Nuclear power news
Jan - Jun 2002

Jun 28: Photos from Oak Harbor community meeting

OAK HARBOR -- Residents, two TV crews, an emergency response expert, and representatives from First Energy met at St. John's Evangelical Church to share information about what to do in the event of a nuclear accident at Davis Besse. The event was hosted by Ohio Citizen Action.
"Evacuation speaker lacked facts," Jack Buehrer, Port Clinton News Herald.

Jun 21: Nuclear-waste plan irks mayor Shipping route puts city at risk, Coleman tells U.S. government

COLUMBUS -- "Fearing a worst-case scenario, Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman told the federal government he doesn't want nuclear waste shipped through Columbus on its way to a Nevada dump. The federal government wants to ship the waste by rail through the heart of the city, cutting through Clintonville, the University District, and the East and South sides. Trains also would pass close to Downtown. 'I don't want this coming through our city,' Coleman said yesterday. 'My concern is the health of our residents,'" Mark Ferenchik, Columbus Dispatch.

Jun 20: Corrosion is seen as ‘serious accident’
But no ruling yet by full commission

ROCKVILLE, MD -- "FirstEnergy and NRC staff have calculated that the [stainless steel] liner was strong enough to continue holding back the more than 2,000 pounds per square inch of pressure inside the reactor. Mr. Lochbaum said the calculations are irrelevant. The liner, he argued, is not intended as a pressure-tight safety system, and never has been tested as such," Michael Woods, Toledo Blade.

Jun 14: Davis-Besse may get help
France has experience in reactor head replacement

OAK HARBOR-- "The U.S. government will draw from France’s experience in replacing nuclear plant reactor heads when it decides whether to allow the same thing to occur at FirstEnergy Corp.’s Davis-Besse nuclear plant, Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials said here yesterday. A world leader that NRC officials claim has surpassed the United States in some aspects of nuclear energy research, France already has some experience in replacing in-service reactor heads," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.

Jun 14: The Editors: Davis-Besse at critical juncture, expert says

TOLEDO -- "A FirstEnergy Corp. spokesman said during the taping of a local television show that Davis-Besse’s reactor-head corrosion has implications nationally, and that the 25-year-old Ottawa County plant is facing a 'defining moment' in its history. Boric acid from Davis-Besse’s reactor leaked through cracked nozzles in the 17-foot wide, steel reactor head for years. The result was a reactor head with the worst corrosion in U.S. history, eroded so much that NRC officials feared radioactive steam could have escaped and put the plant’s containment building - the public’s last shield - under pressure itself. The massive corrosion was either undetected or unreported, NRC officials said," Toledo Blade.

Jun 13: NRC to Davis-Besse officials: Just what went wrong?

OAK HARBOR -- "A Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel grilled FirstEnergy officials Wednesday on proposed reforms at Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station. For more than two and a half hours, the federal oversight team subjected details of a seven-part plan submitted by the energy company to "a plethora of intrusive questions," as NRC official Jack Grobe described. A crowd at the Oak Harbor High School auditorium heard sometimes-frank discussions on what went wrong at the plant, and what must be done before it can reopen," Rick Neale, Port Clinton News Herald.

Jun 12: Utility says Davis-Besse repairs will allow better inspections

OAK HARBOR -- "Akron-based FirstEnergy is spending about $55 million to buy an unused reactor head from Consumer Energy's never-completed nuclear plant in Midland, Mich. It will take as many as four days to drive the 80-ton reactor to Ohio, FirstEnergy said. The replacement head should last about 10 years until a new reactor head being built for the utility is installed. . .Davis-Besse plant manager Randy Fast said boric acid corrosion has been found in the building that houses the reactor and must be cleaned. The acid was found on electrical panels, ventilation ducts and containment air coolers, he said," John Seewer, Associated Press.

Jun 12: The idled Davis-Besse nuclear plant
Questions for Director John Grobe, Division of Reactor Safety, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

WASHINGTON, DC -- "According to Los Alamos, 57 of the 69 operating [pressurized water reactors] (82 percent) will 'very likely' experience containment sump failure in event of a large-break loss-of-coolant accident. Only 8 reactors (12 percent) are 'unlikely' to avoid sump failure. The reactor vessel head damage at Davis-Besse approximated the area of a medium-break loss-of-coolant accident. Thirty-two reactors (56 percent) are 'very likely' to experience sump failure following a medium-break loss-of-coolant accident. Sump failure is a very serious problem. It means the low pressure safety injection pumps are no longer able to take water from the containment sump and recycle it to the reactor vessel. Operators might be able to re-fill the refueling water storage tank or align the pumps to other external sources of water, but that doesn't completely save the day. Continued reliance on make-up water from outside the containment means that the flood level of water inside the containment rises and rises. Important safety equipment, like motors, could be submerged and disabled," letter, David Lochbaum, Nuclear Safety Engineer, Union of Concerned Scientists.

Jun 9: Thousands line up to get potassium iodide pills

YORKTOWN, NY -- "Nearly 3,000 people concerned about a possible terrorist attack or accident at the Indian Point nuclear power plants yesterday crowded a county giveaway of a pill that helps prevent thyroid cancer in the event of a nuclear emergency. A steady stream of cars — from slick luxury SUVs to weathered sedans — rolled in and out of the Yorktown High School parking lot, as people flocked to the first of four days the county plans to distribute free potassium iodide, or KI. The pill protects the thyroid gland against exposure to radiation emitted in a nuclear disaster. Families, elderly couples and even teen-agers formed an orderly and swift distribution line. After receiving the pills, many paused to join a line across the parking lot to sign a petition calling for the closing of Indian Point. The petition queue at times stretched 30 people deep," Michael Gannon, New York Journal News.

Jun 5: FirstEnergy says it will replace, not repair, reactor head

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Buying, refurbishing and moving the massive part will cost $55 million to $75 million, but the company won't say how much of that is the price of the head itself. The unused head, completed in 1975, will be power-washed to remove a thin layer of surface rust that developed in storage, said Bob Schrauder, a FirstEnergy official. 'The rust can easily be cleaned off and will be,' he said. 'There are no other contaminants on the reactor head,'" Malia Rulon, Associated Press.

WHITE PLAINS, NY -- "Residents near New York nuke plant to get iodide pills," (Reuters).

