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Published: Saturday, 12/27/2008

Oil leak closes Davis-Besse


OAK HARBOR, Ohio - A nuclear power plant near Toledo has been shut down after an oil leak was found in a nonnuclear area of the facility.

FirstEnergy Corp. said the Davis-Besse plant along Lake Erie near Oak Harbor likely will be generating power again early next week. Spokesman Todd Schneider says the leak was found Wednesday, operators began shutting down the reactor, and inspectors from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission responded.

Yesterday, engineers found a clog in the lubrication system for the bearings of the plant's turbine caused the leak. Mr. Schneider says the system is being cleaned and plans are to test the turbine this weekend.

The plant was the site of the worst corrosion ever found at a U.S. reactor when inspectors in 2001 discovered an acid leak. It was closed for two years and underwent extensive repairs.

In October, a radioactive tritium leak was discovered at the plant.

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