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Environment


Davis-Besse fixing leak
Pinhole-size leak was spraying radioactive coolant
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
In The Region:
Operators of a nuclear plant near Toledo say they’re fixing a pinhole-size leak that was spraying radioactive coolant.  WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports on the latest problems at FirstEnergy's Davis Besse nuclear power plant.
Davis-Besse fixing leak

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Nuclear regulators and plant operators say the leak was in a line to a pump that pushes water through the reactor. The plant had been shut down for re-fueling when it was discovered Wednesday.

FirstEnergy spokeswoman Jennifer Young says the water never got outside the building and posed no threat to the public.

“We were in the process of beginning to restart the plant when the issue was uncovered. I can tell you that it had not been an overly long time that it had been leaking, because we had just started pressurizing the plant within the previous 24 hours. It was definitely not leaking before the plant was pressurized, and it wasn’t leaking in the early stages of pressurization.”

Young estimates the water leaked at a rate of about six gallons per hour, but is unsure of the total. It was contained by the plant’s drainage system.

FirstEnergy would give no timetable for repairs, saying only that it involves welding and is not a complex fix.

Davis-Besse has had repeated problems over its 34 years of operation. Those include acid nearly eating a whole though the reactor head, and cracks appearing just a few years later in its replacement. FirstEnergy has applied for a 20-year license extension for the plant to begin in 2017.
Listener Comments:

Just fix the leak and ignore those who would have all energy sources shut down..If they don't like it they can go find a remote place far up in the mountains and live of the land in tribes with no energy at all...That or put their money where their mouth's are and invest in solar panels and or wind turbines for their own homes..Which I doubt 98% of these Renewable energy freaks do...


Posted by: John (Cincinnati) on June 9, 2012 1:06AM
Please learn from Japan's mistake.

Nuclear power is not cheap. It is not safe. It is not clean. And it is not needed. Externalities like the costs of compensating all of the accident victims are not adequately considered in the nuclear energy cost calculations. Industry promises that containment breeches were million-to-one odds were just plain lies as Fukushima has shown. Neither are they clean (even if they were to be made leak-proof) because they generate highly toxic waste products that must be managed for tens of thousands (and the government STILL hasn't figured out where to permanently store all of this waste). Finally, they are not necessary. Work by Mark Jacobson at Stanford university has shown that in this modern information age, the wider use of smart grid technology would make it possible for the entire state of California to run on renewable (non-nuclear, non-coal, non-oil) energy resources day and night non-stop. The tired old argument about the need for big powerplants to provide "baseload" is no longer valid.

Get with the future Toledo. Nuclear power is an old, dirty technology whose usefulness is past. Retire it. Generate jobs, secure your energy future, and safeguard your environment from a Fukushima scale nuclear disaster by building distributed, renewable power generation facilities, managed by proven smart grid technology.

Finally, if you feel strongly about the sentiments above, please come to the Japanese city of Obama in Fukui prefecture to help protest the restart of one of Japan's nuclear reactors. If you buy the plane tickets, your fellow demonstrators will make sure you have a place to sleep and food to eat.


Posted by: Anonymous (Japan) on June 8, 2012 10:06AM
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