FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jessica Schafer 202-225-2836

May 16, 2007



Former Employee of Palisades, Seabrook Allegedly Lied About Past, Still Given Sensitive Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, today wrote to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) demanding answers in light of reports that the former security manager at the Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan who had also been employed at the Seabrook nuclear plant in New Hampshire, is an individual who claimed to be a paid assassin and evidently fabricated much of his background but still managed to obtain both of his sensitive jobs and the necessary security clearances.

“If they’re handing out sensitive nuclear security jobs to someone who claimed to be a gun for hire, who else are they hiring to secure nuclear materials? If the reports about this individual, William E. Clark, are true, there are potentially deadly gaps in the current process used to evaluate prospective employees,” said Rep. Markey. “Nuclear plant operators can build all the walls or blast-resistant chambers they want, but if they’re not screening the security personnel, none of that will matter.”

According to an article in the June edition of Esquire, Mr. William E. Clark was hired as the head of security at the Palisades nuclear plant in early 2006 and resigned several weeks ago, before the article was published. Mr. Clark also reportedly worked at the Seabrook nuclear plant prior to working at the Palisades plant. Mr. Clark reportedly told the author of the Esquire article and others that he had been employed as a marksman for Blackwater Corporation; had killed people in Vietnam, New Orleans and Iraq; had top security clearances at the Departments of Energy and Defense; served in the French Foreign Legion; worked as a guard for President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan and Paul Bremer in Iraq; and was a covert operator employed by the Federal Government through a “handler,” which required his identity to be kept secret.

Rep. Markey’s letter asks NRC Chairman Dale E. Klein to respond to detailed questions about how Mr. Clark was hired and the general vetting process for other individuals employed at nuclear reactors. The questions included:

* How and when did the Commission and the licensee, Entergy, first become aware of the possibility that Mr. Clark had fabricated portions of his resume?

* Has the Commission or the licensee considered the possibility that Mr. Clark may pose a danger to the facility, or to other nuclear facilities, since he now possesses sensitive information regarding the operation of nuclear power plants and any security weaknesses? If so, what is the Commission and/or the licensee doing to ensure that he cannot gain armed or unarmed access to a nuclear power plant?

* Mr. Clark reportedly claimed to his employer that he had been a paid assassin, although it appears that this claim was not in fact true. Can the Commission account for how someone making such a claim, true or not, could be considered eligible for employment at nuclear power plants?

* Please fully describe the process by which applicants for sensitive positions at nuclear reactors are screened. What background checks are required? How are claims made on resumes verified?

* When did Mr. Clark work at the Seabrook nuclear power plant, and in what capacity? Did he work for any other nuclear power plants, and if so which, and during what time period?

“Mr. Clark has reportedly resigned his position at Palisades, but this episode, if true, raises serious questions about every other individual employed at nuclear reactors across the country. The NRC needs to quickly explain the troubling circumstances of this bizarre episode and ensure that all reactor employees are properly vetted before receiving sensitive responsibilities,” concluded Rep. Markey.

# # #

Rep. Markey’s letter is attached and available at http://markey.house.gov.

The Esquire article is available at http://www.esquire.com/features/mercenary0607.
Jessica Schafer
Communications Director
Congressman Ed Markey (MA-07)