Drug screens bar 80 workers from Vogtle site

Eighty contract workers were denied access to — or evicted from — Plant Vogtle after failing drug tests during 2011, according to reports filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.


The majority of those workers were associated with the construction zone where site work is under way for the planned addition of Vogtle’s new Units 3 and 4, said Amoi Geter, a Southern Nuclear spokeswoman.

“It shows the process is working as it should,” she said, noting that 3,933 vendors and contractors were evaluated for access during 2011.

Of the 80 who failed the screenings, 55 were pre-access screenings for workers who were not yet authorized to enter the area.

“Those found positive were immediately denied access or removed from the site, based on our policy, which affects both employees and contractors,” she said, adding that none of the barred workers were Southern Nuclear employees.

According to the individual reports, which did not name the workers involved, the failed tests during 2011 included positive results for alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and amphetamines. Workers who refused to submit to a test were counted among those who failed — and were permanently denied access to the site.

The data reported to the NRC each year is also compiled into a larger annual “fitness for duty” report that is required of all nuclear power licensees. Those annual reports will be completed and filed later this year, Geter said.

Reach Rob Pavey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 119,