The deal also requires the company CEO to send all employees a message in writing summarizing the settlement and the firm's strategy for improving its safety culture and acknowledging "that efforts to date have not been fully effective," according to the terms of the agreement.

CB&I agreed to review and alter its policies and training programs to reinforce that workers cannot be lawfully punished for raising quality or safety issues. The deal also forces CB&I to create an executive board that will review proposed punishments against employees to make sure those punishments do not violate whistleblower protections.

The settlement does not affect other probes by the NRC's Office of Investigations, which is examining whether workers at the Louisiana factory improperly entered the identification codes for other employees when documenting who performed welds. The NRC said in the agreement that it may show leniency for similar violations that happened before or while the company was taking steps to fix the root problems.

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