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June 8, 2011

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee


HIXSON MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FALSIFYING WORK RECORDS AT NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Matthew Correll, 31, of Hixson, Tenn, pleaded guilty today in U.S. Magistrate Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga, to falsifying work records at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Watts Bar Nuclear Facility. Sentencing has been set in U.S. District Court, Chattanooga, for October 6, 2011, at 2:00 p.m., before the Honorable Curtis Collier, U.S. District Court Judge. Correll faces a maximum term of five years in prison along with fines and supervised release.

As part of the plea agreement, Correll stipulated that, in August, 2010, in Spring City, Tenn., he completed TVA forms purporting to state micrometer readings of cables that had been installed to provide energy to equipment, including to safety equipment, inside the containment structure at Unit 2 of the Watts Bar nuclear plant. The defendant made approximately 200 entries. After the entries were submitted, it was discovered that the entries were either inaccurate or purported to be measurements of cables that did not in fact exist. The defendant was questioned and admitted that he had falsified all of the entries.

"Falsifying work records is a serious federal offense that could ultimately affect public safety. We are pleased that TVA was able to uncover this matter through their system of checks and balances involving the startup of this nuclear facility," said U.S. Attorney Bill Killian.

The investigation, leading to the indictment of and guilty plea by Correll was conducted by the TVA Office of the Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney James T. Brooks represented the United States.

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