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Opinion
Fix Davis-Besse, but reject Kucinich 'help'
February 07, 2003
U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich indulged himself in vintage Kucinich grandstanding recently over the troubled Davis-Besse nuclear power plant west of Sandusky.
Kucinich has called on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to revoke the operating license of the aging plant.

The plant has been shut down for a year. Last March, during maintenance, it was discovered that leaking boric acid had chewed a big hole in the reactor lid. Much criticism has been generated, rightly, over the fact that plant operators and federal regulators both failed to detect the problem much earlier.

We've already lambasted plant owner FirstEnergy Corp. and federal regulators and have called for a safe repair and tighter operation. We'll continue to watch the situation.

However, Kucinich's request to revoke the plant's license strikes us as overkill, tinged with the smell of politics.

Kucinich seems to be aglow these days with presidential ambitions. It is said he apparently plans to charm Iowa, an early testing ground for White House wannabes.

Portraying himself as a knight defending the populace against a nuclear dragon is a headline-grabber. Kucinich is an old master at that game.

Forcing the utility to go through the licensing process again could be an unnecessarily burdensome and punishing requirement. Let's just get the problems at the plant and the agency fixed and move on, without taking FirstEnergy all the way back to square one on licensing.

Safety must always come first, but that doesn't mean unnecessary delays that put off the day that the plant is back on line generating electricity and money, instead of being a financial drain on a major area business and employer.

Lorain County residents have seen Kucinich in action, unfortunately, as an obstructionist. He has been a prime foe of a commuter rail line that could link Cleveland and Lorain. His opposition effectively blocks funding for the project that could greatly benefit our area.

We suspect this region would be better off getting Davis-Besse's problems resolved without the benefit of Kucinich's ''help.''

©The Morning Journal 2003
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