Workers at two nuclear plants in Germany faked safety checks on radioactivity measuring equipment, German media reported this week, in the midst of concerns over nuclear safety in the country in the light of terror attacks in Europe. Reports earlier this week suggested Paris terror attack suspect Salah Abdeslam's was gathering information about a nuclear facility in Germany.
Workers of energy giants EnBW and RWE in Germany reportedly failed to conduct routine safety checks at two nuclear power stations, but passed off fake readings, according to Deutsche Welle (DW), which cited regional public broadcaster SWR.
EnBW said in a statement this week that the fake readings had occurred in December and that "the same employee had apparently faked seven further routine checks on similar installations. Legal options against the worker are being examined." The company's nuclear power station in Philippsburg, Baden-Württemberg, which was meant to be restarted next month, has now been ordered shut by the state's environment ministry, DW reported. RWE also reported a similar case with regard to its closed nuclear power station in Biblis, Hesse, where radioactivity levels continue to be monitored.
"This is highly unsettling and unacceptable," Baden-Württemberg Environment Minister Franz Untersteller reportedly said.
The reports of the lax measures at the nuclear plants come even as security experts have warned that Islamist militants are likely to target nuclear facilities.
Earlier this week, German media group Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) had reported that printouts of articles about the Juelich German nuclear research centre in Germany and photos of Juelich chairman Wolfgang Marquardt had been found in Abdeslam's Brussels apartment.
While the report said the chief of Germany's BfV intelligence agency had revealed the matter to a parliamentary committee, the agency denied the claims, according to Reuters.
US President Barack Obama had called for greater nuclear safety measures at the recently concluded Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, stating that the possibility of the Islamic State group getting their hands on a nuclear weapon is "one of the greatest threats to global security."