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Officials: Limerick nuclear plant operator was under the influence

Officials: Nuclear plant operator was under the influence

LIMERICK TWP., Pa. - A worker at a nuclear power plant has been removed from duty after being found to under the influence of alcohol, federal officials said.

A random "fitness for duty" test was conducted on July 14 at the Exelon Limerick Generating Station in Montgomery County, and it was discovered that Rodger Devlin was under the influence of alcohol, said Diane Screnci, spokeswoman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which is the federal agency that overseas the nuclear industry in the United States.

"We expect all workers at a nuclear plant to be fit for duty when they are on site," said Screnci.

Devlin was promptly removed from duty and received a severity level III violation, investigators said.

"It means it resulted in, or could have resulted in, moderate safety or security consequence. Typically, when we're talking violations, we're looking at systems that are not able to function for a short period of time," said Screnci.

Authorities added that Devlin's responsibilities included serving as the plant reactor operator, as well as being able to perform plant manipulations.

Devlin's license has since been suspended, officials said.

"In this case, they administered a random test, found someone who was under the influence of alcohol, and took the appropriate actions," said Screnci.

Officials pointed out that Devlin was never in the control room alone, and that public health and safety were never in danger.  

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