FirstEnergy has again postponed restart and withheld pertinent information about the readiness of the facility to produce electricity


July 28, 2003

Vivian E. Stephens
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
175 West Jackson Blvd., Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60604

Re: FirstEnergy Corporation, Reference MRO-929785 (EC #673)

Dear Ms. Stephens,

Thank you for your letter dated July 9, 2003, confirming receipt of our petition for enforcement against FirstEnergy Corp. I am writing to provide additional material to support our petition. I ask that you forward this information to the appropriate persons.

One of the two allegations put forth in our petition is FirstEnergy’s failure to provide a realistic restart time frame for the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in Oak Harbor, OH. Davis-Besse closed in February 2002 to conduct a government-mandated inspection and to refuel. During the inspection, the company identified serious corrosion of the reactor pressure vessel. The plant has been closed ever since.

Since we filed our petition, FirstEnergy has again postponed restart and withheld pertinent information about the readiness of the facility to produce electricity:

In the first week of July, FirstEnergy submitted a report to the NRC that identified yet another problem with a safety system that is supposed to help control the temperature of the reactor after a major accident. Valves in the hydrogen-detection equipment were corroded shut, leading plant engineers to believe the system may have failed in the event of an accident.

On July 8, 2003, one week later, the NRC hosted a public meeting with FirstEnergy. The purpose of the meeting was for FirstEnergy management to update the NRC and members of the public on the progress of repairs at Davis-Besse. The meeting was attended by members of the public, the media, and financial analysts. Lew Myers, C.O.O. for FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company and his staff established at the meeting that Davis-Besse would be ready for restart by late August or early September. Neither Mr. Myers nor any member of his staff mentioned the report or the corroded valves at the meeting.

On July 15, two weeks after the corroded valves were reported to the NRC and one week after a public meeting, the report from FirstEnergy was made public.

On July 23, FirstEnergy announced Davis-Besse would not be ready for restart until late September (Reuters).

On July 24, FirstEnergy backed away from their announcement the previous day and stated that Davis-Besse would be ready for restart sometime in the fall.

I have attached an updated list of FirstEnergy’s restart sates and a few news articles for reference. We appreciate your careful consideration of our petition for enforcement.

Sincerely,

Amy K. Ryder, Cleveland Director
Ohio Citizen Action


Cc: Stephen Cutler