NORTH PERRY, Ohio -- FirstEnergy officials knew something 'fishy' was going on when a couple of goldfish were found at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Lake County.
The company said during a maintenance shutdown, goldfish were smuggled into the plant and dumped into a pitcher of radioactive water from the reactor.
The prank prompted an investigation by FirstEnergy when the goldfish were found in a secure area of the plant.
"While this doesn't have any safety implications, it certainly doesn't meet the professionalism we expect of all the people who work in our power plants, whether they're contractors or employees," said FirstEnergy spokesperson Jennifer Young.
FirstEnergy said the company was not required to notify the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about the incident. However, the NRC is aware of what happened because the utility elected to notify NRC inspectors who were on site.
The company said six private contractors, who were hired to insulate pipes inside the plant, confessed to taking part in the goldfish incident during the investigation.
"That's not the behavior we expect of people who work in any of our FirstEnergy facilities, so those types of behaviors won't be tolerated and they will not work in our facilities again," said Young.
The contractors are members of the Heat and Frost Insulators Union, Local 3, in Cleveland.
Union business manager James Sullivan issued a statement.
"I deeply apologize on behalf of all the officers and good members of Local 3 to everyone at FirstEnergy and the Perry Nuclear Power Plant. I assure you that appropriate action will be taken against the individuals that were responsible, not only on a local level, but also on an international level, so that an incident like this will not occur again."
As for the goldfish, FirstEnergy said they died from a lack of proper care.
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