Cooper Nuclear Station Report
Prepared by Oscar Shirani, Dated November 24, 2003
As a concerned citizen and a nuclear power plant worker, I have the following ALLEGATION against Cooper Nuclear Station (CNS) and Entergy regarding the safety of our public and termination of my employment while my project is fully funded by the board of directors and very well managed by me:
- U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Public Affair (Washington, DC 20555-0001) NUREG/BR-0240, Revision 1, September 1998, States:
"Acts of discrimination by a licensee, contractor, or subcontractor taken against a worker for bringing safety concerns to the attention of licensee management or the NRC are against the law. Specific examples of discrimination include firing, reduction in pay, poor performance appraisals, and reassignment to a lower position or job". "Workers who raise safety concerns serve a vital role in the protection of public health and safety. Retaliation against those who do so is unlawful and will not be tolerated by the NRC."
Explanation for my allegation stated above:
My Background Information shared with the CNS Managers (Kevin Jones and Jeff Edwards)
1. I was blackballed by Exelon from nuclear industry for 18 months due to the nuclear safety concerns that my audits had raised by issuing the stop work orders against GE Nuclear Energy, Holtec, and US Tool & Die from 1997-2000. ComEd hired the same GE Manager, David Helwig who was responsible for the 100% failure and the design flaws of GE that resulted to their shutdown by my audit and then he fired all my managers who supported my stop work order.
2. Worked at the Calvert Cliff Nuclear Power Plant (CCNPP) as a contractor from January through April 2003 and I had an opportunity to be hired as direct employee, but the Engineering VP, John Hosmer who came from Exelon stopped my chance to be hired or stay as a contractor. As a Structural Engineer, I also refused to put my signature on my last day, April 18, 2003 on an inaccurate information in the nonconforming condition report disposition of concrete crack by their contractor, SGT for the Steam Generator Replacement at CCNPP Unit 2. CCNPP and SGT refused to report the concrete crack issue to the NRC as required per their QA Program. SGT and CCNPP did not perform the operability evaluations per my repeated request for the pressurizer wall crack subjected to seismic and high energy line break. The concrete testing lab results also confirmed my conclusion about the concrete strength. Even the repaired concrete did not have an adequate strength required by CCNPP UFSAR and Design Bases documents as revealed by the testing lab. As we speak, CCNPP is operating at risk for seismic and high energy line break events. I have sent all my documentation to CCNPP President and NRC. NRC is coming to Nebraska City to interview me in December 1, 2003 in this regard.
My Job as a Project Manager at CNS
- I started at the Cooper Nuclear Station (CNS) as a contractor in August 18, 2003 and was assigned with 16 Projects including Environmental Qualification (EQ) Project. In the first week of September, Ms. Judy Carter, the Nebraska Public Power Districtís (NPPD) Internal Auditor was conducting an audit of EQ Program. My boss, Jeff Edwards, the CNS Nuclear Projects Manager asked me to help Judy to understand the technical questions that she needed help from an independent technical expert. I sat down with Judy in her office for almost an hour and answered all her questions. Judy became concerned about the EQ Status 3 that should be Status 1 to meet our commitment to the NRC and to meet the Strategic Improvement Program and Corrective Action Letter from NRC (TIP/CAL Item 18.104.22.168). This is also required by the CNS Procedure 3.4.7 and 10CFR50 Appendix B (QA Criteria for Nuclear Power and Fuel Processing Plants). Judy picked up the phone and called Kevin Bielsback, the CNS Quality Assurance (QA) Supervisor and told me to talk to him and tell him what I just explained to her. I explained that in order to be in compliance with 10CFR50.49 and meeting the EQ Criteria, all the calculations should be status 1 (active) and not the Status 3 (pending or on hold) Calculations. I did not know who he was. I just performed my assignment to help Judy as directed by my boss. Why Should I have to be punished for doing my job and express my professional viewpoint as requested?
- On the phone conversation, I explained all the requirements of the design basis and also informed Kevin Bielsback that none of the Quality Assuranceís (QA) four performed audit reports from 2000-2003 regarding the EQ Program had addressed the requirements of 10CFR50 Appendix B for the EQ program, which deals with the design control (design basis and design input). Kevin Bielsback did not disagree with my logic and reasons. Kevin Bielsback said that he will call me back and also indicated that he has a budget to support the audit. Kevin Bielsback never called me back nor did any audits conducted by CNS QA Department.
- I documented this conversation and sent an e-mail to the DED Manager, Kevin Jones on September 9, 2003 and CCíd all the appropriate customers that needed to know including Allen Williams, the Engineering Support Department (ESD) Manager of Programs. (Please read the e-mails that I have arranged in chronological order).
- Allen Williams had called Jeff Edwards and complained about my e-mail of September 9, 2003. Jeff called a meeting with Allen & I on September 10, 2003 (Please read my file "Oscar" documenting this meeting notes).
