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 April 4, 2003
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WASHINGTON -- Federal regulators are hoping to get reassurance Friday about how FirstEnergy will test for cracks in the bottom of the Davis-Besse reactor.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is to hear from the utility Friday about how it plans to use robotic cameras to check rust stains along the underside of the vessel at the plant.  The stains need to be checked to make sure there are no leaks.  FirstEnergy says the stains are from acid that washed off the plant's old reactor head, but it can't rule out the possibility of hidden cracks.

The plant has been shut down for more than a year after inspectors found an acid leak had eaten a hole in the reactor cap.

The utility plans to fire up the plant for the first time since February 2002 to test for cracks.  The test is one of the last steps before the plant comes back online.  Restart could happen sometime this summer.

Posted Friday, April 4, 2003 at 7:15 a.m.

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