Former Indian Point Security Guard Sues For $1.5 Billion, Alleges Security Compromised

  • Comments (7)
Indian Point Nuclear Power Plants are being sued by a former security guard.
Indian Point Nuclear Power Plants are being sued by a former security guard. Photo Credit: Entergy Corporation

BUCHANAN, N.Y. — Security personnel are untrained, security software crashes are constant and, in training drills, the terrorists often win, says a lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court by former Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant security guard Clifton "Skip" Travis Jr.

The former guard is suing Entergy, several of its subsidiary companies and several of his supervisors for $20 million in compensatory damages and $1.5 billion for punitive damages.

The suit says Travis suffered physical and emotion stress, including the breakup of his 20-year marriage, after voicing his concerns over security practices detailed in the summons. 

In a 71-page summons, the security at Indian Point is called "totally compromised," and it says there were numerous incidents in which security personnel were expected to operate complicated security software for which they received 20 to 30 minutes of training. There were also numerous incidents of guards discussing where they would "jump the fence" if attacked by terrorists and records being falsified by supervisors and guards, the summons said. It also alleges that spent nuclear fuel is stored in unlit premises.

Entergy spokesperson Jim Steets said he could not comment on the specific contents of the summons, but said, "Security at Indian Point has been evaluated by the NRC and an independent panel of security experts and both have said that Indian Point is secure." He said he did not believe the company had been served the summons.

Travis began working at Indian Point in 2008 after being solicited by the company, according to the summons. He is described as a security expert in the summons, with more than 20 years of experience in firearms and security experience. The summons says Travis went on family leave from Indian Point in November after being placed on a day shift in a retaliatory move for voicing security concerns.

A permanent night-shift guard, Travis normally cared for his daughter during the day. But after being cleared for work by a therapist in March 2011, he was left "in 'limbo'" by Entergy for months, according to the summons. 

Neither Travis, nor his attorney, Amy Bellantoni of the Bellantoni Law Firm, could be reached Wednesday evening for comment.

Numerous incidents detailed in the summons include the institution of security software known as "ARINCS." Before the new software "went live," Travis' lawsuit alleges that his team of security personnel was given a "'familiarization' session" that lasted 20 to 30 minutes with a screen that was inactive. The trainer instructed security personnel of how to handle hypothetical situations, the summons says. The software crashed 14 times the same day it was implemented, according to the lawsuit, and a further extension was avoided so that hefty fines would not be levied against Entergy by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

In one of the drills practiced by Indian Point staff, the lawsuit says that on Oct. 11, "all of the 'terrorists' successfully breached the perimeter, and the identified 'target sets' located in-site of Indian Point succeeded in causing a total nuclear meltdown."

The summons alleges that guards were encouraged to bring DVD players, laptops and video games to keep them "occupied" during their shifts.

In one month, contentions against the license renewal of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plants will begin in Tarrytown, before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, a three-judge independent judiciary arm of the NRC.

  • 7
    Comments

Comments (7)

The mentality that "it cannot happen here" truly amazes me!!

Having lived in the area in the past and having many family members and friends that still reside in the area, I applaud Mr. Travis for doing his best to bring to light the lack of safety and security at Indian Point. It is appalling to me that more people are not rallying around him for there own safety.

Having lived in the area in the past and having many family members and friends that still reside in the area, I applaud Mr. Travis for doing his best to bring to light the lack of safety and security at Indian Point. It is appalling to me that more people are not rallying around him for there own safety.

Show me the money!!!!

Skipper when you get the multi million dollar settlement are you going to give it back so they can spend it on better safety measures? I would bet you’ll be moving out of our area to your new house and spend your windfall on vacations, cars and boats. Thanks for being so concerned about our safety send me a post card from Disney World.

What a beautiful picture of the plant.