(Washington, DC) – Last Tuesday night, April 12, Government Accountability Project (GAP) client and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Quality Assurance Auditor Don Brown was honored at a banquet hosted by the watchdog group Alliance For Nuclear Accountability (ANA). Brown accepted the ANA’s Whistleblower Award for “putting public safety above career security by blowing the whistle on the defective work, lack of quality assurance and lack of safety systems at nuclear facilities.”
During his visit to Washington D.C., Brown also met with several members of Congress regarding his witnessing of unsafe facilities and practices at LANL. Brown’s allegations rose to national prominence from a three-part series airing on CBS’s Evening News earlier this year. Brown’s audit at LANL showed a complete and total breakdown of the quality systems required by law to protect public health and safety from the effects of a nuclear accident.
“Seeing the children of Los Alamos playing and knowing the possible effects of not holding the site to standards compelled me to speak out,” says Brown. “I wanted to correct the problem through management but was stonewalled – they didn’t want to fix it. I couldn’t keep quiet because I have an obligation to all New Mexicans.”
“Don Brown is a model public citizen and employee,” stated Tom Carpenter, GAP Nuclear Oversight Campaign Director. “He should be applauded for his perseverance and commitment to public safety in the face of retaliation. America would be a much safer place if everyone working within the nuclear industry possessed the integrity and morality that Don consistently demonstrates.”
The ANA’s event was part of their 16th annual “DC Days” celebration. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) was in attendance and also accepted an award. The ANA is a coalition of 33 organizations from across the country that focus on safety issues involving nuclear programs.