Jun 4: Ohio poised to distribute pills to combat radiation

COLUMBUS -- "In May, the Ohio Department of Health requested about 640,000 pills from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission after months of discussion with local leaders and residents," Andrew Revkin, Associated Press.

NORTH PERRY -- "Generator short shuts Perry plant," John Kuehner, Cleveland Plain Dealer

NORTH PERRY -- "Repair shuts down plant for two weeks," Associated Press.

NEW YORK -- "Perry nuke shut for repairs," Reuters.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "FirstEnergy tells federal regulators how it'll replace reactor head," Malia Rulon, Associated Press.

May 29: Troubles at FirstEnergy ripple
Key executive leaves; others are demoted or shuffled

AKRON -- "The moves, announced yesterday and effective immediately, were portrayed as the Akron utility trying to shore up its management for nuclear operations. Not on the official announcement but disclosed by a company spokesman was that John K. Wood, vice president of engineering for nuclear operations, 'left' the company effective Friday. Spokesman Todd Schneider declined to say, however, whether Mr. Wood was fired or resigned. . . . The round of management changes in FirstEnergy’s nuclear operations was the second in a month. Three weeks ago the company said it was installing a new management layer to oversee Davis-Besse and two other nuclear plants. That group included Mr. Leidich and Lew Myers, named the first chief operating officer of the utility’s nuclear operations subsidiary," Akron Beacon Journal.

May 26: Nuclear nightmares

NEW YORK -- "A nuclear power plant is essentially a great inferno of decaying radioactive material, kept under control by coolant. Turning this device into a terrorist weapon would require cutting off the coolant so the atomic furnace rages out of control and, equally important, getting the radioactive matter to disperse by an explosion or fire. (At Three Mile Island, the coolant was cut off and the reactor core melted down, generating vast quantities of radiation. But the thick walls of the containment building kept the contaminant from being released, so no one died.) One way to accomplish both goals might be to fly a large jetliner into the fortified building that holds the reactor. Some experts say a jet engine would stand a good chance of bursting the containment vessel, and the sheer force of the crash might disable the cooling system -- rupturing the pipes and cutting off electricity that pumps the water through the core. Before nearby residents had begun to evacuate, you could have a meltdown that would spew a volcano of radioactive isotopes into the air, causing fatal radiation sickness for those exposed to high doses and raising lifetime cancer rates for miles around," Bill Keller, New York Times.

BUCHANAN, NY -- "Fuel rods and brass tacks," Kirk Johnson, New York Times.

May 25: Nuclear power plants on alert status

WASHINGTON, DC -- "The government put the nation's nuclear power plants on a heightened state of alert late Friday because of information gained by the intelligence community, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The intelligence did not specify that there is a threat directed against nuclear power plants or outline any plot, said NRC spokeswoman Beth Hayden," Associated Press.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "NRC to meet with Davis-Besse officials," Port Clinton News Herald.

May 24: Reactor head to be replaced

AKRON -- "The Nuclear Regulatory Commission which has strongly indicated its preference for using the replacement head, must still approve its use. But [FirstEnergy spokesman Todd] Schneider said he doesn't expect that to be a problem. NRC spokesman Jan Strasma said that if the reactor vessel head is identical to the damaged head, and meets the same design criteria and has the same documentation, then approval should be no problem," Peter Krouse, Cleveland Plain Dealer.

AKRON -- "Reactor fix may near $300 million; FirstEnergy will spend up to $75 million to buy, install replacement head for its Davis-Besse plant," Jim Mackinnon, Akron Beacon Journal.

OAK HARBOR -- "$55M-$75M Purchase; Davis-Besse will replace reactor head; Plan to use Midland part goes to NRC for review," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.

CARROLL TOWNSHIP -- "Davis-Besse to get replacement reactor head; FirstEnergy hopeful plant can be back in operation by October," Jennifer Funk, Port Clinton News Herald.

May 23: FirstEnergy target of criminal probe
Davis-Besse safety issues

CARROLL TOWNSHIP -- "FirstEnergy is being investigated for potential criminal charges relating to the corrosion on the reactor head at Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station. Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng confirmed Wednesday the federal agency's Office of Investigation was looking into the reactor head matter," Jennifer Funk, Port Clinton News Herald.

May 22: Davis-Besse plan up in air
FirstEnergy may replace reactor vessel head instead of repairing it, delaying restart until end of year

AKRON -- "Amy Ryder of Ohio Citizen Action asked [FirstEnergy chief Peter] Burg if the company will pay for an independent panel of experts to oversee operations at the plant. Her organization and others, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, petitioned the NRC in April to create the four-person oversight group, which would be funded by FirstEnergy. 'We are paying every person under the sun to get us out of the mess we're in,' Burg said," Jim Mackinnon, Akron Beacon Journal.

AKRON -- "FirstEnergy says plant could restart by year’s end," Jon Chavez, Toledo Blade.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Corroded reactor head sparks federal inquiry," Stephen Koff, Cleveland Plain Dealer.

May 21: Who’s on FirstEnergy?

TOLEDO -- "The rust hole episode is being called nuclear power’s closest brush with disaster since the 1979 Three Mile Island accident. . . . The Davis-Besse incident was as much a failure of the NRC’s regulatory process as it was a utility’s failure in its own inspection and maintenance responsibilities. NRC Chairman Richard A. Meserve should order an agency self-inspection, starting at the Chicago office, which oversees Davis-Besse. The NRC should identify the individuals, circumstances, and specific lapses responsible for the incident, and make a full public accounting," editorial, Toledo Blade.

AKRON -- "Akron utility to stress positive; FirstEnergy will present some good news today at shareholders forum," Jim Mackinnon, Akron Beacon Journal.

PORT CLINTON -- "Task force report on Davis-Besse may be ready by September," Jennifer Funk, Port Clinton News Herald.

OSSINING, NY -- "Trying to add light to the heat on Indian Point," Jane Gross, New York Times.

May 18: Gillmor wants Davis-Besse probe
Congressional committee to send investigators to nuclear plant

WASHINGTON, DC -- "'We want to make sure that whatever problems that are taking place at Davis-Besse don't happen at other plants,' said Gillmor, a Republican whose northwest Ohio district includes the plant along Lake Erie. . . .Gillmor said the committee will then decide whether it should hold a hearing on the topic and what, if any, legislation is needed to safeguard the nuclear industry," Associated Press.

