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Posted on Mon, Oct. 07, 2002
Davis Besse restart now expected early 2003

FirstEnergy Corp. said Monday it has pushed back the likely date for restarting its Davis-Besse nuclear power plant from late 2002 to early next year, and that it likely will spend $115 million more than expected in restoring the plant to service.

Akron-based FirstEnergy is installing a new reactor cap and is buying replacement power until the plant is restarted. The plant, in Oak Harbor about 20 miles east of Toledo, has been shut down since Feb. 16.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors found violations of 10 federal regulations at Davis-Besse, where acid nearly ate through a 6-inch-thick steel reactor cap.

The leak discovered in March 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 Davis-Besse.

FirstEnergy said reactor head replacement costs were unchanged at $55 million to $75 million.

But other costs of restoring the plant to service, initially estimated at $50 million to $70 million, have increased because of additional work, including approximately $27 million in projects that had been planned for future refueling and maintenance outages.

Those restoration costs are now expected to increase by about $65 million this year and by about $50 million in 2003, FirstEnergy said.

FirstEnergy also said Monday that the Davis-Besse outage and replacement energy costs will reduce 2002 earnings by approximately 46 cents to 53 cents per share of common stock.

FirstEnergy expects 2002 earnings, excluding special charges such as Davis-Besse expenses, to be at the high end of the company's earnings guidance of $3.30 to $3.45 per share.

FirstEnergy shares on the New York Stock Exchange closed Monday at $29.21, down 40 cents.

ON THE NET

http://www.nrc.gov/

http://www.firstenergycorp.com/

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