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Published: Saturday, 10/29/2005

Davis-Besse shuts down for weekend maintenance

OAK HARBOR, Ohio - The Davis-Besse nuclear power plant will be down this weekend for what is described as "low-level" maintenance.

"We've got a list of low-level items we wanted to knock off," said Richard Wilkins, a FirstEnergy Corp. spokesman

Yesterday afternoon, the reactor's operating power was down to 86 percent. The shutdown was to be completed by last night.

Jan Strasma, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman, said no major safety issues necessitated the shutdown.

"From a regulatory point of view, it's a routine thing they've had planned," he said.

Work will include tightening reactor coolant system drain valves inside the containment building. The control rod drive system will get new power supply equipment. The main turbine will have a solenoid and a valve switch replaced, Mr. Wilkins said.

FirstEnergy selected this weekend to do the work because the region's energy usage is expected to be down because people aren't running air conditioners or operating heating systems to the degree they will during wintertime, he said.

The shutdown is expected to be Davis-Besse's last before its month-long refueling in March, during which more extensive maintenance will occur. Nuclear plants are refueled every 18 months to two years.

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