"New" Documents Demonstrate Prior Portsmouth Puzzles

Updated 10 years ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Dept. of Energy file photo
Dept. of Energy file photo

A newly located Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP)  document appears to show a permanent employee badge (57795) with  temporary badge assignments. One of those temp badge assignments came while the employee was still recovering from an accident and hospitalization at the plant.

These findings bolster assertions that dosimeter alterations occurred routinely. In fact, the document available for download is labeled, “TLD CORRECTIONS,” submitted by Health Physics. The table includes a group, badge number, exposure date(s), shallow/deep readings, as well as change codes.

During the time of the print out, the employee from 3/31/1987 to 3/31/1995 received zero shallow and zero deep doses, except on six occasions. One of those was October 23, 1987 recorded to a “temporary badge” 1349 when 16/16 shallow/deep was reported.

The worker has “temporary badges”  3339, 100, 29, 854, 213, 40, 198, 721, 807. All of the temporary badges are recorded as zero shallow, zero deep.

The document also states that at “13:00” that the data was “changed because of court case.” Items had previously been marked D, for delete, but the letter is crossed out and a “C” written.  None of the recorded doses exceed 26/26.

To properly understand the mindset for alteration of dosages, the plant’s contract with United States Energy Corporation (USEC)  must be examined. Bottom line: It provided millions of dollars of incentives IF the contractor completed the specifications without ANY workman’s compensation or other injuries. Document 96-C-0001 (pdf download available) illustrates “incentives” for enriched uranium delivery.

But under “Occupational Safety and Health,” “Environmental” and “Nuclear Safety”, the contract’s incentives occur only if there are “no injury to an Operator employee or a subcontractor employee…resulting in a required notification to OSHA.”

Under “Environmental,” all of three criteria must be met: No knowing or willful falsification of a required certification of an external document of the operator occurs; no unpermitted release of a pollutant (chemical  or radiological) resulting in a Major Environmental Consequence; and no violation which results in imposition of a criminal penalty.

Under “Nuclear Safety,” no Nuclear Regulatory Commission action can occur that results in the “shut down of a major facility or operation, or restricts operations in a material manner.”