- Prior to the meeting, Allen Williams saw me on the third floor of Admin Bldg. about 7:55 AM, September 10, 2003 while waiting for Jeff to arrive and vividly threatened me. Allen told me: "your god damn e-mail was totally inappropriate and I donít appreciate this kind of garbage and nonsense that you put in writing to screw my EQ Program three weeks prior to the NRCís Inspection". He added that "the CNS has done so much for the EQ and I wonít let you screw it with your god damn e-mail to everyone and not only your e-mail has pissed me off, it also has pissed off all the other managers and my boss Gary Kline and the QA Manager". I told Allen that the QA Manager had agreed with me on the phone. He said: "Kevin Bielsback is not the QA Manager and he is only a QA Supervisor and he was chewed up by Steve Blake, his boss why did he agree with you on the phone".
- Allen totally ignored me as the Project Manager of EQ and did not invite me to any of the preparation meetings for the NRC inspections while more than 20 other EQ staff was invited.
- I communicated these Allenís resentments towards me to Jeff Edwards. Kevin Jones, my current boss, left his position as the Design Engineering Department (DED) and became my boss after my e-mail of September 9, 2003 was sent to him and other engineering managers. Kevin started to only supervise me and Mike Sparr among all the 15 Project Managers. I informed Kevin Jones about Allenís attitude towards me. Kevin told me that the method of communication was not appropriate.
- It is so strange that my e-mail "that pissed off all the engineering and QA managers who received it" as quoted by Allen, all of the sudden one of the pissed off engineering managers became my direct supervisor and all my communication with Jeff regarding EQ was absolutely halted. Jeffís last conversation with me regarding EQ ended with this quote from him: "if the deliverables of EQ is not meeting its commitments and dates then he would be whistle blowing himself". Jeff Edwards quit his job in early November 2003 and joined St. Lucieís Nuclear Plant in Florida. I would like to subpoena him as my witness.
- NRC as usual did their paper work audit in October 6, 2003 for only two and half days for hundreds of EQ Calculations and blessed the EQ Program as meeting the intent of the 10CFR50.49. NRC trusted the CNS and relied on the accurate information by CNS, but CNS misled the NRC. NRC did not question the validity of the design input in the Environmental Qualification Data Packages (EQDPs) that are relied upon 100ís of status 3 Calculations from Design Engineering Departmentís (DED) for bounding design conditions, which does not meet the design basis requirements of the CNS plant per CNS Procedure 3.4.7 and 10CFR50 App. B.
- Despite all the Allenís attempts to exclude me from EQ, I asked Kevin Jones to attend the Allenís meeting for the NRC preparation and Kevin did not disagree. I have documented in my meeting minute notes that Allen was saying: "the time is to our advantage and NRC is going to be here for less then 2 and half days and we should not let them wonder around and ask questions from anyone that they desire. If we donít know the answer, donít give your opinion, because NRC is good at getting different information from different individuals and bash our EQ Program like in the past". In the whole meeting, Allen was like a football coach who is preparing the team for the enemy. He was admiring the EQ team repeatedly for their heroic acts and said: "we should not show any sign of weaknesses to NRC that we had done in the past". It is amazing how he was focusing the attention to his egotistic attitude and not on the facts and the design basis of the plant that he knew he would not meet. In the meeting, Allen did not introduce me to the EQ Group. I had to ask him to introduce me as the new PM. He introduced me and indicated that Oscar Shirani would stay on the peripheral of the NRC Inspection and Tim would contact NRC. By that remark from Allen, I knew that I should stay away and I did. I did not even walked on the hallways that NRCís room were, because Tim Pospisil and Mark Unruh were watching the traffic and only brought people who had to answer the NRCís questions.
- In early September 2003, David Mckibbin (one of the contract Project Managers, PM) and I attended a meeting with Todd Hottovey, Equipment Reliability Manager and Vince Roppel, a Contract PM from INPO and introduced myself as the new PM for Equipment Reliability Improvement Project (ERIP). I told Todd and Vince that I have 16 projects to do. Vince and Todd were very concerned that I have other projects and expressed to David and I that ERIP needs almost a full time PM and it is a very heavy-duty project. Based on that input, my projects were starting to cut down to only three: EQ, ERIP, and Reactor Water Clean Up Pumps Replacement (RWCU). I was told by Bob Wulf, the System Engineering Department (PED) Manager to delay the RWCU Project to 2005.
- When the NRC inspection was over, I was supposed to take the EQ as a full time PM effective October 16, 2003 upon Jim Pospisilís (the current PM) departure. With less than one week fully replacing Tim on the EQ Project, I was fired by Ted Hough and Allen Williams who were not my bosses with no explanations. Ted told me: "his boss, Allen Williams had called your boss, Jeff Edwards and told him to remove Oscar Shirani from this project and Jeff had agreed". I told Ted that if my boss agreed to that, then I have to verify it with my boss. I went to my office and found out that Jeff Edwards and Kevin Jones were out of town. I talked to Rich Dewhirst, Projectsí Director to call Jeff. Rich immediately called Jeff by his cell phone in front of me and Jeff denied that he had received such a phone call from Allen Williams. I left a message for Ted that his information to me that my boss had agreed with Allen was inadequate. I knew that my troubles had just begun from the last week of October 2003. I had explained my situation to a couple of my witnesses and I will subpoena them if necessary.
