more.
Does Holtec-Kris Singh still bribe? Holtec-Kris Singh is now so politically connected that it may not be necessary. Currently, Dem political operative George Norcross, who is also connected to Trump, serves on Holtec’s board, so Holtec-Kris Singh appear to have the Dem pols and the Republicans covered-conned over their nuclear waste cans without having to resort to bribery. The man who took Holtec’s cheapskate bribe-kickback at TVA got two years probation and a fine, whereas Holtec got a fine and has expanded business. Anyone who takes a bribe-kickback should at least ask for a big one, since they may go to jail.
Holtec was the first company ever debarred from the TVA (which exists since 1933) for apparent bribery:
“On or about February 7, 2002, Symonds knew that USTD had been directed to send that $29,212.77 check to Krohn by Holtec International (Holtec) – a company that Symonds knew as of that time (1) had contracted with TVA in November 2001 to design and construct a dry cask storage system for spent nuclear fuel rods at TVA BFN and (2) had contracted with USTB to fabricate some of the construction materials for the TVA BFN dry cask storage system.
Additionally, on or about February 27, 2002, during the reporting period for his October 21, 2002 OGE Form 450-A, Symonds co-owned Krohn Enterprises, LLC with his former spouse, and on or about February 27, 2002, Krohn Enterprises, LLC, was paid $25,000 by Check No. 31970 drawn on the Mellon Bank account of USTD. That $25,000 check was deposited into the Krohn Enterprises, LLC, Heritage Bank account, and the proceeds of that check were used to pay the personal expenses of Symonds and his former spouse. On or about February 27, 2002, Symonds knew that USTB had been directed to send that $25,000 check to Krohn by Holtec – a company that Symonds knew as of that time (1) had contracted with TVA in November 2001 to design and construct a dry cask storage system for spent nuclear fuel rods at TVA BFN and (2) had contracted with USTB to fabricate some of the construction materials for the TVA BFN dry cask storage system….” https://oig.tva.gov/press/Symonds.pdf
TVA is an independent government agency, so it is unclear if it counts as bribing public officials: https://www.justice.gov/usam/criminal-resource-manual-2041-bribery-public-officials
Whistleblower Oscar Shirani also accused Holtec’s Singh of attempted bribery:
“Shirani also confided in me that at one point, during his distress at Exelon, the CEO of Holtec International, Chris Singh – who still serves in that capacity, by the way – attempted to bribe him into silence. Singh approached Shirani, and offered to hire him. He told Shirani that he could write his own paycheck. All Shirani had to do was name the six-figure salary he wanted, and Shirani was hired. The quid pro quo, of course, was that Shirani remain silent about Holtec’s QA violations. Shirani, a man of absolute integrity, declined the attempted bribe….” Excerpted from Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear, Dec. 7, 2015, “FC1119 public comment opposing Exelon takeover of Pepco, re: Exelon’s abuse of whistleblowers” http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/356082/26721045/1449520345260/12+6+15+DC+PSC+comment+re+Shirani.pdf
“The OIG initiated a first in TVA history; the debarment of a contractor doing business with TVA. In October 2010, TVA debarred Holtec International, Inc., based on the results of a criminal investigation conducted by the OIG. Because of our recommendation, TVA created a formal suspension and debarment process and proceeded to debar Holtec for 60 days. Holtec agreed to pay a $2 million administrative fee and submit to independent monitoring of its operations for one year. The TVA Board’s Audit, Risk, and Regulation Committee and TVA management fully supported the OIG’s recommendation to create a suspension and debarment process and submit Holtec to that process. TVA’s Supply Chain organization and Office of General Counsel worked collaboratively with the OIG to achieve this milestone in TVA history. How does one contractor being debarred make life better for Valley residents? Ultimately, the less vulnerable TVA is to fraud the better chance rates stay low. This debarment signaled TVA’s commitment to do more than simply ask for the money back. This debarment action was literally heard around the world and drew a line in the sand. Yes, much of this was symbolic, but symbols matter when you are the largest public power company in America…. the limited power of the OIG. We can make recommendations, but we have no power to make TVA follow these recommendations.” p. 8 , October 1, 2010 – March 31, 2011 “Semiannual Report, TVA-OIG“: (Emphasis our own)
https://oig.tva.gov/reports/semi50.pdf LINE IN THE SAND! MY EYE! PERMANENT DEBARMENT WOULD BE A LINE IN THE SAND! Even 6 years, but 60 days? Come on! Also discussed here: https://oig.tva.gov/reports/semi59.pdf
“First debarment in TVA History
An OIG investigation found that a TVA technical contract manager received money from a TVA contractor. Criminal proceedings were taken against the former TVA technical contract manager. In addition, a report of administrative inquiry was issued to TVA management regarding the actions of the contractor, Holtec International, Inc.,(Holtec) a company that supplied casks for spent nuclear fuel.
In response to the report, TVA created the position of Suspension and Debarment Officer. Based on the OIG investigation, TVA’s Suspension and Debarment Officer issued the first debarment action in TVA history. Holtec received a 60-day debarment in 2010 and agreed to pay a $2 million administrative fee to TVA. Holtec was also required to appoint a Corporate Governance Officer and an independent monitor (at the contractor’s expense) to gauge what progress in business ethics the company was making, if any...” https://oig.tva.gov/reports/semi59.pdf
The real question is why they were only debarred for 60 days and not permanently? We can only think of three possible reasons: Lack of other NRC approved options besides Holtec; Gullibility; a Bigger Bribe. Guess what kind of dry cask system Brown’s Ferry Nuclear Power Station has? Holtec! It seems that they contracted to use them before Holtec was debarred. Dare we guess how? And, opted to renew the contract. Perhaps this is the fourth possibility? Or perhaps not.
http://oig.tva.gov/PDF/pressreleases/Symonds.pdf (Emphasis our own).
