OAK HARBOR, Ohio — Four activist groups recognized in federal proceedings as legal intervenors have filed more objections to FirstEnergy Corp.’s plan to extend Davis-Besse’s operating license, citing new evidence they claim to have found.
Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don’t Waste Michigan, and the Green Party of Ohio said they are urging the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board to look deeper into the condition of the building that shields Davis-Besse’s nuclear reactor, including additional cracks that were not immediately found. The groups claim the cracks are symptoms of aging issues that have the potential to compromise the building’s strength. They also are concerned about the strength of steel reinforcement, or rebar, after multiple cuts through the shield building over the years.
The shield building is designed to ward off external threats and objects.
Although Davis-Besse has operated for years now without incident, NRC engineers have not come to a decision about whether a recently discovered void in the shield building weakened the building’s wall. FirstEnergy maintains a concrete gap discovered in it weeks ago was not significant enough to make a difference, and stands behind the integrity of the entire plant.
Davis-Besse, 30 miles east of Toledo, is licensed to operate through April 22, 2017. FirstEnergy is expected to hear from the NRC’s licensing board this fall if it will be allowed to continue operating the plant another 20 years, through April 22, 2037.