By Kim Glovas

SALEM, N.J. (CBS) — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has sent a letter to PSE&G seeking for assurance that whistleblowers will not be penalized at the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear power plants.

The letter was sent in response to a jury trial a month ago which found that a security manager at the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear plants had been fired in 2009 in retaliation for making plans to talk about safety concerns.

“It’s important that workers at the nuclear plants feel comfortable raising concerns, either to the company, to the bosses, through their program for raising safety concerns, or to the NRC,” says Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Diane Screnci, “and it is considered a protected activity.”

She says the letter asks PSE&G about actions it plans to take or has taken already to make sure that the matter doesn’t have a chilling effect on workers.

PSE&G issued a statement saying it is confident that employees are comfortable raising concerns.  The statement says, however, the company is taking this opportunity to reinforce that message.