Lawsuit claims safety issues ignored at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

Former employee says retailiation was the norm

SAN DIEGO - A former fire inspector and engineer who worked at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station said he was harassed to the point that he had no other choice but to resign after he filed numerous safety violations.  

"There was a chaotic environment at SONGS," said Vinod Arora.

The plant was shut down last summer after issues arose with two steam generators that leaked radiation in their first year of service.

While there are claims and counterclaims about the generators, Arora's lawsuit said there were a number of safety concerns besides the generators that supervisors, he said, did not address and that he was a victim of retaliation because as an inspector he made those claims.

"There was retaliation against my colleagues and me while the safety issues were not addressed," Arora said.

Martha Sullivan, who is with SanOnofreSafety.Org, said she has heard similar claims.  

"A 27-year employee had safety issues and while on medical leave, they canceled his medical leave and when he went back to work, he didn't have a job," she said.  

Arora's lawsuit against Southern California Edison – the majority owner of the plant – was filed he said, not for himself, but on behalf of other nuclear workers who should be able to file safety concerns without fear of retaliation.

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