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For example, during the harassment hearings held in Fort Worth in September and early October, Nuemeyer testified that she had been forced by supervisors to sign “stacks and stacks” of inspection reports which she had never seen before inspections that had supposedly been performed on welds on the stainless steel liners in the spent fuel pool, the transfer canal between the containment building and the fuel pool and the reactor containment liner, the most critical radioactive containment areas of the plant. To further complicate the problem for Nuemeyer, the work on the liners and inspections had been performed before she was even hired. Under regulatory law, no inspector except the one who actually performs an inspection can sign a report testifying to the validity of the work being performed. Nuemeyer, who knew the law and knew that she would be at great risk if she signed the reports, protested. She was switched from the night shift to the day shift and told that one of her co-workers was also signing the reports without protest. Nuemeyer caved in, signed the reports, and was subsequently switched back to the night shift after she completed the sign-offs. The reports she signed were supposed to show that the welds on the liners were safe. ANDERSON& COMPANY COFFEE TEA SPICES TWO JEFFERSON SWAIM AUSTIN, TEXAS 7W/31 512 453-1533 Send me your list. Name Street City Zip However, questions raised to intervenors and the NRC as far back as 1979 by welders, who said the liner welds were defective and would leak over time, suddenly began to dovetail with Nuemeyer’s testimony of falsified inspection reports. In June of 1979, welder Dave Butler went to his supervisors and told them that he was having problems with the liner plate welds because they were not being done to procedure. His supervisors ignored him, Butler said. Butler, who charged then that the faulty welds were in the “north and south fuel storage pools, containment building number 1, and the transfer canal” told the Fort Worth StarTelegram in a 1979 interview after he quit the job in protest, saying, “Gravel, sand and pebbles washed down between A former welder said the welds were not up to standard. the liner and concrete walls when workers hosed down buckets used to pour concrete.” The stainless steel must be “mirror clean” in order to be welded on safely, Butler said. “Some of the material washed down between the seam being welded and its metal backing strip,” Butler continued, leaving an area “between the backing plate and the weld filled with the sand mixture, leaving the seam vulnerable to slippage and leakage.” Butler further said that cooling water “circulating around the [spent fuel] pellets could cause faulty welds to crack . . . [allowing] radioactive water to seep into the concrete wall.” At the time, Butler’s allegations were investigated by the regional NRC office, and the official report found no “safety violations,” even though it did confirm many of Butler’s charges. Butler’s allegations and the NRC report were forgotten until Nuemeyer’s testimony triggered intervenors’ memories of Butler as well as other welders who confirmed the charges at the time. In September, the chairman of the licensing board, Peter Bloch, ordered the NRC to reopen its investigation into the defective weld allegations first raised in 1979. In a telephone interview recently, Butler, who is now self-employed in Oklahoma and had no wish to come back to Texas to testify “unless there’s no other way,” told me that all of the allegations he made in 1979 were valid and then he made a few more. “In 1979 I was 24 years old and had been welding since I was 17,” Butler said. “I welded on the liners in the fuel building [the spent fuel pool], the transfer canal, and the containment exclusively.” He said that he not only welded on the liner but he “made repairs on the liner welds that were bad .. . at least those that we found with the liquid penetrant test [a dye test] . . . but the liquid test is no good since it only shows up surface problems, so we only fixed surface holes. If there were cracks or cavities behind the plate or below the surface more than 1/4 inch, then they are still there. I worked on weld repairs for about three months. “In 1982, a friend, who was then a quality control inspector at Comanche Peak, called and said ‘I need to know where all the bad welds are in the liners . . . we’re reinspecting and I was told to call you and find out what you can remember.’ “I told him that they were all bad. But I’d been gone too long, I couldn’t tell him where to find specific ones. He 12 NOVEMBER 9, 1984