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Workers at San Onofre nuclear plant fear retaliation for reporting problems, memo says

February 19, 2010 |  7:49 am


Workers at the San Onofre nuclear power plant fear retaliation if they report problems at the facility operated by Southern California Edison, according to an internal memo released by an Orange County environmental group.

The memo, written by a plant engineer, said 25 workers who reported problems at the plant said they feared retaliation from management after they made complaints. Of those workers, 17 said they did receive some type of retaliation for reporting complaints.

Details of these alleged actions were not detailed in the memo, which was released by Green San Clemente.

But the San Diego Union Tribune reported that despite those concerns, the memo noted that San Onofre workers report safety violations "10 times more often than the industry average."

San Onofre has been the subject of several investigations by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission over the last few years for various safety issues. Facility operators say the plant is safe and that they welcome employee input.

In 2008, The Times reported the twin-reactor facility ranks among the bottom 25% in overall performance when measured against the nation's other nuclear reactors, according to e-mailed newsletters distributed to plant employees.

--Shelby Grad

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times