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Coalition wants Davis-Besse closed permanently

07/24/02


Toledo

- A coalition of environmental, anti-nuclear and political groups is calling for the Davis-Besse nuclear plant near Toledo to be permanently closed, saying it is too unsafe and poorly maintained.

The Citizens Campaign to Close Davis-Besse is planning a rally at 1 p.m. Saturday at Crane Creek State Park in Oak Harbor, east of Toledo.

The nuclear plant has been closed since Feb. 16. It shut down temporarily for refueling and federally mandated inspections but the outage has been extended indefinitely because of a rust hole the size of a loaf of bread in the 6-inch-thick reactor lid.

FirstEnergy plans to install a new lid and make other repairs by the end of the year. The company says the reactor can be restarted and operated safely. A spokesman dismissed the coalition's call for a permanent shutdown, saying its members have been making the same demand for years.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is investigating how the rust hole formed and could have existed for years without being noticed. The agency has final say on when the reactor can be restarted.

The coalition says that should never happen. Coalition member John Kiely, a structural engineer with six years of experience designing nuclear power plant containment buildings, said the steel containment liner that is the final barrier between the reactor and the environment has been poorly maintained.

The NRC is concerned about the possibility of corrosion on both the inside and outside surfaces of the 1-inch-thick liner and has asked FirstEnergy to test it.

Members of the coalition are the Northwest Ohio Green Party, University of Toledo Campus Greens, Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition, Nuclear Information & Resource Service, Food Not Bombs, Citizens Protecting Ohio, Toledo Coalition For Safe Energy and the Young People's Socialist League.

For recent Davis-Besse coverage go to http://www.cleveland.com/davisbesse/.


2002 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission.
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