Florida Nuclear Plant Supervisor Fired (or Not) After Testing Positive for Alcohol

Update: Here's kind of a creepy correction: FPL spokesperson Robbins emailed us to say, "The NRC report states: 'The employee's access to the plant has been terminated.' It does not say that the employee was fired. As to whether or not the employee was fired, that is a personnel matter that we can't comment on." So there's that.

Federal investigators are inspecting Homestead's Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant after a "cooling system failure." Old reactors are being used well past their expiration dates, and global warming could put the plant under water.

As if there's already not enough to worry Floridians who don't like apocalypse, here's this: A nuclear plant supervisor has been canned possibly canned, or not, after a random on-the-job breath test detected alcohol.

The supervisor was busted just after noon at Florida Power & Light's St. Lucie Nuclear Plant on Thursday, September 1. According to the report, the worker's "access to the plant has been terminated." FPL is not releasing the name of the supervisor or the level of blood alcohol content.

FPL, which could put a happy face on a meltdown, is downplaying the incident.

"This individual was not an FPL plant operator, and his function had nothing to do with the operation of the facility," spokesperson Peter Robbins said in a statement. "FPL has a very strict fitness-for-duty policy that applies to employees and contractors. This program helps ensure that all employees adhere to very high, strict standards. This case clearly shows that the program works as intended."

Nuclear whistleblower Thomas Saporito, who once worked at Turkey Point, sees it a bit differently.

"As a member of the public, you have to be a bit scared and taken aback that a supervisor is failing an alcohol test," he says. "Since it's a random test, the question is how many employees are getting away with it?"

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