Excerpted from a Courthouse News article by Izzy Kapnick

Florida Power & Light, one of the nation’s largest utilities, claims in a federal lawsuit that its ability to screen workers at its nuclear plants has been stifled by an industry trade group’s decision to cut off its access to a background-check database.

With a maintenance-related reactor shutdown at its St. Lucie nuclear plant scheduled to begin Feb. 7, Florida Power & Light says it will not be able to efficiently screen a ballooning staff due to the defendant Nuclear Energy Institute’s denial of access to the database.

Florida Power & Light says in its Feb. 2 lawsuit that its right to use the Personnel Access Data System (PADS) was revoked in retaliation for its parent company NextEra’s canceling its membership in the Nuclear Energy Institute.

The database includes information on workers’ criminal histories, psychological evaluations and drug-testing results.

Florida Power & Light claims it’s entitled to use the database under a 1995 agreement with the Institute, and that membership in the Institute is not a prerequisite to use the system. Co-plaintiff NextEra says it paid all the required assessments for the database, but that the Institute demanded an additional $860,000.

Without the ability to use PADS, nuclear plant operators are “forced to start from scratch in screening individual applicants for unescorted access, and they would do so without the benefit of consulting information already collected by other nuclear operators,” according to the 20-page complaint.

You can read the full story here.