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Employee Files Whistleblower Complaint Against Farley Plant

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) - A senior engineer at the Farley Nuclear Power Plant filed a whistleblower complaint against the company that operates the plant.

In a complaint filed with the Department of Labor in Washington, Michael Smith claims that Southern Nuclear Operating Company and its parent, Southern Company, have retaliated against him for reporting nuclear safety issues at the Farley plant.

Smith claims that Farley's management falsely accused him of being "a danger to nuclear safety."

Smith claims the accusations came just days after he reported safety concerns and acts of retaliation by Farley management to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Smith said he met with the NRC to report that Farley was not concerned about maintaining a safety conscious work environment.

Southern Nuclear spokeswoman Alyson Fuqua said the company does not comment on ongoing litigation.

The complaint was filed on the same day that the NRC announced that it gave the plant's Unit 2 reactor a "yellow" rating -- the next-to-worst in its color coding.

The NRC also cited Southern Nuclear for a violation for failing to promptly identify and fix a valve failure.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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