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Davis-Besse names new managers

04/27/03

John Mangels
Plain Dealer Reporter

As the long-idled Davis-Besse nuclear power plant moves closer to restarting, FirstEnergy Corp. is appointing new managers who will oversee its hoped-for shift to normal operation.

Lew Myers, who has been supervising the repairs and management overhaul at the rust-damaged plant as both Davis-Besse's vice president and the FirstEnergy nuclear division's chief operating officer, will turn over half those duties. Mark Bezilla, currently vice president at FirstEnergy's Beaver Valley, Pa., nuclear plant, will become Davis-Besse's vice president and also serve as the plant's manager.

Myers will continue to spend most of his time at Davis-Besse, dealing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel that will decide when the plant will be allowed to resume making electricity. The Toledo-area plant has been shut down and under NRC supervision since workers found a rust hole in the reactor's lid in March 2002.

The current Davis-Besse plant manager, Randy Fast, will be promoted to the new job of director of organizational development. He will focus on improving the plant's "safety culture," which had badly slipped and caused employees not to question obvious signs of rusting.

Bill Pearce, who as FirstEnergy vice president of oversight had been heavily involved in Davis-Besse's rehabilitation, will take over as Beaver Valley's vice president.

"These moves prepare us for the future," spokesman Todd Schneider said. The company plans to have Davis-Besse ready for restart by mid-June, he said, but the final decision is up to the NRC. Potential problems with some of the plant's emergency reactor cooling and electrical systems, as well a possible leak in the bottom of the reactor, must be resolved first.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

jmangels@plaind.com, 216-999-4842


2003 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission.
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