May 15: Who pays for the mess at the Davis-Besse nuclear plant?

CLEVELAND -- "Can FirstEnergy find a way to get the Public Utilities Commission to let them pass along costs for Davis-Besse repairs or purchased power? Under the current law, the answer is no. . . . If FirstEnergy wants customers to pay for Davis-Besse, they will have to go to the legislature. I'm not saying they won't, but it would be a tougher battle than exploiting a loophole already on the books," Shari Weir, memo, Ohio Citizen Action.

AKRON -- "Davis-Besse reactor meeting postponed; FirstEnergy, NRC to talk about replacing bad part," Akron Beacon Journal.

May 14: Nuclear plant threat called unreliable
U.S. does not issue new alert for July 4

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Many of the recent warnings have resulted from the interrogation of Abu Zubaida, a top al Qaeda lieutenant captured in Pakistan. Among other things, Abu Zubaida recently told U.S. interrogators that Osama bin Laden's network was working on a bomb that could disperse radiation. He also was the catalyst for a warning issued by the FBI last month that terrorists might target banks in northeastern and mid-Atlantic states," Bill Miller, Washington Post.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Security boosted at nuke facilities," Bill Gertz, Washington Times."[Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Richard] Meserve said the NRC, after consulting the Pentagon, decided against deploying anti-aircraft missiles around nuclear plants. 'Any such application of anti-aircraft weapons would present significant command and control challenges,' he said. 'The operator of the anti-aircraft weapon would need continuous contact with someone who could authorize the downing of a civilian commercial aircraft, with all of the attendant implications, and would need to be able to carry out that act in seconds. It may be difficult in this context to distinguish an aircraft that had drifted off course from an aircraft on an attack mission.' Anti-aircraft batteries also could cause collateral damage to surrounding communities, he said. 'For these reasons, the commission believes the best general approach at the present time to deal with threats from aircraft is through strengthening airport and airline security measures,' Mr. Meserve said."

ISCASSET, ME -- "Demolition of nuclear plant illustrates problems involved," Matthew Wald, New York Times.

May 13: U.S. weighs July 4 threat

Airborne flights

As of May 13, 9:44 PM EST, there were 3,027 airborne flights over North America. The white dots in the image above show the actual position of each (Source: RLM Software, Boston).

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Islamic terrorists are planning an attack against a U.S. nuclear power plant to coincide with the July 4 celebrations, U.S. intelligence sources say. . . The nuclear plant threat obtained last week indicated that an unidentified Islamic terrorist group is planning to attack the Three Mile Island nuclear facility in Pennsylvania, or another nuclear facility in the state or elsewhere in the Northeast," Bill Gertz, Washington Times.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Strike on nuclear plants threatened," (Associated Press).

WASHINGTON, DC -- "'Uncorroborated' information points to July 4 terrorist threat -- U.S. official," (Agence France Press).

May 12: Atomic plant casts a pall on paradise

SAN CLEMENTE, CA -- "[Steve Netherby, co-founder of San Clemente's Coalition for Responsible Ethical and Environmental Decisions] walks challenged through an unsecured parking lot overlooking the site, past several employees. He points out the enormous turbines and transformers, and the functioning Unit 2 and 3 reactors, and what appears to be a hole in the side of the decommissioned Unit 1. He wonders what would happen if a van drove into the lot and a terrorist launched a shoulder-fired missile. 'It's a target down there. And that makes all of us here in Southern California a target,' Mr. Netherby said. . . .Daniel Dowden, a San Onofre Surf Club member, points to two recent security breaches at the plant and accidents involving a fire and a construction crane. 'It's a plant run by human beings who've made a lot of mistakes already,' Mr. Dowden said. 'I don't say they're dumber than anybody else, but they're certainly as dumb as the rest of us, and they're going to make mistakes. I'd rather those mistakes be out in the desert somewhere where nobody's around than right here on the beach where we're completely exposed,'" New York Times.

May 11: Plan seeks to keep N-plant security
Coast Guard urges permanent status

OAK HARBOR -- "Plant owners may place marker buoys in the water as they see fit, he said. Scott Simon, a spokesman for DTE Energy, said the utility is 'evaluating' the need for buoys near the Fermi plant. Richard Wilkins, of FirstEnergy, said buoys are not planned for the Davis-Besse security zone. The nuclear plant zones are part of a broader anti-terrorism campaign that the Coast Guard and other authorities instituted in the Sept. 11 aftermath. All ocean-going vessels are being boarded and inspected before entry into the St. Lawrence Seaway system in Montreal. Access to port facilities has been tightened. And the Coast Guard plans to launch a 'River Watch' campaign at locations throughout the Great Lakes system to enlist boaters' aid in looking out for unusual behavior on the region's waterways. The official start date for the campaign in Toledo remains to be announced," David Patch, Toledo Blade.

May 10: Rust, corrosion, peeling paint
Officials admit host of new ills at Davis-Besse

OAK HARBOR -- "Randy Fast, plant manager, did not specify the exact signs of neglect. But he told the NRC panel that a team of 24 engineers the utility put together to look at other areas of Davis-Besse has found a "general degradation" of equipment outside of the reactor head. A number of pieces, Mr. Fast said, have rust, corrosion, and peeling paint. 'Each component will be reviewed for structural integrity,' he said. One high-ranking NRC official expressed doubts about FirstEnergy’s ability to distinguish between ordinary wear-and-tear and damaged parts that could affect a safe restart of the plant if they are not first replaced or repaired," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.

OAK HARBOR -- "Federal regulators tell nuclear plant to toughen inspections," John Seewer, Associated Press.

May 9: Davis-Besse neighbors to get anti-radiation pills

OAK HARBOR -- "Ohio wants enough pills for nearly 320,000 people, including 97,000 near Davis-Besse. About 23,000 people live within 10 miles of the plant, but the state wants the Ottawa County Health Department to get enough pills for an additional 65,000 people so it could have enough for tourists and other nonresidents who might be passing through. It is seeking enough pills for 9,000 more people for schools and employers. . . . 'It’s important for people to know [potassium iodide] is not a magic pill. It’s only a supplement to evacuation,' [Jay Carey, state health department spokesman] said," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "House backs plan to store atomic waste in Nevada," Adam Clymer, New York Times.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "State's Yucca fight shifts to Senate; Despite House vote, Reid is 'cautiously optimistic'," Benjamin Grove, Las Vegas Sun.

