As reported by Cody Comb's of WWMT-TV 3's I-Team, who originally broke the story of fire risk violations at Entergy Nuclear's Palisades atomic reactor earlier this month, based on whistle-blower revelations, additional whistle-blowers have revealed they are being scapegoated by management that didn't even see fit to train them properly in the first place.
A key question -- will the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) yet again be complicit with Entergy, by effectively taking part in that scapegoating?
WWMT quoted a Palisades security guard who has been placed on administrative paid leave:
"I'm on paid leave right now, and I have been for almost a month," said one of the plant workers, agreeing to speak with Newschannel 3's I-Team on the condition of anonymity.
"Now the company [Entergy] lawyer is asking us questions, saying the NRC will be speaking with us…and that we could be criminally liable," the worker added...
"The training department never once trained us on fire tours," the officer said. "Security used to have a fire brigade that had a certain number of security members on shift, but when Entergy bought the plant they got rid of that…there's a whole fire brigade staff at that plant right now that have never trained anybody on how to do the fire tours."
Also as reported by Combs:
According to a source with knowledge of previous Palisades labor issues and investigations...the supervisors at the plant who signed off on the [falsified] paperwork were not placed on leave during the investigation, adding concern about the seriousness of the investigation.
"There's a significant lack of leadership in the security area there, that's for sure," said the source.
WWMT also quoted Beyond Nuclear:
Beyond Nuclear, a group known for its opposition to nuclear energy, is not mincing words about the current Palisades investigation.
"Fire itself is 50% of the risk in terms of a meltdown," said Kevin Kamps, a radioactive waste watchdog for Beyond Nuclear. "It's as much of a risk as all the other risks put together, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and accidents."
Kamps said he is also concerned about the Palisades track record, referencing several incidents in the  year old plant's recent history.
"We have such collusion at Palisades, in large measure we've got the NRC covering up for Entergy (owner of the plant), and the NRC has allowed for fire risks to go unaddressed for decades now."
The collusion to which Kamps referred was that at Fukushima Daiichi, which the Japanese Parliament, after a year-long investigation, concluded was the root cause of the nuclear catastrophe. Collusion between nuclear safety regulatory agency, Tokyo Electric Power Company, and government officials is what led to the vulnerability of the three reactors to the natural disasters that wrecked them on 3/11/11, resulting in the triple meltdown, and catastrophic releases of hazardous releases of radioactivity.
Such collusion exists in spades at Palisades, between NRC, Entergy, and the likes of U.S. Representative Fred Upton (R-MI). Upton chairs the powerful U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee, with jurisdiction over nuclear safety. Palisades is in his congressional district. But Entergy, a major campaign contributor, can do no wrong in Upton's view.
S&P Global/Platts Inside NRC (Volume 38/Number 15/July 25, 2016) senior editor, Jim Ostroff, also reported on this story. In an article entitled "Twenty-two Palisades guards on leave in NRC fire tour investigation," he quoted Beyond Nuclear:
Kevin Kamps, whose title is radioactive waste watchdog at the anti-nuclear group Beyond Nuclear, said in a July 21 interview that “the big question is whether there are sufficient guards left [at Palisades] to provide sufficient security” following Entergy’s assignment of 22 guards to paid leave status.
In addition, Kamps said “there should be concern” that the company is complying with NRC fitness for duty programs under regulations at 10 CFR Part 26 “by having remaining security guards sign waivers so they can work 75 hours a week.” Kamps attributed that information to local television news reports* that he said were based on interviews with security personnel placed on paid leave...
The NRC fitness for duty regulation stipulates nuclear power plant personnel can work “72 work hours in any 7-day period.” It also provides: “To the extent practicable, licensees shall rely on the granting of waivers only to address circumstances that could not have been reasonably controlled.”
Kamps said in a July 14 statement on the Palisades matter that “[i]f an undetected fire were to spread to safety-significant systems, structures, or components, a reactor meltdown or high-level radioactive waste storage pool fire could result.”
Kamps said: “This could result in a catastrophic release of hazardous radioactivity, killing and injuring countless thousands downwind out to great distances, ruining the Great Lakes drinking water supply for 40 million people downstream in two countries, and causing over $100 billion in property damage.”
(The article is copyrighted, so cannot be posted in its entirety here.)
*Actually, the source for the information was not the WWMT-TV 3 reports, but rather a reliable, anonymous source who spoke to Beyond Nuclear on background. The source has followed issues of security, whistleblowers, regulatory violations, etc. at Palisades for many years.