Energy / FirstEnergy

Letter to the editor: Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s rules too weak

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PORT  CLINTON — “FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) spokeswoman Jennifer Young was quoted as saying “All the big investments that are needed to extend Davis-Besse’s life have been completed already.”

But this is only because the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) safety standards are so dangerously weak, despite lessons that should have been learned from the ongoing Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

Take Davis-Besse’s severely cracked, and ever worsening, concrete Shield Building. Every time a freeze-thaw-freeze cycle takes place, the cracks grow around a half-inch. The structural integrity of this essential radiological containment structure is questionable, especially in the event of a core meltdown, with its high temperatures and pressures. And FENOC’s problem-plagued reactor has already had more close calls with catastrophe than any other in the U.S. over the past four decades.

Come to think of it, the objectionable $3 billion ratepayer bailout FENOC has requested from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, at ratepayer expense, would just about pay for a replacement Shield Building. Only FENOC has no such plans, nor does NRC require it, despite the risks.

— Kevin Kamps, letter to the editor, Port Clinton News Herald

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