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Published: Wednesday, 3/24/2004

Broken valve further delays Besse power

FirstEnergy Corp. doesn't expect to be generating electricity again at its Davis-Besse nuclear plant near Oak Harbor until at least next week, Richard Wilkins, a spokesman for the company, said yesterday.

The plant was shut down for repairs March 17, days after it had started generating electricity again for the first time in more than two years. The plant had been idle for routine maintenance in February, 2002, and during that time numerous safety failures and equipment, management, and design issues were discovered.

According to Mr. Wilkins, the biggest problem of late is a broken feedwater block isolation valve.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has said the plant could have operated safely with the broken valve.

However, the company decided that doing so would not have been feasible because the reactor would not have achieved more than a quarter of its power capacity, Mr. Wilkins said.



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