LAS VEGAS -- "Whistle of nuke train gets shrill," editorial, Las Vegas Sun.

May 6: Holes, cracks in reactor vessels raise big nuclear safety questions

U.S. nuclear units graph
    Operating U.S. nuclear power generating units, 1950-2000.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Some senior officials at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are viewing the Davis-Besse and Oconee discoveries as the most significant safety issue facing the nuclear industry since the Three Mile Island accident 23 years ago. The steel reactor vessel, which encloses the reactor's core, has always been viewed as 'a sacred component' that will not be breached, said Brian Sheron, the commission's assistant director for licensing and technology assessment. 'This really challenges that assumption,'" H. Joseph Hebert, Associated Press.
Sources for graph: U.S. Energy Information Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, International Atomic Energy Agency.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Reactor list," H. Joseph Hebert, Associated Press.

OAK HARBOR -- "Davis-Besse review panel meets Thursday; Safety concerns," Jennifer Funk, Port Clinton News Herald.

May 5: Concerns grow stronger as plants grow older
Debate heats up over safety of nuclear facilities as they enter middle age

AKRON -- "The critics and industry do agree that parts wear out. Constant bombardment by radiation over the years can cause metal to become brittle. Temperature fluctuations and high pressure take their toll on sophisticated systems and equipment such as steam generators. Concrete cracks. Even such non-techy things as water or coolant pipes are susceptible to the ravages of aging. And the plumbers can charge some pretty hefty fees to make things right," Jim Mackinnon, Akron Beacon Journal.

May 4: NRC to hold forums about Davis-Besse

WASHINGTON, DC -- "The newly formed NRC oversight panel will hold its first public meeting with utility officials at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Oak Harbor Junior High School, 315 Church St., Oak Harbor. The meeting is intended to introduce panel members and discuss how they will be a part of the Davis-Besse investigation," Akron Beacon Journal.

May 1:NRC forms panel to oversee troubled Davis-Besse plant
Officials say action rare, extreme

OAK HARBOR -- "NRC officials said forming an oversight panel occurs only in rare and extreme cases. The agency considers them only for nuclear plants in the midst of an extended safety-related shutdown, seeking approval to resume operation, and attempting to resolve numerous performance issues, according to Viktoria Mitlyng, a spokeswoman for the NRC regional office in Lisle, Ill. . . .The NRC’s decision to establish a special oversight panel was welcomed by David Lochbaum, a nuclear safety engineer in Washington who works for the Massachusetts-based Union of Concerned Scientists. He said he was 'quite delighted to see the NRC has invoked this process,' even though he said it could make it harder for his group and 14 others to prevail with their request submitted last week for a third-party, independent review of the plant. The NRC has not acted on that request. Mr. Lochbaum said he believes the NRC is taking Davis-Besse’s corroded reactor head seriously because it was a 'near-miss' that stunned the rest of the nuclear industry," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.

Apr 28: Heard about the near-accident at the Ohio nuclear plant? I'm not surprised

WASHINGTON, DC -- "You wouldn't know it from the bland pronouncements of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but the U.S. nuclear industry just had its closest brush with disaster since the 1979 Three Mile Island accident. The Davis-Besse nuclear power plant, located about 30 miles east of Toledo, Ohio, was operating with a rust hole in the top of its reactor pressure vessel -- a hole wide and deep enough to put your fist into. All that was left to contain the reactor's highly pressurized supply of cooling water around the reactor core was a three-eighths inch liner of stainless steel, and the liner had started to bulge ominously. If the liner had burst, it would have drained cooling water vital for safety and also threatened the reactor's emergency shutdown system," Victor Gilinsky, opinion, Washington Post.

Apr 25: Davis-Besse fix to take time
FirstEnergy plant won't be running for months
More radioactive particles found outside facility

AKRON -- ". . . FirstEnergy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported finding five more microscopic radioactive particles outside Davis-Besse. An improperly programmed radioactivity detector may have allowed a total of seven people who had worked in a highly radioactive area of Davis-Besse to leave with microscopic radioactive fuel particles sticking to them, the utility and NRC reported. The Akron utility yesterday reported finding radioactive particles on three more people who worked under contract at Davis-Besse and who have since moved on to jobs in other states," Jim Mackinnon, Akron Beacon Journal.

Apr 24: 68 nuclear plants found to have less corrosion

OAK HARBOR -- "The Davis-Besse corrosion is unusual because there was so much leakage that 35 pounds of steel melted away from the 150-ton reactor head, the NRC has said. That presumably occurred over the course of at least four years, as boric acid from the reactor melted through the top six inches of metal and left only 3/8 of an inch of stainless steel to hold back the hot reactor’s operating pressure of 2,200 pounds per square inch, the NRC has said. The NRC has acknowledged in recent weeks that it was as surprised as anyone about the strength of that thin layer of steel, explaining that it was not designed to hold back that much pressure on its own. Had a hole popped in the reactor head, the public would have lost one of its biggest lines of defense and would have had to rely solely on the thick concrete walls of the containment structure to hold back all radioactive steam that would have escaped from the reactor, officials have said," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Reactor vessel head degradation - Plant specific bulletin 2002-01 responses," U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Apr 23: Davis-Besse reactor-hole: FirstEnergy's 'root cause' report now on-line

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Other plants are known to have experienced accumulation of boric acid on reactor pressure vessel heads, due primarily to control rod drive mechanism flange leaks, or conoseal leaks, without damage similar to that of Davis-Besse nozzle 3. What made Davis-Besse’s situation different were the lengths of the cracks (and associated leaks) and the length of time the leaks went undetected. Ultimately, since the leakage appears to have continued for at least 3 to 4 years, boric acid would have accumulated sufficiently during this period to have provided the necessary environment to begin significant reactor presssure vessel head corrosion. The pre-existence of substantial accumulation of boric acid from other sources, like flange leaks, may have accelerated the corrosion and increased its severity," emphasis added, FirstEnergy.
Boric depositsSee also graphic of 'as found' locations of boric acid deposits on the Davis-Besse vessel head.

