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Posted on Sat, Apr. 26, 2003 story:PUB_DESC
Nuclear subsidiary shakes up top ranks
FirstEnergy changes include new manager at Davis-Besse plant

Beacon Journal business writer

FirstEnergy Corp. has shaken up several top management spots in its nuclear operating company subsidiary, including naming a new manager of its troubled Davis-Besse plant.

The changes involve moving Davis-Besse's current manager to a newly created position of director of organizational development at the plant, where he will oversee making improvements to safety culture there, the Akron utility announced Friday.

No managers lost their jobs or resigned, FirstEnergy spokesman Richard Wilkins said. The changes take effect May 5.

Mark Bezilla, vice president at the Beaver Valley nuclear plant in Pennsylvania, was named new vice president and manager at Davis-Besse. He will succeed Randy Fast, who was named to the new organizational development post. Fast will oversee restart activities at Davis-Besse, including training, human performance, emergency preparedness and safety departments, and the management oversight program.

Bill Pearce, vice president of oversight for the operating company, was promoted to vice president of Beaver Valley.

Bezilla, Pearce and Fast will report to Lew Myers, who remains chief operating officer for the FirstEnergy nuclear operating company.

Fred von Ahn, director of nuclear engineering at Beaver Valley, was promoted to Pearce's former position.

Tom Cosgrove, director of work management at Beaver Valley, was named director of nuclear engineering at the plant. Rick Mende, manager of plant engineering at Davis-Besse, was promoted to director of work management at Beaver Valley. Vito Kaminskas, manager of nuclear support at Davis-Besse, was promoted to director of maintenance at Beaver Valley.

FirstEnergy decided to make these changes to move people with certain experience into needed places, Wilkins said. The company rotates managers on a regular basis, he said.

These changes follow significant moves last year by FirstEnergy to replace all of the top managers at Davis-Besse and others within the subsidiary that oversees the utility's three nuclear plants.

Davis-Besse has been remained closed since significant boric acid corrosion was found on top of the reactor vessel head in March 2002.

FirstEnergy said Davis-Besse won't be ready to restart before mid-June at the earliest. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has final say.

Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or
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