Ohio Nuke Plant Damage More Severe Than Previously Admitted


Dennis Kucinich

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today questioned whether FirstEnergy has been entirely upfront with the people of Ohio over the extent of the damage to the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant. Kucinich requested full public disclosure of all relevant photographs, test results, analyses and reports by FirstEnergy after comparing reassuring public statements made about the damage by FirstEnergy officials to disquieting information received from the NRC during a briefing yesterday for the Congressman’s staff.

Descriptions by the NRC, which receives non-public reports from FirstEnergy, revealed that the damage to the Davis-Besse plant is greater than has previously been portrayed in public statements made by FirstEnergy officials. Kucinich called upon FirstEnergy to release all photographs, test results, analyses and reports to the public in order to verify the accuracy of FirstEnergy’s public statements.

See a comparison of FirstEnergy statements with the facts HERE. Decide for yourself.

“In response to inquiries by my staff, the NRC provided a detailed description of the cracking at FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse plant. That description revealed that the cracks in the Davis-Besse ‘shield’ building are more numerous and more widely distributed than FirstEnergy has publicly portrayed,” said Kucinich.

Cracks were initially discovered by accident in the concrete shield wall that protects the reactor from physical attacks and prevents radiation release into the air, water and soil. FirstEnergy publicly claimed the damage was limited as to the size and the location of the cracks.

As a result of information shared by the NRC, it was revealed that the extent of those cracks is greater than portrayed to the public by FirstEnergy. Cracks have been found in additional locations not revealed in public statements by FirstEnergy, including cracks around the top twenty feet of the building.

“The NRC’s decision to approve the restart is based solely on information and reports prepared by FirstEnergy and consultants that FirstEnergy has hired and paid. We do not fully know what is in the reports made by FirstEnergy to the NRC, but we must reveal that the description of damage by the NRC does not mirror public statements made by FirstEnergy officials. FirstEnergy should release all the documents it has in order to ensure that the public has a full and accurate understanding of the situation,” said Kucinich.

FirstEnergy is no stranger to failed inspections.
Gaping hole cut away from reactor head found in
2002 in the Davis-Besse plant – Image source NRC

“Full disclosure is mandatory. FirstEnergy risks loss of public confidence if it continues to tell the people of Ohio one thing and the NRC another. Since we are talking about a nuclear power plant with a troubled history, the public has a powerful health and safety interest in full and immediate disclosure,” Kucinich said.

Last Friday evening, the NRC announced it would allow FirstEnergy to restart Davis-Besse even though the cause of the cracking and the extent of the cracking is still unknown. The investigation into the cause of the widespread cracks is not expected to be completed until February.

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