Apr 22: Official: Nuke security underfunded

WASHINGTON, DC –– "The Energy Department complained to the White House in recent weeks that it was not getting the money to protect against terrorists at its nuclear facilities, according to a letter made public Monday. In the letter, Bruce Carnes, a senior DOE budget director, complained that his department did not have enough money 'to implement the security ... requirements' needed in response to last September's terrorist attacks. The letter, dated March 28, was sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) at a time when administration officials, including senior DOE officials, were saying security at the nuclear facilities was at a high level and adequate to meet the terrorist threat," H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press.

Apr 20: Nuclear plant fix may not be soon
Davis-Besse repair plan hasn't been submitted

AKRON –– "An NRC official yesterday said, however, that reviewing the repair plan conceivably could take as long as eight weeks, and that Davis-Besse will need to pass other inspections before being allowed to restart. The plant in Oak Harbor powered down on Feb. 16 for refueling and has stayed closed since the acid damage was found in March. 'It's hard to say how long it's going to take,' said Brian Sheron, associate director for project licensing and technical assessment at the NRC. He said a rough guess is that the NRC staff review of the Davis-Besse repair plan will take anywhere from four to eight weeks once it's submitted. 'We're obviously not going to try to purposively hold the plant up,' Sheron said. 'But we don't feel compelled to meet the licensee's schedule,'" Jim Mackinnon, Akron Beacon Journal.

Apr 18: FirstEnergy ran the Davis-Besse plant with damaged fuel for at least 8 months

Primary coolant radioactivity chart

Davis-Besse primary coolant radioactivity levels measured as a percent of the technical specification limit.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Four workers were contaminated at the Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Oak Harbor, Ohio, according to recent reports. The radioactive particles they carried away from Davis-Besse apparently came from damaged fuel. The chart above shows that the fuel damage began in April 2001 and got steadily worse each month. It should not be a surprise to FirstEnergy that the plant had radioactive particles about," Dave Lochbaum, Nuclear Safety Engineer, Union of Concerned Scientists.

TOLEDO -- "Particle in Port Clinton hotel; Radiation found on 4 workers; Escape of particles from facility probed," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.

AKRON -- "Particles on workers radioactive; Microscopic amounts found on 4 who worked at Davis-Besse; No danger seen," Jim Mackinnon, Akron Beacon Journal. "Shari Weir of Ohio Citizen Action said Ohio residents need to be concerned about the incident. 'It appears there was a breakdown of radiation protection,' she said. 'The bottom line is, public safety is at risk and worker safety is at risk. I would hope this is unusual. The community at large was being exposed.' "

AKRON -- "FirstEnergy finishes damage report," Akron Beacon Journal.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "NRC: Davis-Besse workers carry radioactive specks out of plant," Malia Rulon, Associated Press.

Apr 17: NRC: "Discrete radioactive particles found outside the radiologically restricted area"

PORT CLINTON -- "On March 22, 2002, radiation protection personnel at Davis-Besse Nuclear Plant were notified by the Oconee nuclear facility that discrete radioactive particles were found on a worker's sleeve. The worker was undergoing in-proccessing for work at the Oconee facility, and had last worked at the Davis-Besse facility. The licensee's investigation to date has determined that a total of 13 discrete radioactive particles were recovered from four individuals, their clothing, residences or hotel rooms. Two particles were found at the Davis-Besse facility. The remainder of the particles were found off site from the Davis-Besse facility," April 16 notice, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "NRC: Davis-Besse workers carry radioactive particles out of state," Malia Rulon, Associated Press.

Apr 15: Rerouting nuclear waste

LAKEWOOD -- "The city of Lakewood is hoping for help to reroute the transportation of that waste away from their community," Karen Schaefer, WCPN/Ohio Public Radio.

NORTH PERRY -- "Ohio has a new KI pill plan in the works; The state of Ohio isn't following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's prescription for taking potassium iodide pills," Dino DiSanto, Lake County News Herald.

Apr 11: U.S. questions nuclear plant's repair plan

BETHESDA, MD -- ""When you're using a crowbar to knock the stuff off the reactor head, it's a sign you've gone too far," said David Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer with the Union of Concerned Scientists. Workers had pried boric acid off the head during a refueling shutdown in 2000. . . If contractors cannot repair the vessel head, the company plans to replace it with the head from a reactor in Midland, Mich., that was abandoned during construction, or the head of a retired plant in Sacramento. They have also ordered a new reactor head, but do not expect delivery before February 2004.. . . Radiation dosage in the repair area is so high that a welder would absorb in two hours as much radiation as the industry usually allows workers to incur in a year. In two and a half hours, the welder would reach the annual limit the commission sets. So the plan will rely on robot welders," Matthew Wald, New York Times.

Apr 9: Regulators say Ohio nuclear plant only one to have boric acid buildup

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Officials of FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co., which runs the Davis Besse plant, said they have concluded that cracks that caused major leaks of water in one of the reactor nozzles were the root cause of the accumulation of boric acid that ate into the top of the 6-inch thick steel vessel containing the reactor fuel. Steve Loehlein, leader of the company's team investigating the incident, said the nozzle probably had been leaking since 1994, at times leaking as much as 12 gallons of water per hour. Boric acid had accumulated at the top of the reactor vessel where the leaking nozzle was situated and the corrosion had probably been under way for at least four years, he said," F. Joseph Hebert, Associated Press.

HACKENSACK, NJ -- "Peril at Indian Point; The region must prepare better for disaster," editorial, Bergen County Record.

LAS VEGAS -- "Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste repository: Yucca project believed to be 'legally dead'," Erin Neff, Las Vegas Sun.

Apr 6: NRC raps Davis-Besse for not finding reactor corrosion sooner
Feds say energy co. missed chances to find problems at power plant near Oak Harbor

OAK HARBOR -- "One of the tell tale signs, in hindsight, were radiation air filters in the containment area that were getting clogged with boric acid deposits back in 1999. Boric acid is used in the cooling water to diffuse the nuclear reaction process, and it had been leaking out onto the reactor head. While officials knew there was boric acid deposits caking the reactor head (to the point that crowbars and hot water were used to chip the deposits off the head), they thought the source was something else -- not a crack in one of the nozzles that protrude from the top of the reactor head. The filters began to clog more frequently, NRC officials said, and Davis-Besse workers went from changing them monthly to every other day," Jennifer Funk, Port Clinton News Herald.

