Marcy Kaptur's desire to permanently shut down Davis-Besse is not shared by anyone I have talked to on this side of the river. Her mind is made up to oppose nuclear power plants. If she would take the time to check built-in safety features at Davis-Besse, she would find that good engineering practices have proven themselves invaluable.
A 3/8–inch stainless steel laminate on the outside of the dome is part of the reactor design to act as a back-up material if the carbon steel in the dome were to fail.
This entire unit is enclosed in a hermetically sealed vessel made of 11/2-inch thick stainless steel to act as a back-up material and structure in the event the 3/8-inch stainless steel laminate failed. The reactor is housed in a vault made of concrete walls that are three feet thick reinforced with 2.5-inch diameter steel rod on 12-inch centers.
Had Representative Kaptur reviewed the current situation with an open mind (as we expect from a true leader), she would see that good engineering practices protected the plant despite flawed inspections.
Safety feature No. 1 was put to the test and did what it was supposed to do. The 3/8-inch stainless steel laminate even warped in the problem area but did not fail. The two remaining safety features were not put to the ultimate test, so we don't know if they would have done their job, but based on the excellent engineering on safety feature No. 1 and its perfect performance, we could expect No. 2 and 3 to be A-OK.
Davis-Besse was designed with redundant triple back-up safety features just in case something unforeseen would occur or be missed during shutdown inspections. The inspectors may have blown it, but the original design engineers saved the day.
I have been in contact with representatives from Columbia Gas of Ohio and have been assured that the company is using the best technology in order to stay ahead of any concerns related to natural gas pipeline risks.
Columbia Gas of Ohio routinely inspects all gas lines to ensure safe operation of the system and it is extremely rare for a gas line to explode spontaneously. The company spokesperson states that natural gas lines being hit due to construction activity cause most incidents to which Columbia Gas of Ohio responds.
Citizens are strongly urged to contact Ohio Utility Protection Services at 800-362-2764 before digging. This service provides consumers with a utility company representative who will come out to their work site and clearly indicate where gas lines are present.
If in the event a gas line explodes, the Toledo Police and Fire departments will respond. They will evaluate the situation, evacuate and manage the site if necessary, and remain at the location until Columbia Gas of Ohio arrives to fix the damaged line and the situation is safe.
City of Toledo
Regarding the Andrea Yates story, a recent letter writer wrote: “Depression basically boils down to wallowing in self-pity ...”
The writer just doesn't get it. The earth is not flat.
Clinical depression - postpartum syndrome, in this case - is a disease, whether or not it's in the dictionary. It is a mental illness, a terrible one. It is devastating. Those afflicted with it aren't nut cases, as the writer said. They are ill, often more sick than a physical disease. For me, clinical depression was worse than cancer, worse than heart disease. The anxiety of not knowing what was going to happen in the next minute was overwhelming.
I hope the writer never has dark days, or moments when he can't remember what he did an hour, two hours, or days ago. I hope he never has tight jaws, shortness of breath, a racing heart, a feeling of desolation, a sense of hopelessness. I hope his hands never shake because of fear. I hope he is always in control.
If he ever experiences any of these, I hope he gets the treatment needed to overcome his disease, just as I hope Andrea Yates gets the therapy she needs in prison. In her case, I doubt prison can provide the help she requires. A mental hospital, with its more-caring atmosphere, would be a better solution. Fortunately, she is alive to receive treatment.
Mental illness is a disease. This society must deal with it.
Now that Andrea Yates has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of her children, I can't help but think of the other guilty people involved:
The psychiatrist(s) who took her off medication, and who discharged a mentally ill patient after 12 days.
The husband who had been warned that his wife would become psychotic again if she were to have another child, yet got her pregnant anyway.
Before leaving for work, didn't he see his wife the way she appeared in media pictures, i.e. blank-faced and unkempt? He had experience with her psychotic and suicidal episodes. This was not a first.
From where I'm sitting, I believe it would have been more merciful to sentence Andrea Yates to death by a painless injection. Because she may eventually return to sanity and will realize the horror of what she did.
I suspect I'm like most people who did not witness the 9/11 terrorist attack directly, or lose someone close to them. Six months later I still find it difficult to comprehend the horror and the enormity of our nation's one-day loss and the loss sustained by the families of the some 3,000 victims.
Imagine that we faced a biological attack by a terrorist organization so powerful we lose 3,000 additional innocent civilian citizens every day starting last Sept. 11 and continuing seven days a week without interruption. As I write this, we would have lost 565,082 innocent people.
Imagine this nightmare continuing for more than 35 years, losing 3,000 innocent people a day, without exception, until Oct. 9, 2036. At that time the terrorists would have shortened the lives of just under 40 million innocent civilians.
Incomprehensible? Impossible? Why mark Oct. 10, 2036, as a benchmark date?
That is the first day that this incomprehensible theoretical biological attack by a terrorist organization would have shortened the lives of more innocent people than our “civilized” society has shortened by legal abortion in the 29 years since the Roe vs. Wade decision. (Based on the 40 million legal abortion estimate published in The Blade on the 29th anniversary of the decision, an average of 3,776 per day.) Something to think about.
STANLEY W. JOEHLIN
My daughter and I were at a restaurant and observed a young mother give her child a cigarette lighter to play with to keep her quiet. We wondered if the mom never reads about the house fires (some fatal) that are caused by children playing with lighters or matches. They are not made to be played with. Keep them out of sight and reach!
Self-appointed nuclear scientists “Dr.” Marcy Kaptur and “Dr.” Dennis Kucinich do not feel Davis-Besse should reopen. I expect their knowledge of nuclear power plants is limited to the back of cereal boxes they read as children.
If the nuclear reactor nozzles had corroded completely, any escaping radioactivity would have been held in check by the containment building.
Davis-Besse is a nuclear power plant, not a nuclear bomb. I seriously doubt that either Ms. Kaptur or Mr. Kucinich know the difference. Scientific decisions should be left to scientists, not pandering politicians.