Fishy incident at Ohio nuclear plant solved

Plant operator's review finds contractors smuggled 5 goldfish into Ohio nuclear reactor


PERRY, Ohio — An April prank at a nuclear reactor near Cleveland no longer appears fishy.

Two contractors were responsible for sneaking a pair of goldfish inside First Energy Corp.’s Perry nuclear power plant, plant officials confirmed Friday.

The goldfish were found swimming in a juice pitcher placed in an underground steam tunnel at the plant.

They didn’t pose a safety concern, but the episode was an embarrassment for the plant already under increased scrutiny for its worker training and procedures.

FirstEnergy spokesman Jennifer Young said that two contractors admitted in interviews to bringing to the plant five goldfish in juice containers in their lunch boxes. The three others were placed in an equipment staging area in a separate part of the plant and were likely thrown out.

Ms. Young said four other contractors knew about the prank and didn’t report it.

“The fish really did not present any safety challenge, but the whole incident was not in compliance with the high standards we set and the expectations for professionalism that we have for workers and contractors at our plants,” she said.

Any disciplinary action would be up to the contractors’ union, she said.

Some of the contractors were facing expulsion from the union, James Grogan, general president of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers, told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.

Workers discovered the pair of goldfish April 30. Tests found they were swimming in reactor water and only had slightly detectable radiation levels. They died after their discovery.