OAK HARBOR -- "NRC rips safety flaw at reactor; Corrosion ‘worst ever’; no radiation risk likely," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.

OAK HARBOR -- "U.S. faults nuclear reactor operator for corrosion problem," New York Times.

OAK HARBOR -- "FirstEnergy blamed for reactor damage; NRC faults Akron utility for Davis-Besse problems," Jim Mackinnon, Akron Beacon Journal.

OAK HARBOR -- "Nuclear agency rips FirstEnergy; Laxity cited in corrosion of reactor head at Davis-Besse power plant," John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer.

OAK HARBOR -- "FirstEnergy chided over reactor", Washington Post.

Apr 5: NRC says nuclear plant hole should have been found earlier

OAK HARBOR -- "Davis-Besse employees should have recognized that clogging in an air cooler and radiation monitor filter were signs of the corrosion, said Mel Holmberg, an NRC inspector. Workers also failed to clear several inches of the rust-colored boric acid that was building up on the reactor head, he said. . . . FirstEnergy plans to install a new reactor head during the plant's next refueling shutdown in 2004. The company said a new reactor cannot be installed now because it will take months to build. FirstEnergy will tell regulators next week about its plans to repair the original reactor head. The plan will need NRC approval," John Seewer, Associated Press.

OAK HARBOR -- "Investigators to release report on Ohio nuclear plant damage," Associated Press.

Apr 4: Rising Anxiety

NEW YORK -- "Anxiety is very high, and opposition to the plant by residents and elected officials is intensifying. It may not be long before a consensus is reached that Indian Point is a problem the region can do without," Bob Herbert, column, New York Times.

OAK HARBOR -- "FirstEnergy looks at 3rd Davis-Besse option; Utility studies buying reactor head at unused Michigan nuclear facility," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.

AKRON -- "Reactor damage less than expected; Workers are closely inspecting Davis-Besse plant; Public meeting tomorrow," Jim Mackinnon, Akron Beacon Journal.

Apr 3: 'Political grandstanding'
Kaptur’s Davis-Besse remarks incense Ottawa officials
Congresswoman stands by belief that nuclear plant should close

OAK HARBOR -- "Fellow Democrat Carl Koebel, Ottawa County commission president, said in a letter he sent Miss Kaptur on Friday that he believes the comments she made in that day’s edition of The Blade were 'nothing more than political grandstanding that will have a very negative impact on Ottawa County. I wish you had addressed your concerns with us before publicly attacking the nuclear power industry,' he wrote.. . . . During an interview yesterday, he said he believes she 'jumped the gun. It floored me that she took that stand,' said Mr. Koebel," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.

OAK HARBOR -- "Iodide pill supported as nuclear safeguard Ohio prepares for stockpiling," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.

Apr 1: Views of reactor head obstructed in many plant inspections

TOLEDO -- "At least 40 of the 69 nuclear plants with pressurized-water reactors said their most recent visual inspections were completed without removing obstacles such as insulation, or without inspectors getting into position to see everything, The Blade reported Saturday. Some utilities said their reactors stand so tall and the devices implanted in reactor heads are packed so tightly that obstacle-free inspection is almost impossible. . . The industry report did not indicate any worse corrosion elsewhere, although several plants acknowledged having acid leakage that the industry considers minor, the newspaper said," Associated Press.

LAS VEGAS -- "Nuclear waste: Not in our neighborhoods," Dario Herrera, Chairman, Clark County Commission, letter to the editor, Washington Post.

Mar 30: FirstEnergy denies Pa. plant link with Davis-Besse corrosion issue

CLEVELAND -- "A preliminary report shows a crack in a nozzle in the reactor head at Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station began at least nine years ago. . . .Currently, a team of about 50 experts have been recruited from around the world to come up with a viable solution, and that solution could be cutting out the damaged area and welding a heavy piece of stainless steel on top," Associated Press.

Mar 29: FirstEnergy discovered minor damage at Pennsylvania nuclear plant

CLEVELAND -- "FirstEnergy spokesman Todd Schneider said that during a routine inspection in September, the company found a small spot of corrosion on the reactor head at the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station in Shippingport, Pa. Schneider said the company believes the corrosion was caused by a flange leak in 1989, and that it never posed a safety threat," Associated Press.

CARROLL TOWNSHIP -- "NRC to release corrosion problem report next week; Public invited to sessions scheduled in Oak Harbor April 5," Jennifer Funk, Port Clinton News Herald.

TOLEDO -- "6 FirstEnergy execs sell stock for $3 million; Share sales occurred before news on corroded nuclear reactor head," Mary-Beth McLaughlin, Toledo Blade.

Mar 28: Kaptur: Shut down Davis-Besse
Nuke plant threatens public safety

OAK HARBOR -- "U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur last night expressed serious reservations about the government’s ability to inspect FirstEnergy Corp.’s beleaguered Davis-Besse nuclear power plant and said she would like to see the facility shut down permanently. 'I have zero confidence in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. If it’s possible to have less than zero, that’s what I have,' the Toledo Democrat fumed during a half-hour interview with The Blade, referring to the federal agency in charge of regulating the nuclear industry," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.

Mar 27: FirstEnergy failed to tell NRC about reactor rust

AKRON -- "'It [rust] was not a reportable event for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,' FirstEnergy spokesman Todd Schneider explained last night. 'There are certain thresholds that you report to the NRC. This situation was not one of them.' In a report made public Monday, FirstEnergy engineers said they were aware of the rust and leakage but did not realize its significance. . . . David Lochbaum, an engineer with the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the rust and boric acid deposits 'should have made bells and whistles go off. Boric acid [normally in the reactor coolant] is not supposed to be on top of the reactor,' he said. 'These were signs that something was wrong,'" John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer.

PORT CLINTON -- "Warning signs went unheeded; Corrosion was evident in '99, FirstEnergy says," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.

