TOLEDO - The government said Thursday
it found 10 violations at a nuclear plant where an acid leak nearly
ate through a 6-inch-thick steel reactor cap.
The plant's operator, FirstEnergy Corp. of Akron, failed to take
action to correct safety concerns and violated rules for operating
the reactor, the report said.
The boric acid leak at the Davis-Besse plant was the most
extensive corrosion ever found on a U.S. nuclear reactor and led to
a nationwide review of all 69 similar plants. A second, smaller hole
was found later at the plant.
Inspectors found the leak in March, during a maintenance shutdown
at the plant near Toledo. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has said
it should have been spotted as many as four years ago.
The latest report from the NRC inspectors said the violations
included failure to remove large amounts of acid on the reactor
head, which led to nozzle cracking, and failure to notice acid
deposits on air coolers.
FirstEnergy spokesman Richard Wilkins said the findings were
consistent with the company's investigations. He said the company
already has fixed some of the problems.
``We weren't really surprised by anything in that report,''
Wilkins said. He said, however, that the company expects to be
FirstEnergy is spending about $200 million to repair the plant,
install a new cap and buy replacement power until it is restarted.
It has been shut down since Feb. 16.