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Published: Tuesday, 3/23/2010

Davis-Besse tests find more cracks in nozzles

OAK HARBOR, Ohio — Ultrasonic tests completed Sunday night show 12 of the 69 nozzles on top of Davis-Besse's reactor head developed some sort of crack, eight more than previously known.

Those 12 are among 14 that FirstEnergy Corp. identified last week as having suspicious flaws or indications of a crack that needed further examination, Todd Schneider, utility spokesman, said.

A company report the Nuclear Regulatory Commission made public on March 15 stated that FirstEnergy could confirm only four cracks at that time. But the utility also said it hadn't yet tested 17 of the 69 nozzles.

The same report identified two of the nozzles as having developed cracks wide enough to leak radioactive coolant water. Further tests showed only one of those nozzles to be leaking, Mr. Schneider said.

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