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The energy used to power the solar panels used to generate electricity on an Arizona farm may have been generated using radioactive material, a former worker at the facility said.
A whistleblower told ABC News that when he went to the farm in 2013, he was surprised to find that he was exposed to high levels of radioactive material and radioactive material was being released into the air as a result.
He said he then alerted the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), but no one took his concerns seriously.
“I went to their office and asked them to investigate,” said Scott Clements, who was employed by a solar installation company in Arizona before retiring in 2015.
Clements said he told them that he thought it was a problem with his equipment, but the DEQ did not investigate.
“They didn’t want to look into it because they were afraid they would be fired,” he said.
When he went public with his concerns in 2015, the Arizona Public Service Commission (APSAC) sent him a letter saying that his employer had been working on the farm since 2013 and that the facility was producing radiation, but Clements was unaware of that until he was told about the contamination.
“It was like, ‘Oh, we’ve been working here for 15 years.
We know the way we’re working,'” Clements said.
“They didn�t tell me anything.”
He said he asked why the plant was emitting such high levels, and the APSAC told him they were not doing a good job.
“The answer was, �We don’t know, so we are not going to investigate,'” he said, adding that they told him that he should get a copy of the company’s energy usage records and make a report to their regulatory agency, the ARPC.
The APSASC told him to report the issue to the Arizona Attorney General’s office.
“We have a responsibility to protect the public, and to provide accurate information to the public,” an APSASC spokesperson told ABCNews.
“It is our policy to provide this information to any state agency or public agency with a request, and we provide it promptly.
We can’t respond to every request, but we do cooperate with every request that comes our way.”
The spokesperson said the Arizona Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees Arizona�s nuclear and energy-related facilities, would not comment on pending investigations.
However, the APSBEC told ABC that the agency does receive complaints from people who have concerns about nuclear energy and have contacted APSARC for help.”APSBEC does not comment in detail about pending investigations, but when an agency receives a complaint it will promptly investigate it,” the APSC spokesperson said in a statement.
“If we are unable to provide information on an investigation, we provide a list of options to the complainant or the complainant may submit an anonymous complaint through the complaint form.”
However, Clements had no idea what to do next.
“My first instinct was, I don’t want anybody to die,” he recalled.
“I was just scared.”
Clements, now retired, said he wanted to tell his story to as many people as he could, but it was too late.
“To this day, I am not sure what to tell anybody, because I’m afraid that they will all be fired, because they don’t believe me,” he told ABC.
“Now that I’ve been able to tell this story, I’ve got to go into work tomorrow, because that’s when I have to be out of work.”
He believes that if he had been notified, he could have gone to a hospital and taken some medicine and called the APSAV, but that he would not have had the courage to report.
“What would I do if I did call?” he asked.