Former Indian Point Supervisor Charged In White Plains Federal Court With Falsifying Records To Conceal Information From The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that DANIEL WILSON, a former supervisor at Indian Point Energy Center (“Indian Point”), a nuclear power plant in Westchester County, was charged in a criminal Complaint (the “Complaint”) with engaging in deliberate misconduct in violation of rules of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”), making false statements in connection with a matter within the jurisdiction of the NRC, and fabricating records to conceal a violation of NRC requirements at the facility. This Complaint was based on the results of an investigation by the NRC’s Office of Investigations, led by Director Cheryl McCrary. WILSON was arrested today on the charges in the Complaint and was presented before United States Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison in the White Plains federal courthouse, who ordered him released on bail conditions.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: "Any alleged deliberate misconduct at a facility like Indian Point is a matter of grave concern to this Office. One need look no further than recent natural disasters to know that at important facilities, backup generators and other systems must be maintained in working order because in an emergency they may be critical."
NRC Region I Administrator Bill Dean stated: “The NRC relies on nuclear power plant employees to behave in a responsible and trustworthy manner. When it comes to ensuring the operability of a plant's emergency diesel generators, or any other vital nuclear safety equipment, there can be no room for anything other than employees adhering to the highest standards of integrity. In coordination with the Department of Justice, the NRC will move forward with any civil enforcement action in this matter."
As charged in the Complaint, Indian Point must comply with technical specifications; otherwise Indian Point may be required to shut down until it complies. Indian Point maintains a backup system of emergency generators for use in part to provide power in the event of a power outage and shutdown. WILSON, the Chemistry Manager at Indian Point from 2007 through 2012, was responsible for, among other things, ensuring that certain aspects of the operation at Indian Point were in compliance with the required technical specifications. One such requirement regards the amount of particulate matter in the diesel fuel used to power emergency generators at Indian Point, which must not exceed a set limit. In 2011, tests of the diesel fuel maintained for use in powering the emergency generators at Indian Point showed that the ratio of particulate matter in the diesel fuel exceeded the limit set by the NRC.
In February 2012, WILSON concealed material facts from his employer and the NRC by fabricating test data for non-existent resamples of the diesel fuel, falsely showing that the resamples of diesel fuel tested below the applicable NRC limit. In fact, no such resamples were taken, and the purported test data were fabrications. Later in February 2012, WILSON, in response to questioning by other employees of Indian Point in advance of an inspection by the NRC, wrote a report – the kind on which the NRC ordinarily relies in inspecting nuclear facilities for safety – in which he gave a false explanation for the lack of supporting documentation for his fabricated test results. In a subsequent interview with NRC personnel, WILSON admitted that he had fabricated the test results so that Indian Point would not have to shut down.
WILSON, 57, of Walden, New York, is charged in a two-count Complaint with willfully violating rules of the NRC by engaging in deliberate misconduct, in violation of Title 42, United States Code, Section 2273, and with making false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the NRC, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001. If convicted, WILSON faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
Mr. Bharara praised the efforts of the NRC Office of Investigations in connection with this investigation.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant United States Attorney Benjamin Allee is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.