1. Rod, I couldn’t agree with you more. This would just be used by antis to claim the “greedy industry” was “hiding criminal records” to hire “unsafe workers”.

    I do agree that sometimes, as a society, we need to look at cases and say if someone’s past crimes were small, and they have shown every evidence of rehabilitation, that they deserve a second chance. But, it is better for *everybody involved* if this is done honestly and transparently.

    It’s better to own a mistake and move forward, than to try to cover up mistakes.

  2. When a crime has been committed a long time ago and federal mechanisms are in place to expunge such offence, I think we can all move on to better things.

    People change and remember that sometimes ” l’occasion fait le laron” …

    1. @Daniel – my point is not that anyone should be saddled with baggage from long ago, but that it is far better to admit the wrong and move on that to try to hide it.

      The mechanisms being talked about in this case are not “federal” since the agency involved is the county sheriff.

      For example, I never regretted telling my recruiter or filling out my security investigation paperwork with the fact that I had experimented with pot as a teenager. (And, yes, I did inhale.)

      Every time I was asked about it, I described the experimentation as honestly as I could remember. It was not a one time thing – though it was a short time thing and I was not even of age at the time.

      In the nuclear industry, honesty and integrity are extremely important. When someone signs that they completed an action, we have to believe that they did so – even though we almost always have a second independent check.

      1. Rod,

        Then half of the Congress and the Senate would be vacant !

        And there would be no players in the NBA.


        1. @Daniel – I do not understand your point. The key is honesty. If you do not have an unblemished record, admit it. If it was truly a trivial matter or happened long ago, it does not disqualify you from employment if you are no longer involved in the activity.

          The thing that worries me is having someone try to hide the truth. The attempt might be successful; then again, it might not. Think about the implications of a nuclear worker who has hidden secrets that old “friends” know about. Those “friends” might even have evidence of that past behavior.

      2. Rod – Funny you should mention that.


        Pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws § 44-53-450(b), any person who has been sentenced to a “Conditional Discharge” for their first offense of simple possession of marijuana, may, upon completion of the sentencing requirements, apply to the court for an order to expunge from all official records all information relating to his arrest, indictment, trial, finding of guilty, and dismissal and discharge pursuant to this section. No person as to whom such order has been entered shall be held thereafter under any provision of any law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of his failures to recite or acknowledge such arrest, or indictment or information, or trial in response to any inquiry made of him for any purpose.


        My question is, who are these “attorneys” mentioned in the article? Are they the attorneys of local people trying to clear their records of some trivial offense committed years ago? If so, I don’t see why making use of the expungement rules allowed under South Carolina law is a problem.

    2. @Daniel,

      If the mechanisms are already in place, then there’s probably not too much problem. The issue I see is that this county is talking about putting (a) new mechanism(s) in place as a *response* to the new nuclear construction going on nearby. That’s a very bad idea, because it has the appearance of being driven by economic concerns instead of a balanced judgement of what is appropriate and fair. It ends up smelling like a cover-up. That’s how it’ll play in the media.

  3. We have to remember that sometimes one may end up with a criminal record for trivial reasons.

    I can name a few offences where this could happen.

    Hugh Heffner said it best: if there is no victim, there is no crime.

    You can’t go against that.

    1. @Daniel – I am not sure I want to take HR advice from Hugh Heffner.

      If there was a conviction, there was a crime from a legal point of view. You and I might agree that the activity should not be illegal, but violating the law, getting caught and getting convicted has consequences.

  4. I agree with Rod. In the nuclear industry, some records are maintained for the life of the facility and the integrity of those documents is certified by the worker in the field placing their signature on the line for the work they did. The industry is built on integrity. That’s why it makes a news splash when Chinese parts make their way into the nuclear chain with forged documentation or fake quality checks.

    Don’t start a new nuclear plant with employees who got the job based on a lie: “I have never ever…”

    When news breaks later questioning the documentation that the utility is responsible for to prove quality construction, as for the locality who wants to work with a trustworthy industry and hold them accountable – will they shoulder the blame for seeking loopholes and shortcuts in the employment screening process?

  5. Mr. Ferguson’s statement about the effect of a criminal record and nuclear power plant access is inaccurate. There are no legal or regulatory prohibitions on access to a nuclear power plant under construction, so it’s not clear what this measure would accomplish. In fact, the Commission disapproved and ended the rulemaking that would have led to access restrictions back in 2010, with the majority of the Commission finding that the NRC staff did not provide an adequate justification of why additional access measures were needed during construction. http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/commission/srm/2010/2010-0137srm.pdf. Even for operating reactors, there is no outright legal or regulatory prohibition on access to a nuclear plant based on criminal history record alone. The only criminal history-related restrictions are essentially self-imposed by industry through voluntary initiatives.

  6. I think the point is more about trustworthyness (?). If you lie during a background check, you will be found out, and then access denied, forever. If you are truthful and forthright, you might still be a candidate for employment.

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