Mar 26: Reactor's acid leak years old
Trouble at Davis-Besse nuclear plant may have started 8 years ago, report says

AKRON -- ". . . power plant operators didn't recognize a number of small signs that, when taken collectively, would have alerted them to the fact that boric acid was eating through the 6 inches of carbon steel that makes up the 150-ton safety device that covers the radioactive fuel core, the report shows. . . . Plant staff and management did not understand the significance of dry boric acid deposits on top of the Davis-Besse vessel head or realize it was the result of significant corrosion. Those were among the findings in the five-page report by FirstEnergy scientists and engineers," Jim Mackinnon, Akron Beacon Journal.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "U.S. orders checks for corrosion at nuclear reactors," Matthew Wald, New York Times.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Hole in reactor sends industry scrambling; After Ohio find, regulators want other plants to report by April 1," MSNBC.

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Nuclear plants said to face big attack risk," Josh Meyer, Los Angeles Times.

Mar 25: 2,000 words about Davis-Besse

WASHINGTON, DC -- "The NRC is very concerned about the part labeled 'nose' in the sketch. It suggests that the damage may have initiated as undercutting (i.e., from within the metal) rather than boring (i.e., from the outer surface inward). If so, than the visual inspections of the reactor vessel surface may not be sufficient to detect the damage until it has progressed too, too far," Dave Lochbaum, Union of Concerned Scientists.

Mar 24: Ohio nuke woes raise fear of lengthy plant outages

SAN FRANCISCO -- "The startling discovery last month of deep corrosion in the 'lid' capping the reactor at an Ohio nuclear power plant is raising the specter of long, costly shutdowns at other plants using a similar design. That fear also is pushing up electricity and natural gas prices as energy traders brace for the possibility of shrinking nuclear supplies in the market over the next few months," James Jelter, Reuters.

AKRON -- "Davis-Besse about more than money; FirstEnergy must show it values public's trust," Diane Evans, column, Akron Beacon Journal.

Mar 23: Scientist skeptical of repairs at reactor
Nuclear engineer says patches at Davis-Besse aren't certain at NRC

ROCKVILLE, MD -- ". . . David Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer who now works for the Union of Concerned Scientists, said there is no guarantee that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will approve repairing the two acid-created cavities found in the massive, 150-ton steel structure instead of replacing it entirely. 'It's never been done before,' Lochbaum said. 'I'd say it's better than 50-50 that they'll be able to patch it. I don't think it's a given that they'll be able to do it.' Lochbaum sat alongside NRC officials at Wednesday's public meeting about Davis-Besse in NRC headquarters in Rockville, Md., where he presented a paper, Stainless Steel Clad: The Dutchboy's Finger in the Davis-Besse Dike, that criticized FirstEnergy and regulators about power plant safety," Jim Mackinnon, Akron Beacon Journal.

Mar 21: Reactor troubles loom over utility
Uncertainty surrounding FirstEnergy plant draws crowd at NRC meeting

ROCKVILLE, MD -- "Uncertainty hangs over the damaged Davis-Besse nuclear power plant like a dark storm cloud. . . .One of the analysts at the hearing, Paul Ridzon of McDonald Investments in Cleveland, said the implications of a prolonged shutdown of Davis-Besse are important in many ways. For one, Ohio's deregulation law means FirstEnergy can't pay for repairs, estimated to cost as much as $10 million, by charging its customers more for electricity. 'They can't pass the cost on. They eat it,' he said," Jim Mackinnon, Akron Beacon Journal.

Mar 20: 68 nuclear plants get U.S. query
Regulators want quick assurance Davis-Besse's damage doesn't lurk in similar reactors elsewhere

AKRON -- "A survey presented yesterday to the NRC by nuclear industry members reported that three other nuclear plants may be susceptible to the kind of damage found at Davis-Besse. . . .Also yesterday, the NRC reported for the first time that the reactor vessel head's thin inner lining of stainless steel -- between 3/16 and 3/8 of an inch thick -- bulged slightly but still prevented radioactive coolant from spewing out through the deepest cavity and into the power plant's massive containment chamber, officials said," Jim Mackinnon, Akron Beacon Journal.

Mar 19: Second cavity at reactor
Hole found on safety device at Davis-Besse plant
Initial damage more widespread

AKRON -- "The latest cavity, on a massive structure called the reactor vessel head, appears to be about 1 ˝ inches deep into the 6 3/8-inch-thick carbon-and-stainless-steel structure that covers the radioactive fuel core.. . . .The coolant around the fuel core is 600 degrees Fahrenheit and at a pressure of 2,500 pounds per square inch," Jim Mackinnon, Akron Beacon Journal.

OAK HARBOR -- "More damage found on Davis-Besse reactor ," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.

Mar 17: Reactor realities
What does Davis-Besse damage mean?

AKRON -- "What they have to fix is the hole the acid created when it ate through the carbon-steel portion of the 6 3/8-inch-thick reactor vessel head. The acid stopped when it ran into the 3/8-inch-thick stainless-steel lining. . . . Ultrasonic tests found that five of Davis-Besse's 69 nozzles were cracked; one of those nozzles was severely corroded, and closer inspection revealed the underlying cavity, which is 4 by 5 inches wide. The cracks apparently allowed boronic water to leak through the nozzles and turn into boric acid," Jim Mackinnon, Akron Beacon Journal.

Mar 14: Davis-Besse woes grow
Damage to nuclear plant may cost up to $10 million to fix
FirstEnergy stock takes hit
Anti-nuclear group opposes restart

AKRON -- "The nuclear power industry and nuclear power opponents are intensely interested in the discovery that boric acid, a byproduct of the nuclear reaction, apparently carved a 6-inch-deep cavity in the 6 3/8-inch-thick steel reactor head, a vital safety component that covers the fuel core. 'This was something that was not expected. It was not predicted to occur. We have not seen this kind of erosion,' said Brian Sheron, associate director for the project license and technical assessment office in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission," Jim Mackinnon, Akron Beacon Journal.

