For immediate release
Friday, October 3, 2003

Gene Stilp, Dauphin, Pennsylvania, (717) 599-7700
Joyce Corradi, Middletown, Pennsylvania, (717) 939-0345
Jessica Kramer, Ohio Citizen Action, Cleveland (216) 861-5200

Three Mile Island neighbors invite FirstEnergy chief to talk about Davis-Besse

Full text of letter

DAUPHIN, PA – Neighbors who lived through the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident today invited FirstEnergy CEO Peter Burg to meet with them to discuss his decision whether to try to restart the troubled Davis-Besse plant on Lake Erie.

They told Burg such a meeting would give him "a first-hand understanding of the human consequences of a major nuclear accident."

Joyce Corradi of Middletown, Pennsylvania, a Harrisburg suburb, said: "Mr. Burg, I’d be willing to bet your home is not within a mile radius of that nuclear power plant, and there’s a reason for that. It’s not safe."

On March 6, 2002, Davis-Besse employees discovered a corroded hole in the reactor head. Only 3/8-inch of cracked, bulging stainless steel was containing the reactor core. Subsequently, FirstEnergy discovered that the reactor’s emergency cooling system has not worked in the 26 years the plant has been operating. A retired NRC senior safety analyst said the report "contains the admission that Davis-Besse would most probably have melted if there had been a loss-of-coolant accident."

On May 2, 2003, FirstEnergy found that "equipment designed to prevent a hydrogen gas explosion similar to what happened during the Three Mile Island partial nuclear meltdown has been inoperable at FirstEnergy Corp.'s Davis-Besse plant since it opened in 1977."

Nuclear safety engineer David Lochbaum at the Union of Concerned Scientists has concluded that "had the hole opened up, the accident would likely have been worse than Three Mile Island but not as bad a Chernobyl."
# # #