- In October 2003, Mike Sparr and I were talking about his projects and he mentioned the spent nuclear racks and spent nuclear fuel dry cask as future projects. He informed me that NPPD is willing to go with Holtec for the job. I informed Mike that Holtec QA program had many design and fabrication flaws. He asked me for references to read about those issues. I told him to go to the Internet and search for dry cask by Holtec and US Tool & Die. Mike looked at the Website and saw my name and allegations about the Holtec casks all over the Internet and the news reportersí interviews with me. I openly discussed my allegations and I decided to be proactive and tell Jeff Edwards and Kevin Jones about my issues with Exelon.
- In the second week of November 2003, Randy Edington, the new Chief Nuclear Officer (CNO) from Entergy who had taken over the CNS Management requested for the status of all the TIP/CAL Items that contains the NRC commitments. Kevin Jones told me to provide the status update for both EQ and ERIP. I explained to Kevin that you know that Allen Williams had terminated me from that project and you and Jeff has not said anything to me whether you agreed with his decision or not. Kevin and Jeff as my managers never told me yes or no about their decision for my removal from EQ Project and they are the ones who should have decided and not Allen Williams who was not my boss. I guess that Kevin and Jeff knew that this might get ugly and did not want any part of that. This is exactly where we are. However, I provided the status update in the Spreadsheet to our secretary Pat Garris to prepare the report as requested by Randy and documented it in my weekly status reporting.
- When Kevin Jones read my update status for the TIP/CAL Item in the spreadsheet called me immediately and privately met me in the Russ Wenzlís office and closed the door and advised me not to include my comments to Randy Edington for the sake of CNS. I told him that my report is written for you and you as my manager could do whatever you want to do with it and risk is yours. I told him that I donít want the Projects team, you or Jeff be liable to all the risks that I had identified in my report. He tapped my shoulder and said thanks. We need to subpoena the spreadsheet to Randy Edington and find out how Kevin Jones had censored my report.
- In the second week of November 2003, Kevin told me that Todd Hottovey told him: "I donít need Oscar Shirani as a full time PM to charge my project". I told Kevin that I am not charging that project as a full time PM and only charging the amount that Todd Hottovey and the Integrated Management Committee (IMC) had agreed on 10/6/03 ($211,000 for my services as PM for ERIP). I also told Kevin that I have asked you repeatedly that you need to assign me with another project or let me get back some of my old projects that you and others eliminated.
- Todd Hottovey had always recommended that ERIP Project should be combined with Bill Of Materials (BOM) Project. Meshelle Borush, the ex-Procurement Manager and current HR manager told me that Todd Hottovey agreed in late October that Oscar Shirani should be the PM for BOM Project. I informed Kevin Jones and he has refused to talk about the BOM or any other projects with me.
- On November 20, 2003, I received a call from the Computer Department that needed to work on my computer and wanted to know when I am not available for them to do that. I told them that I am leaving today and my computer is yours until I come back on December 1, 2003.
- On November 20, 2003, I left the site to go home to Illinois for the weekend. On November 21, 2003, I received a phone call from Kevin Jones that my contract is terminated due to budgetary issues and since I only have one project to run. I told him that it was not my choice of having one project and all my other projects were removed by you and others and I would do whatever it takes to keep my job. I also informed him that my project is fully funded and going very well. Kevin said that it is not performance issue and we only terminated you for budgetary issues. I told Kevin that financially I cannot afford to lose my job and I need to feed my family especially being blackballed from the industry and not being able to find another job. He said let me think about it this weekend and call you on Monday November 24, 2003. I told Kevin that Mike Sparr had asked me to help him out with his many projects and him and John Humphries are very much loaded and are willing to give up some of their projects. I also reminded Kevin about my other project RWCU and he said that we donít need to spend that money this year. Kevin Jones called me on Monday November 24, 2003 at 2:15 PM and indicated that Karen Fili, the new Projects Manager from Entergy who replaced Jeff Edwards and he could not remove other peopleís projects to give me. I told Kevin that all this was planned to get my projects to other people and now you cannot give my projects back to me. He said that he had to call Mark Inserra, Demark Owner, the company who had signed a two year contract with me and CNS for my services.
- This is the way that Engineering Department Managers, Allen Williams and
Kevin Jones with the blessing of their boss, Gary Kline had planned to terminate
my position slowly, but surely. I have documented my whole ordeals and willing
to publish it for public to know what is going on in the nuclear industry
and how public safety has no value to these people. This is the way that nuclear
industry punishes people who cannot look the other way and maintain their
high ethics and integrity. Now I leave it up to the NRC to find out what would
they do about it?
This document was posted online December, 2003 by Russell D. Hoffman. For a
complete guide to Oscar Shirani's allegations please visit: