For Immediate Release
Thursday, November 6, 2003

Contact:
Eric Greve, Ohio Citizen Action, (216) 861-5200
Jan Lanier, Director, Health Policy, Ohio Nurses Association, (614) 488-1028
Cristina Nedelcu (216) 751-7838


Physicians, nurses urge FirstEnergy to look at alternatives to Davis-Besse

Full text of letter, all signers

CLEVELAND -- The presidents of the Ohio Nurses Association and Physicians for Social Responsibility/Northeast Ohio, along with 50 more doctors and nurses from northern Ohio, today sent a letter to FirstEnergy CEO Peter Burg urging him to consider alternatives to reopening the nuclear reactor at Davis-Besse. The reactor has been shut down since early 2002, when workers discovered a football-sized hole in the lid of the reactor. Since then, design flaws have also been found in the plant's emergency pumps, and FirstEnergy has been under fire from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for its lack of 'safety culture.'

In the letter to Burg, the medical professionals wrote, "As you make a series of difficult decisions in the coming months, please keep in mind that our communities - and the Great Lakes region as a whole - will have to live with the consequences. For the best interest of both the company and our communities, we urge you to take steps needed to insure reliable electric service and to study alternatives to restarting the nuclear reactor at Davis-Besse."

Cristina Nedelcu, a physician who now lives in Shaker Heights, commented, "As a doctor who lived and worked in Romania during the time of the nuclear accident at Chernobyl, I know what the devastating effects of radiation poisoning can be. Northeast Ohio came far too close to experiencing the same type of catastrophe at Davis-Besse."

"Eleven million people depend on Lake Erie for safe drinking water," said Karen Budd, President of the Ohio Nurses Association. "To protect the public health, everything must be done to avoid an accident which could jeopardize that drinking water supply."

Leaders of several religious organizations and other civic leaders from Northeast Ohio also signed the letter, which reminded Burg that four area members of Congress wrote to him one year ago asking that the company investigate alternatives to the nuclear reactor.

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