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Davis Besse nuclear power plant restarts operations
The restart was delayed one week by a leak in radioactive coolant

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M.L. Schultze
Davis Besse is nearing the end of its original 40-year license, and has applied for a 20-year extension.
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Ohio’s Davis Besse nuclear power plant east of Toledo is back on line, a week after crews found a pinhole leak that sprayed radioactive coolant inside the plant.

Schultze on leak and repair

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Davis Besse shut down in early May for routine maintenance and its owner, Akron-based First Energy had planned to restart it last week. But that’s when crews found a pinhole leak in a water line.

Spokesman Todd Schneider says none of the water escaped the plant. 

“(It was) about one tenth of a gallon per minutes, so basically you know a little spray, a little drip. And that leakage was captures in a system that’s designed to capture leaks in the plant. It’s called a sump. And the water that goes into this sump is treated and the radioactivity removed from it.” 

Schneider says the repairs were completed this weekend, though the company still isn’t sure what caused it. 

During the shutdown, FirstEnergy also inspected hairline cracks discovered last year in the concrete shield that protects the plant from tornadoes and other outside forces. It says it found no new cracks, nor any growth in the old ones. 

First Energy is asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to extend Davis Besse’s operating license for another 20 years.


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