Former Employee of Palisades, Seabrook Allegedly Lied About Past, Still Given Sensitive Jobs
D.C. â€“ Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the
Energy and Commerce Committee, today wrote to the U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission (NRC) demanding answers in light of reports that
the former security manager at the Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan
who had also been employed at the Seabrook nuclear plant in New
Hampshire, is an individual who claimed to be a paid assassin and
evidently fabricated much of his background but still managed to obtain
both of his sensitive jobs and the necessary security clearances.
â€œIf theyâ€™re handing out sensitive nuclear security jobs to someone
who claimed to be a gun for hire, who else are they hiring to secure
nuclear materials? If the reports about this individual, William E.
Clark, are true, there are potentially deadly gaps in the current
process used to evaluate prospective employees,â€ said Rep. Markey.
â€œNuclear plant operators can build all the walls or blast-resistant
chambers they want, but if theyâ€™re not screening the security
personnel, none of that will matter.â€
According to an article in
the June edition of Esquire, Mr. William E. Clark was hired as the head
of security at the Palisades nuclear plant in early 2006 and resigned
several weeks ago, before the article was published. Mr. Clark also
reportedly worked at the Seabrook nuclear plant prior to working at the
Palisades plant. Mr. Clark reportedly told the author of the Esquire
article and others that he had been employed as a marksman for
Blackwater Corporation; had killed people in Vietnam, New Orleans and
Iraq; had top security clearances at the Departments of Energy and
Defense; served in the French Foreign Legion; worked as a guard for
President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan and Paul Bremer in Iraq; and was
a covert operator employed by the Federal Government through a
â€œhandler,â€ which required his identity to be kept secret.
Markeyâ€™s letter asks NRC Chairman Dale E. Klein to respond to detailed
questions about how Mr. Clark was hired and the general vetting process
for other individuals employed at nuclear reactors. The questions
â€¢ How and when did the Commission and the licensee,
Entergy, first become aware of the possibility that Mr. Clark had
fabricated portions of his resume?
â€¢ Has the Commission or the
licensee considered the possibility that Mr. Clark may pose a danger to
the facility, or to other nuclear facilities, since he now possesses
sensitive information regarding the operation of nuclear power plants
and any security weaknesses? If so, what is the Commission and/or the
licensee doing to ensure that he cannot gain armed or unarmed access to
a nuclear power plant?
â€¢ Mr. Clark reportedly claimed to his
employer that he had been a paid assassin, although it appears that
this claim was not in fact true. Can the Commission account for how
someone making such a claim, true or not, could be considered eligible
for employment at nuclear power plants?
â€¢ Please fully describe
the process by which applicants for sensitive positions at nuclear
reactors are screened. What background checks are required? How are
claims made on resumes verified?
â€¢ When did Mr. Clark work at the
Seabrook nuclear power plant, and in what capacity? Did he work for any
other nuclear power plants, and if so which, and during what time
â€œMr. Clark has reportedly resigned his position at
Palisades, but this episode, if true, raises serious questions about
every other individual employed at nuclear reactors across the country.
The NRC needs to quickly explain the troubling circumstances of this
bizarre episode and ensure that all reactor employees are properly
vetted before receiving sensitive responsibilities,â€ concluded Rep.