CLEVELAND -- "Davis-Besse plant idling may cost investors," John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Mar 13: Davis-Besse Nuclear plant comes close to disaster as lax regulator places company interests ahead of public safety

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Following the February shutdown for refueling outage and inspection at the Davis-Besse nuclear power station, 21 miles Southeast of Toledo, Ohio, operators discovered a cavity had eaten through 6-inches of carbon steel on the top of the 6˝-inch thick reactor pressure vessel, the apparent result of corrosive coolant leakage from the reactor core. Less than a half inch of the reactor vessel's stainless steel liner remained in the bottom of the 4" X 5" X 6" cavity separating the reactor's highly radioactive and pressurized internal environment (2500 psi) from blasting into the reactor containment building damaging safety equipment and possibly setting into motion a core melt accident," Paul Gunter, Kevin Kamps, Mary Olson, Nuclear Information and Resource Service.

Mar 6: FERC seeks to limit critical energy data
Public's help asked in writing rules

WASHINGTON, DC -- "The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is asking the public to help decide what constitutes 'critical energy infrastructure information' -– a prelude to restricting that information from general public view. And in what one watchdog group calls a 'bizarre' twist, FERC has put off-limits an appendix describing data that might be considered critical infrastructure, except to people who sign a pledge to refrain from publicly discussing its contents," Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post.
Graphic: David Ross.

Feb 31: Plan to study expanding nuclear power

COLUMBUS -- "One environmental group, Citizen Action, says it is interesting that campaign finance reports from the last election cycle show [Sponsor State Rep. Sam] Britton got money from PACs linked with Cinergy, AEP and other utilities that amount to a quarter of his campaign war chest," Bill Cohen, Ohio Public Radio.

Feb 26: Study: Extensive groundwater contamination found at Ohio plant

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Department of Energy workers at the [Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant] site pump infected groundwater to five facilities, where it is treated and released into the Scioto River. According to the study, the water is not being treated for cancer-causing substances called radionuclides. About 24.6 million gallons of water went through this process in 1999, the study said. Concentrations of certain radionuclides -- trichloroethene and technetium -- were found to be thousands of times higher than Ohio EPA standards for safe drinking water, the report said. 'People still get baptized here. They swim in the creek and they catch fish out of the creek,' said Vina Colley, a former uranium enrichment worker who lives 15 miles south of the plant in McDermott," Malia Rulon, Associated Press.
Photo: In this satellite image, the diffusion plant is near Piketon, 22 miles north of Portsmouth. The Scioto River flows south from Piketon to Portsmouth, where it joins the Ohio River.

Feb 18: Little pill causes big fuss
State, county to sort out responsibility for program Feb. 27

PORT CLINTON -- "KI. Otherwise known as potassium iodide. It's a small white pill that resembles an aspirin tablet that, in the event of a radiation release at Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, could help prevent illness," Jennifer Funk, Port Clinton News Herald.

CLEVELAND -- "200,000 Ohioans living near nuclear plants to receive pills; State recommending anti-radiation pill distribution," Associated Press.

Jan 31: Nuclear plants targeted

WASHINGTON, DC -- "U.S. intelligence agencies have issued an internal alert that Islamic terrorists are planning another spectacular attack to rival those carried out on September 11. The detailed warning was issued within the past two weeks in a classified report that said one target was a U.S. nuclear power plant or one of the Energy Department's nuclear facilities. The alert was based on sensitive intelligence gathered overseas that revealed discussions among terrorism suspects. . . . Officials familiar with the report said it contained six potential methods and targets of attack, among them a bombing or airline attack on a nuclear power plant or other U.S. nuclear facility, such as a weapons storage depot, designed to cause mass casualties and spread deadly radiological debris," Bill Gertz, Washington Times.
Photo: Control room at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant, Port Clinton.

Jan 29: Nuclear power is not clean, not cheap and not safe

CLEVELAND -- "Under Ohio's electric utility deregulation plan, FirstEnergy customers are paying nearly $9 billion to bail out bad nuclear power plant investments for the investor-owned utility. No new studies are needed to discover that nuclear is the most expensive power on the grid. Just ask Northern Ohio consumers to tell you how much they're paying on the line of their bill marked 'transition costs' to get a clear idea what nuclear energy costs an Ohio family each month -- in some cases over 50% of monthly electricity charges," Statement of 12 Ohio organizations opposing H.B. 414, the Nuclear Energy Study Committee, Ohio Advocates for Consumers and the Environment coalition, 26KB .doc.

Jan 14: State ponders radiation pills
200,000 Ohioans live near nuclear plants

PORT CLINTON -- "The pills work by stopping the thyroid gland from absorbing radioactive iodine, which can guard against thyroid cancer and other diseases that could result from radiation exposure. They must be taken within six hours of exposure, and don't guard against all types of radiation. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in December it would set aside $800,000 to help states pay for stockpiling the pills, which cost about a dime each and have a shelf life of five to seven years. The issue became more prominent after September's terrorist attacks," Port Clinton News Herald.

Jan 13: Ohio mulls radiation protection

OAK HARBOR -- "After years of review, Ohio now appears ready to commit itself to an agreement to make free potassium iodide pills available to residents who live within the immediate 10-mile evacuation zone of the plant, as well as the utility’s Perry nuclear plant east of Cleveland and its Beaver Valley nuclear plant in western Pennsylvania. The pills can save lives in the event of a nuclear disaster, by keeping cancer-causing radiation from being absorbed by the thyroid gland," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.

Jan 8: Cancer-defense pills ready . . . and waiting

CLEVELAND -- "The state's Utility Radiological Safety Board decided yesterday to hold public meetings near each of the three nuclear plants in or near Ohio to solicit suggestions from local health and emergency management officials as well as from interested residents. About 200,000 people in Ohio live within 10 miles of the Davis-Besse plant in Port Clinton, the Perry plant in North Perry and the Beaver Valley plant just over the border in Pennsylvania. . . . . The forums will be held sometime before the board's April meeting, said Jay Carey, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Health," Susan Jaffee, Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Jan 4: Concerns deepen at persistent lake level
Davis-Besse, others concerned at trend

PORT CLINTON -- "Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. acknowledges it has safety-related concerns about the long-term effects that declining lake levels could have on its Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Ottawa County. In recent weeks, the utility has been contacting scientists from NOAA, the corps, and other agencies with questions about how long the low-water trend could last. The nuclear plant, which is along the Lake Erie shoreline, needs to be assured the water will remain deep enough so that it can continue to draw in thousands of gallons at a time for cooling. 'If it dropped so low we couldn’t bring it in, we’d have to shut the plant down,' FirstEnergy spokesman Richard Wilkins said yesterday," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.
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