Thursday, January 16, 2003

NRC frets about working conditions of Davis-Besse if plant fired up again

The Associated Press

PORT CLINTON, Ohio - Nuclear regulators still have concerns about the work environment at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant.

Plant officials have yet to convince regulators that they have changed the work environment enough to restart the plant, which has been closed nearly a year.

The NRC wants the plant's owner, FirstEnergy Corp., to prove it will be able to correct problems at the plant more quickly, Bill Dean, a member of the agency's panel overseeing the Davis-Besse repairs, said Tuesday.

The agency also wants assurance of better worker-management cooperation, he said.

Both sides will meet later this month to discuss the issue.

Lew Myers, chief operating officer of the FirstEnergy's nuclear subsidiary, said a shift in attitudes will be difficult to prove.

"We think we're making good progress toward a restart," he said.

The nuclear plant near Toledo has been closed for repairs since last February, when boric acid nearly ate through a 6-inch-thick steel reactor cap.

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