| Article published Friday, March 21, 2003|
Besse working conditions get mixed grades in
OAK HARBOR, Ohio - FirstEnergy Corp. learned
from a national expert yesterday that it has made progress toward
improving Davis-Besseís work atmosphere, but that it still lacks the
kind of consistency the Nuclear Regulatory Commission might be
looking for before allowing the beleaguered nuclear plant to resume
"The progress isnít necessarily consistent,"
Richard Wilkins, a company spokesman, said in reference to a
closed-door meeting in which preliminary results of Dr. Sonja
Haberís much-anticipated report were discussed.
Dr. Haber is
a nationally recognized industrial psychologist the utility hired to
give the NRC an outside expertís view of the plantís working
In light of the unprecedented reactor-head
corrosion discovered at Davis-Besse a year ago, the NRC has demanded
management changes that can demonstrate employees will be more
forthcoming about safety issues in the future.
which lasted more than two hours, involved about 15 people. Eight
were FirstEnergy senior managers. The rest were either NRC officials
invited to observe or consultant staffers assisting Dr. Haber. Mr.
Wilkins declined to elaborate upon the preliminary
The NRC said it will not make the report public
until it is finalized weeks from now.
The agency has said the
report will be an important piece of evidence.
NRC oversight panel chairman, said last night the agency plans to do
its own inspection, starting April 7, to validate Dr. Haberís
findings. That inspection, which will take weeks, is to be done by
four NRC officials and two consultants, he said.
who has studied industrial worker conditions in several countries
for years, told FirstEnergy and NRC officials at a Jan. 30 meeting
that substantial work-atmosphere improvements can take three to five
For earlier stories on Davis-Besse, go to
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