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Environment


Ohio nuclear plants rank midway
Aging plants rank halfway down the list of "most likely to be earthquake-damaged," but FirstEnergy says they were built to withstand 6.0 tremors
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
In The Region:

Ohio’s two nuclear power stations are both in the process of asking the feds to extend their shelf life another 20 years – beyond their original 40-year license. They’re also are midway down a list of U.S. plants most likely to be damaged during an earthquake. And while the owner, FirstEnergy, says both Davis Besse and Perry are safe, at least one northeast Ohio congressman begs to differ. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia has more on the concerns of Dennis Kucinich … and the response to those concerns…
 

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Every year, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission calculates the odds of an earthquake damaging the core at nuclear plants throughout the U.S. MSNBC reports that FirstEnergy’s Perry Nuclear Power Plant ranks No. 39 and Davis-Besse is at No. 76 out of 104 plants. Congressman Dennis Kucinich says that’s to be expected.
“(KUCINICH)…What does surprise me is they’re not higher up. The longest period that most nuclear plants would be in operation is about 40 years. And the reason is the constant bombardment inside the reactor vessel, causes metal to fray, and the metal gets eroded. They’re not made to last more than 40 years. They can, but not without cracking…”

Perry was built in 1987; Davis-Besse in 1978.
But FirstEnergy spokesman Todd Schneider says both are in no danger should an earthquake strike Ohio.

“(SCHNEIDER)…Both plants are capable of withstanding an earthquake of about 6 on the Richter scale. And before we would reach a level that would be around a 6, our operators are instructed to shut down the plant and put it into a safe condition…”
The last time a Northeast Ohio quake approached that limit was the 5.0 magnitude tremor that hit on January 31, 1986, 11 miles from the Perry plant.

Listener Comments:

Please keep persisting in the investigation of the Perry and other nuclear energy plans in Ohio; we sit on Lake Erie which supplies water for the country as a whole. We cannot afford to contaminate our water supplies with a nuclear meltdown like Japan's. Please persist in your reporting; your questioning and foregrounding of this concern as Dennis Kucinich is warning us to do.


Posted by: vera Camden (Kent state/cleveland) on March 23, 2011 12:03PM
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