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August 03, 1979 - Image 12

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Michigan Daily, 1979-08-03

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Page 12-Friday, August 3, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Seandal threatens nuke plant

MADISON, Ind. (AP) - The Marble
Hill nuclear power plant could be
something akin to Watergate for the
nuclear industry. There are the charges
of cover-up and of bugging - and the
denials - all set in an atmosphere of
suspicion fueled by Three Mile Island.
The Ohio River Valley plant has been
in the middle of a tug-of-war since June
when a former construction worker
leveled charges of shoddy workman-
ship and deliberate cover-up by Public
Service Indiana (PSI), owner of the
plant, and Newberg Construction Co.,
its builder.
SINCE THEN the controversy has
mushroomed - blown out of propor-
tion, say PSI and Newberg; just the tip
of the iceberg, say Save the Valley, one
group opposing the plant, and Rep. Joel
Deckard (R-Ind.) who has called for a
congressional probe of the plant.
This week, the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC) plans to complete
an investigation of the plant and submit
its finding to the Justice Department,
asking it to investigate possible
criminal charges.
"We would have to consider very
seriously whether we could allow con-

struction to continue if there had been
past cover up by the utility," said Jan
Strasma, an NRC spokesperson in
Chicago.
MEANWHILE, concrete pouring for
structures that might leak radiation
during a nuclear accident has been
halted for the second time. The first
stoppage was for defective concrete
work, the current one for allegedly
failing to take sufficient precautions to
prevent defects.
Despite the current concern over
nuclear power - following the near
disaster at the Three Mile Island plant
in Pennsylvania - this is the first time
the NRC has specifically asked for an
investigation of a nuclear power plant
involving an alleged cover-up. And the
NRC has never permanently halted
construction of a nuclear plant,
Spokesperson Strasma is cautious
bout the prospects for Marble Hill. He
said "The outcome of theJustice Depar-
tment inquiry may have some impact
on the nuclear industry, but we did not
hand them a complete case. We handed
them an incomplete case which they
may or may not follow through with."
MARBLE HILL'S problems began in

June with a deposition by Charles Ed-
ward Cutshall, 22, who worked at the
site as a concrete finisher's helper for
about two months until he quit in April
and headed for Texas.
Before he left, Cutshall gave Save the
Valley the deposition detailing im-
properly patched honeycombstor air
pockets in the concrete walls o~f the con-
tainment building that would house one
of the twin nuclear reactors - patching
that he said was ordered by supervisors
to hide the defects from inspectors.
"He (Cutshall) told us he believed in
nuclear power generation. He only
wanted to make damn sure they were
as safe as they could be," recalled Save
the Valley chairman Robert Gray.
THE NRC KNEW of problems in
April, but "Mr. Cutshall's allegations
focused on the extensiveness of the
honeycombing and an intentional
cover-up, which we had no knowledge
of," Strasma said.
A subsequent NRC inspection
revealed that 170 of 550 voids were im-
properly patched, and concrete work
was stopped for 12 days.
After the first work stoppage,
Newberg fired two workers and tran-
sferred a supervisor who had failed to
comply with company standards for
"vibrating" concrete, a process that
forces the concrete tightly between
steel reinforcement bars to prevent
voids.
THE DISMISSALS weren't unusual.
Newberg vice president Francis
Durocher said that in the last year
about 300 of the 1,600 workers on the
project have quit or been fired because
they didn't want tom aintain Newberg's
standards.
But Gray has another version.
"We talk to these workers, and they
say it's a slave-driver job. Why is it a
slave-driver job? Because they're
pushing it. They're not apparently
allowing enough time for the workers to

do the proper job," Gray said.
THE $1.8 BILLION plant, 30 miles up
the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky.,
was started in August 1977 and is 15 per
cent complete. It is scheduled to begin
operation in late 1982, a pace that
Strasma said is one of the fastest in
recent years for a nuclear project.
"Sure, we're pushing the job,"
Durocher said. "It's common to push a
construction job. But we're not
sacrificing any standards. We're proud
of this job. It's as good as any and bet-
ter than most."
Gray said that statement sent chills
through a community that once
generally supported the project as
preferable to another coal-fired plant
but now is growing "deeply
disillusioned." "In fact, the word is
'scared,' " he added.
GRAY HAS ALSO said he believed
that his telephone and those of other
opponents of the power plant were
bugged. PSI said such charges are so
ridiculous that they do not deserve
comment.
oth PSI and Newberg have
acknowledged the defects mentioned by
Cutshall, but PSI President Hugh
Barker insists the damage did not pose
a hazard. "What has been substan-
tiated is that there were bad patches
made of some honeycombs. That's all.
Nothing has been substantiated to say
that there has been any unsafe struc-
tural result either in terms of strength
or radiation," Barker said.
After Cutshall's statement was
released, three more workers filed af-
fidavits, two corroborating Cutshall's
coverup allegations and naming super-
visors who had ordered deliberate con-
cealment. Both those supervisors,
ironically including Cutshall's uncle,
James, signed sworn statements
denying the charges.

EVERY SUMMER THE CREAM OF AMERICAN YOUTH
GOESTO SUMMER CAMP-
AND THE REST GO TO CAMP NORTHSTAR.
romithe Producerof1"Nationall.apooiii ANIMAL HOUSE"
BILL MURRAY

Lansing man charged with
attempted rape in S. Quad

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Opon 9:00, Show At Dusk~

By TIM YAGLE
A construction worker was arraigned
Wednesday in 15th District Court on
charges of attempting to rape a Univer-
sity janitorial employee Tuesday night
at South Quad, Ann Arbor police said
University Credit Union & Crest
Club Night Special discount with
coupon.
TONIGHT-8pm
Band
by Alice
Childress
Power Center
POWER CENTER Box Office opens at
6 PM, 763-3333. Mich. Rep. Ticket
Office in Mich. League Mon-Fri 12-5
pm, 764-0450. Tickets also available
through Hudson's
TomorroiwNight:
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

yesterday.
According to police, 43-year-old An-
selmo Reyes of Lansing, an em-
ployee of the Grand Rapids Tile Com-
pany, "used force or coercion to
acoomplish sexual contact" with Helen
Birdsong, 36, of Ann Arbor, between 11
p.m. and midnight Tuesday in a seven-
th floor shower room of the dormitory.
POLICE SAID Reyes made advances
three times, made lewd remarks, and
"was in and out of the area where she
was cleaning" before attempting to
rape her.
Reyes could face up to two years im-
prisonment or a $500 fine, or both if
convicted of the charge.
Reyes is beingheld at the Washtenaw
County Jail until his preliminary
examination set for August 8.

$20 EARLY REGISTRATION DISCOUNT
for those enrolling by August 15 in
classes for Oct, 13 or Dec. L SATs
CALL1-261-LSATOR WRITE:
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33900 Schoolcraft Road,
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