OAK HARBOR, Ohio (AP)--A team of consultants hired to
examine safety attitudes at the Davis-Besse nuclear power
plant, where inspectors last year found acid had eaten into a
steel reactor cap, say the plant needs a greater commitment to
``The team believes that not all characteristics are
present at the Davis-Besse station to ensure the long-term
promotion of a positive safety culture,'' the consultants
wrote in the report for plant owner FirstEnergy Corp.
The study was based on observations at the northern Ohio
nuclear plant and a survey of 80 percent of the plant's 830
Researchers visited the plant in February, and a Nuclear
Regulatory Commission panel overseeing the repair of
Davis-Besse received copies of the report last week.
FirstEnergy will be permitted to restart the reactor only
after it proves to the NRC that safety measures at Davis-Besse
The company hopes to restart the plant in eight to 12
In March 2002, one month after a routine maintenance
shutdown began at the plant along western Lake Erie, a cavity
linked to boric acid was found in a 6-inch-thick steel cap
covering the plant's reactor vessel. It was the most extensive
corrosion ever discovered at a U.S. nuclear reactor.
FirstEnergy has made substantial progress since it began
efforts to improve Davis-Besse's safety culture late last
summer, said spokesman Todd Schneider. The company even halted
repair work for a day so employees could take part in a case
study of the corrosion and its causes.
Schneider said the consultants' report is a snapshot in
time and doesn't reflect continuing development, including
creation last week of a management position to focus on
safety. The consultant group, hired by FirstEnergy, was headed
by industrial psychologist Sonja Haber of New York.
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