Chemical Safety Incidents
OH Nuke Gets NRC 20-Year Renewal
Monday, December 14, 2015 @ 05:12 PM gHale
Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station received a 20-year license extension from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), said officials at FirstEnergy, which operates the facility.
The plant’s original nuclear operating license from the NRC was going to expire April 22, 2017. Now the extension will allow for the continued operation of the plant in Oak Harbor, OH, up to the year 2037.
FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company, a subsidiary of the FirstEnergy Corporation, first submitted their license renewal application with the NRC back in 2010. They said the renewal decision came after “extensive” safety and environmental reviews by the NRC, as well as meetings with the public.
However, several environmental groups remain concerned about containment at Davis-Besse and have denounced the NRC’s decision, while vowing to continue to fight the approval.
Brian Boles, vice president of Davis-Besse, said the renewal resulted from making the right investments in facilities and people, who he said remain dedicated to the “safe and efficient operation” of the plant.
“I am very proud of our employees who have worked to ensure that the plant remains a key asset to the company that can deliver safe, reliable, clean and affordable electricity for many years to come,” Boles said.
FirstEnergy invested nearly $1 billion toward what they said helps “ensure continued safe and reliable operations” of Davis-Besse through the 20-year period of the license extension. The investments include a new reactor head installed in 2011 and two new steam generators installed in 2013.
The plant, which employs about 700 people, is one of the largest employers in Ottawa County. FirstEnergy officials said Davis-Besse’s payroll and property taxes total over $6.3 million in annual tax revenue for the area.
However, FirstEnergy utilities in the state recently filed a settlement proposal with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, seeking permission to add a rate provision increasing their customer’s monthly electricity bills, which they claim would stabilize existing market volatility currently causing Davis-Besse to lose money.
Though the NRC’s decision to renew the plant’s operating license is strictly on analysis of safety and environmental issues, it does not show any indication regarding its financial viability.