Letter to the European Commission
    Nuclear management, and impertinence                                  
    Comparing the Fronte/AREVA case and the Manifesto of new management prepared by the MEDEF                                    
    Présid. Républ   Présid MEDEF   Comm. Eur.   WENRA   ENSREG                                            

Saint Leu, 9th May 2011


M. Günther Oettinger
European Commissioner for Energy
B - 1049 Brussels (Belgium)




Mister Commissioner,


                The 26 April this year the daily Les Echos, informed that the MEDEF (French Enterprise Movement) has developed a Manifesto for a new management , "the outcome of six months of thinking under the leadership of Philippe Vivien, AREVA’s HRD, and Jean-Luc Placet. " . During the same time the Supreme Court of France (Cour de cassation) has been hearing the Fronte-AREVA case and what I had to face in this conflict, as an employee, is not displayed in the Manifesto drawn up "under the leadership of the Areva’s HRD " . Stated policy and practice don’t fit together and the head face of the coin contradicts the tail face.


                Three principles ground the above mentioned Manifesto : empowering employees , promoting their commitment and granting the recognition that they deserve.


                From my side, as part of my job I refused to violate safety rules; it’s an obligation and it was my responsibility to report the irregularities, as a committed design engineer in charge of tasks rated to the most stringent requirements for nuclear reactors (ASME III class 1, AIEA …); the authorities have confirmed the irregularities so that they had to alert their foreign counterparts. I did my job according to the laws and regulations and therefore I have never aspired to any acknowledgment.


                But I have been targeted by organized vilifications and dissuasive sanctions , all of them solely against me, the drafter of the irregularities. My refusal to turn a blind eye to violations of safety rules got me cascading punishments even after I was fired ; for instance, people with AREVA or the IRSN (a French nuclear safety organisation) have requested a total of 75 000 Euro (about 50 000 USD); my property has been seized ; I have been harassed even at home ... I stop here an overwhelming and damning list of continuing hardships.


                Thus a committed employee full aware of his responsibilities may discreetly be forced to decide complacently, under threat of sanctions should he resist ; and so, demanding safety rules are breached and go undetected, unless a conspicuous accident occurs; costs and market competition may be distorted , just with the right amount of impertinence.


                Jean-Luc Placet is the author of a book on the impertinence as a managerial quality . He is the chairman of the MEDEF Committee for Human Respect and a contributor to the Manifesto for a new management. In fact this Manifesto illustrates how a Human Resources manager in the nuclear industry may hawk pretty management rules, without discontinuing the outrageous practices of the Fronte-AREVA case. It’s a masterpiece of impertinence .

                The rule of law has proven to be not applicable to the nuclear industry and I’m powerless against its operators or regulators. I wonder whether you, Mister Commissioner, can tolerate the above kind of management, risking human and economic disasters.


Very truly yours
Tommaso Fronte







... the head face of the coin contradicts the tail face.

It's a masterpiece of impertinence.