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Published: Monday, 3/1/2010

Davis-Besse shuts down to replace fuel assemblies

OAK HARBOR, Ohio - Refueling of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station began yesterday to replace 76 of 177 fuel assemblies, FirstEnergy Corp. said.

The company declined to say when the plant would resume generating electricity "for competitive reasons," spokesman Todd Schneider said.

The industry average for refueling shutdowns is four to six weeks.

Three large pump motors will be replaced and welds on plant equipment will be reinforced, the company said. Other major work will include maintenance on the cooling tower.

FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co., which operates the 32-year-old plant, hired about 1,200 contractors and brought in 100 employees from its other nuclear plants to supplement the Davis-Besse work force for the outage.

The last refueling for the 908-megawatt plant in Ottawa County was in February, 2008.

In addition to Davis-Besse, FirstEnergy's nuclear plants are Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport, Pa., and Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry, Ohio.

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