Oak Harbor, Ohio, March 15, 2010 — A planned refueling outage underway at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio, will include repair work on several control rod nozzles that penetrate the reactor head vessel.
Sophisticated ultrasonic inspections conducted over the past several days on 49 of the 69 nozzles detected indications in 12 of them. Further inspections will take place throughout the week.
“Safety is our number-one goal, and we are committed to ensuring the structural integrity of the equipment before restarting the plant,” said Barry Allen, Davis-Besse site vice president. “We have begun a comprehensive investigation to determine the underlying cause, and have secured nuclear contractor Areva to make the repairs.”
Repairs will be made using a proven industry method and thorough testing following the repair of each nozzle will be conducted to ensure safe, reliable plant operations.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been notified, along with federal, state and local officials.
Davis-Besse’s reactor vessel head — which was unused when it was acquired from a partially completed nuclear power plant in Midland, Michigan — was installed in 2002. The plant has operated since restarting in 2004.
The refueling outage at Davis-Besse began February 28, 2010. During the outage, 76 of the 177 fuel assemblies are being exchanged and numerous safety inspections conducted. Refueling and other scheduled maintenance work continues. The impact to the outage schedule of the repair work has not yet been determined.
Davis-Besse is part of FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company, a subsidiary of Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp.