Officials: Guard Allowed People Through Out-Of-Order Explosives Detector At Nuclear Power Plant

BEAVER, Pa. (KDKA) — A security guard was fired from the Beaver Valley nuclear power station after officials say the guard lied to investigators.

Whether its employees or visitors, anyone who enters the Beaver Valley nuclear power station must past through both metal detection and explosion detection machines.

But the Nuclear Regulatory Commission learned that the security guard allowed 150 people to pass through the explosion detector even though it had a sign saying it was out of order.

“In this case, they had an explosives detector that was out of service, and there was a sign on the detector acknowledging that fact,” said Neil Sheehan, of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “But the security guard did not take note of that and processed through numerous individuals.”

According to the NRC, the guard noticed the out of order sign and threw it on the floor. First, she claimed it was found on the floor, but video evidence showed her tossing the sign.

The station is operated by First Energy.

A spokesperson for the company released this statement: “She provided inaccurate information about the state of an explosives detector used to screen people before they enter the plant. The guard no longer works at Beaver Valley station and will not work at any of our stations in the future.”

The unidentified guard worked for a company called Securitas, which has an office in Pittsburgh. The company did not answer our calls and there’s no word if she is still employed.

“We never want a situation where anyone coming into a nuclear power plant would even have the ability to get explosives past these critical checkpoints,” Sheehan said.

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The detector had been out of service for an hour because it failed a calibration test. That is when the sign was put on.

But plant officials tested the machine again, and determined even though it was out of calibration, it was still able to detect explosives. So no one got through unscreened.

More from Bob Allen

One Comment

  1. Deputy53 says:

    This is one of the problems in America. You want top notch people protecting critical sites…but only want to pay them $10/hr or LESS. Had a private top notch school in Florida, that charged over $4K a year for kindergarten, up to $8K a year 10th thru 12th grade. Most of the graduating seniors got into whatever college they applied to. Yet most school bus drivers had records. Granted most were misdemeanors, but there were a few felons driving kids around. The point is…your only as strong as your weakest link.
    So, Just how much can you expect from someone you are paying $10/hr to, Armed or not?

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