Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that DANIEL WILSON was sentenced today in White Plains federal court to 18 months’ probation for engaging in deliberate misconduct while serving as Chemistry Manager at Indian Point Energy Center (“Indian Point”), a nuclear power plant in Westchester County. WILSON was sentenced by United States District Judge Nelson Román, who also imposed a $500 fine.
The U.S. Attorney stated: “The safe operation of the Indian Point nuclear power facility is of critical importance to our communities in and around it. This Office will be vigilant about prosecuting criminal misconduct that takes place at the facility.”
According to the felony Information to which WILSON pleaded guilty, the Complaint, and information provided for purposes of sentencing:
Indian Point maintains a backup system of emergency generators for use in part to provide power in the event of a power outage and shutdown. WILSON, the Chemistry Manager at Indian Point from 2007 through 2012, was responsible for, among other things, ensuring that certain aspects of the operation at Indian Point were in compliance with technical specifications required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”). One such requirement related to the amount of particulate matter in the diesel fuel used to power emergency generators at Indian Point, which could not exceed a set limit. In 2011, tests of the diesel fuel maintained for use in powering the emergency generators at Indian Point showed that the ratio of particulate matter in the diesel fuel exceeded the limit set by the NRC.
In February 2012, WILSON concealed material facts from his employer and the NRC by fabricating test data, falsely showing that resampling tests of diesel fuel tested below the applicable NRC limit. In fact, no such resamples were taken, and the purported test data were fabrications. Later in February 2012, WILSON, in response to questioning by other employees of Indian Point in advance of an inspection by the NRC, wrote a report – the kind on which the NRC ordinarily relies in inspecting nuclear facilities for safety – in which he gave a false explanation for the lack of supporting documentation for his fabricated test results. In a subsequent interview with NRC personnel, WILSON admitted that he had fabricated the test results so that Indian Point would not have to shut down.
In April 2012, Wilson resigned from Indian Point.
On October 16, 2013, WILSON pleaded guilty to a one-count Information charging him with deliberate misconduct in connection with a matter regulated by the NRC, in violation of Title 42, United States Code, Section 2273.