Entergy submits report, suspends high-ranking employees

By John O'Brien | Feb 24, 2010

MONTPELIER, Vt. (Legal Newsline) - Entergy Corp. has handed over the results of an internal investigation to Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell while lawmakers are mulling the future of one of its plants.

The law firm of Morgan Lewis and Bockius concluded in the report that no employees at Entergy's Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station intentionally misled state officials.

However, five senior employees have been placed on administrative leave for their comments regarding underground piping to the state's Public Service Board, Department of Public Service and Public Oversight Panel, or a contracting firm working for the panel.

"While there was no intentional wrongdoing, it is not consistent with our expectations at Vermont Yankee or in the nuclear industry, nor is it consistent with our values at Entergy," site vice president Michael Colomb said.

A whistleblower has alleged Entergy has attempted to patch leaks of radioactive tritium without shutting down the plant.

While Nuclear Safety Associates was performing a reliability assessment, Entergy employees' "failure to specify the context of their communication led to misunderstandings and, taken out of that context, the responses were incomplete and misleading," a release said.

Vermont's legislature must approve Entergy's request for a 20-year extension on its license to operate. The current license expires in 2012.

Colomb was one of the senior employees placed on administrative lead.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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