FirstEnergy / Nuclear Energy

Efforts ramp up to save or sell Davis-Besse

With the possibility of Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station closing next year, FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co.’s president and chief nuclear officer Sam Belcher talks about the options to close a nuclear power plant: decommissioning or safe store (Credit: Molly Corfman/The News-Messenger).

OAK HARBOR — “There’s still a chance that FirstEnergy could find a willing buyer or legislative remedy for its Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, which could close next year.

Before the company finishes its review in 2018 and makes a decision on the Davis-Besse site, FirstEnergy is also waiting to hear soon from the Ohio Department of Taxation on whether it will receive a substantial devaluation of its taxable public utility personal property (PUPP) values.

…But Charles Fishman, an equity analyst for Chicago-based Morningstar, Inc., isn’t as optimistic as he was late last year that a buyer will emerge for the aging nuclear plant on Lake Erie.

‘I still think there’s a chance. It’s probably less than 50-50 now,’ FIshman said Thursday, pegging the probability of Davis-Besse operating five years from now at 30 percent.

Fishman cited Gov. John Kasich’s recent public comments against subsidies for Davis-Besse and FirstEnergy’s other Ohio nuclear plant in Perry as a major deterrent to any buyer, as well as the availability of abundant, cheaper natural gas in Ohio and Pennsylvania.”

— Daniel Carson, Port Clinton News-Herald

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