Fermi 2 supervisor accused of drinking on the job

DTE Energy spokesman says employee is being disciplined, no longer allowed on plant grounds without escort

Published On: Aug 10 2012 12:39:17 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 10 2012 06:21:05 PM EDT
NEWPORT, Mich. -

A supervisor for DTE Energy’s Fermi 2 plant is in trouble after being caught drinking on the job.

DTE said the worker was not on the plant grounds when he showed signs of intoxication – which lead to an alcohol test. The utility company says the worker is being disciplined and is no longer allowed on the plant side without an escort.

The plant represents 30-percent of of all nuclear energy generated in Michigan.  About 900 people work at the facility in Newport.

Residents speak out

Most people have friends or family members who work there and they're unwilling to discuss this recent case.

"When you're dealing with nuclear power, you don't want anything to go wrong," said one man off camera.

Although the DTE supervisor was off site, residents worried if the worker returned to the plant, something could have went wrong.

"If he goes and hits a button, who knows," said the man.

DTE officials are stressing that although the employee may be a boss at the plant overseeing other workers, the supervisor does not operate the equipment.

However, that supervisor no longer has unescorted access around the nuclear site.

Statement from DTE

 “A Fermi 2 employee, while working at an offsite location August 3, exhibited behavior that resulted in the individual submitting to a for-cause fitness for duty test. That test was positive and the employee was entered into the disciplinary process established by federal regulations. The individual is a non-licensed employee not engaged in plant operations.”

--John J. Austerberry, APR
--Sr. Media Relations Representative

DTE says its employees are trained to look for any unusual behavior and report it right away.  They said that's what happened in this case.