Although bribery in America pre-dated the arrival of Krishna Singh, it doesn’t seem to be an everyday thing like in India: “A study conducted by Transparency International in year 2005 found that more than 62% of Indians had firsthand experience of paying bribes or influence peddling to get jobs done in public offices successfully.” That’s people from India, not American Indians! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_India India is improving but Singh moved to America a long time ago. Old habits die hard, so they say. Was that the case here?
This article discusses Symonds, the debarment and more: http://www.timesfreepress. com/news/news/story/2012/may/12/tva-waste-storage-pact-has-hot-history/77761/
Although Singh donates routinely to Dem Congressman Donald Norcross, whose brother George sits on the board of Holtec, he appears to be on the stingy side with the largest donations we have found being to Republican Nikki Haley, and to Republican Congressman Tom MacArthur. Nikki Haley is a family friend and perhaps kin to Kris Singh. We don’t know if Tom MacArthur has a connection or if Holtec wants something from him.
Kris Pal Singh of Holtec, $55,000 donation to “the Movement Fund” (2011) which PublicIntegrity.org (22 Sept. 2014) has confirmed as being “A nonprofit affiliated with and supporting Gov. Nikki Haley“. She is now Trump’s UN Ambassador.
The address is confirmed as Holtec’s Kris Singh who is married to Martha Singh and a property that they owned for awhile. The Movement Fund Tax Form http://stk5f277gbe2lfag44edxpbf.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/movement-form.pdf.
“SINGH, KRISHNA P.
PATRONAGE AND NEPOTISM
According to Philly.com: “Holtec a tech firm with ambitions to grow” By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer, July 11, 2014 , Holtec filed state and federal documents in 2012 for proposed building small modular reactors at the Savannah River Nuclear site. It is stated that the “proposal won support from South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, whose father’s family has roots in the same part of India as Singh’s. She called herself a family friend last fall as she attended dedication ceremonies for the $80 million Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology at the University of Pennsylvania… Singh donated $3,500 to Haley’s gubernatorial campaign in 2011, according to South Carolina campaign finance records.” Read the article here: https://web.archive.org/web/20150914234442/http://articles.philly.com/2014-07-11/news/51307920_1_singh-center-indian-people-delaware-valley
Holtec, a private nuclear supplier company, based in NJ, USA, was reportedly founded in 1986 by Dr. Krishna P. Singh of India, who is CEO and President. He is presumably still owner, or an owner. There may or may not be co-owners, such as Alan Soler. The VP Alan Soler helped found it according to some sources, but not according to their web site. Since it’s a private company, we cannot really know who is behind Holtec. It may or may not be Singh. He could be a front man for other interests. Holtec in India, which seems to deal in concrete, predates Holtec USA. Read about Holtec here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holtec_International See also: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/nuclear-supplier-holtec-notice-of-violation-by-nrc-the-india-us-nuclear-deal/
More details and references on the Holtec casks may be found by searching Holtec in the search window of our blog.
About the TVA:
“This act of May 18, 1933, created the Tennessee Valley Authority to oversee the construction of dams to control flooding, improve navigation, and create cheap electric power in the Tennessee Valley basin.
“President Roosevelt signed the Tennessee Valley Authority Act on May 18, 1933, creating the TVA as a Federal corporation. The new agency was asked to tackle important problems facing the valley, such as flooding, providing electricity to homes and businesses, and replanting forests. Other TVA responsibilities written in the act included improving travel on the Tennessee River and helping develop the region’s business and farming. The establishment of the TVA marked the first time that an agency was directed to address the total resource development needs of a major region. TVA was challenged to take on—in one unified development effort—the problems presented by devastating floods, badly eroded lands, a deficient economy, and a steady out-migration. The most dramatic change in Valley life came from the electricity generated by TVA dams. Electric lights and modern appliances made life easier and farms more productive. Electricity also drew industries to the region, providing desperately needed jobs.
Today, TVA is the largest public power company in the United States. The agency also carefully runs the nation’s fifth-largest river system in order to control flooding, make rivers easier to travel, provide recreation, and protect water quality. As a Federal public power corporation, the TVA serves about 80,000 square miles in the southeastern United States. This area includes most of Tennessee and parts of six other states—Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia. TVA’s facilities for generating electric power include 29 hydroelectric dams, a pumped-storage plant, 11 coal-fired plants, 3 nuclear plants, and 4 combustion-turbine installations. These facilities provide over 27,000 megawatts of dependable generating capacity. TVA typically produces more than 130 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, making it the largest electric power producer in the country. TVA provides electric power to 160 local, municipal, and cooperative power distributors through a network of about 17,000 miles of transmission lines.” http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=65#
https://oig.tva.gov/reports/semi50.pdf PERMANENT DEBARMENT WOULD BE A LINE IN THE SAND! Even 6 years, but 60 days? See too: https://oig.tva.gov/reports/semi59.pdf