NRC: Nuke Plant Plan Working While Workers are on Strike

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says Constellation Nuclear’s plan to keep its Nine Mile Point nuclear plants running is working so far, while union workers continue their strike.

Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 97 struck Nine Mile One and Two on Saturday after rejecting a contract that they said cut too deeply into pensions.  The company said the proposed contract was its last, best and final offer.

Constellation Nuclear officials said they had been planning for a possible walkout for more than a year.  They trained non-union managers to do the work of the union workers.

The NRC sent extra inspectors to provide around-the-clock inspections of the plant during the first days of the strike.

In a report issued Tuesday, an NRC official writes, “The purpose of the inspection was to evaluate the adequacy of NMP’s strike contingency plan to assure that public health and safety, and security will be maintained during any strike period.This inspection verified that the licensee had properly trained operators and other personnel who will be performing replacement functions during the strike.”

Workers are maintaining a picket line outside the facility.  They plan to hold two rallies to show broad support for their action, on Thursday and Saturday.  Saturday’s event is intended to feature union members who will travel to Scriba from Buffalo and other Western New York communities.

A letter from the union posted on its website notes that the union has filed unfair labor practices charges against the company with the National Labor Relations Board.

There is no indication that negotiations towards a new contract have resumed.