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People protest renewal license for Davis-Besse

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Attorney Terry Lodge and other protestors demonstrate Wednesdayoutside the Toledo Edison building at Levis Square in downtown Toledo.

The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
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The recent discovery of a 30-foot, hairline crack in the concrete outer shell structure at FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse Nuclear Generating Station is further reason the plant’s operating license should not be renewed past its current expiration six years from now, anti-nuclear critics said during a news conference Wednesday morning.

“There’s a lot of unanswered questions that should be addressed before there is even any consideration to allow that plant to restart,” local lawyer Terry Lodge, who is leading a challenge to FirstEnergy’s 20-year permit renewal application, said during the rain-swept conference in Levis Square in downtown Toledo.

Similar cracks at a nuclear power plant in Florida have turned into a $2.5 billion repair project of dubious value, Mr. Lodge said, particularly in light of the increasing effectiveness of less dangerous energy sources.

The small group presented to Steven Steel, a Toledo city councilman, a draft resolution which, if adopted by council, would declare city opposition to Davis-Besse’s re-licensing. Mr. Steel said afterward that he had not yet read the resolution’s wording, but that “in principle I’m in agreement” with shutting the power plant down.

FirstEnergy contractors discovered the crack inside the outer containment building at Davis-Besse after cutting a hole through its 2-1/2 feet of concrete through which a new reactor head is to be installed. Utility officials have yet to complete an evaluation of the crack’s significance.

The plant was shut down Oct. 1 for the reactor-head replacement.

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