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Saturday, May 25, 2002

NRC to meet with D-B officials

News Herald reports

FirstEnergy officials will head back to Rockville, Md., in June to the headquarters of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

This time, they will meet with NRC officials about replacing the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station reactor head.

This meeting was scheduled for May, but was canceled by FirstEnergy because engineers hadn't finished inspecting the reactor head it bought Thursday from Consumers Energy in Michigan.

FirstEnergy hopes to replace its corroded reactor head with one that was installed, then abandoned in Midland, Mich., after the plant never started up. It's been sitting there for 17 years, unused.

The June 4 meeting, from 1 to 4 p.m., will likely include FirstEnergy officials detailing its plan for removing the abandoned reactor head from the Midland site, transporting it to Carroll Township and installing it on the Davis-Besse reactor.

The Davis-Besse plant has been shut down since February. It went off-line for a routine refueling outage, but then workers found a hole on the top of the reactor head, as well as cracks in nozzles on the head.

Those cracks are believed to have leaked boric acid, which is in the cooling water inside the reactor. That boric acid, engineers believe, is what caused the corrosion.