Davis-Besse cracks divide public opinion

Congressman Dennis Kucinich accused First Energy and NRC management of lying about the severity of structural cracks at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant on Thursday.

First Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are in agreement that cracks at the nuclear power plant are controlled and pose no threat. This is what was discussed Thursday at a public presentation held at Oak Harbor High School.

A panel of administrators and engineers from NRC and First Energy made a detailed presentation that discussed structural issues at Davis-Besse, primarily cracks that were discovered on the power plant's concrete structure in January.

NRC Regional Administrator Charles Casto said root causes of the problem were the "lack of a waterproof sealant, the installation of concrete architectural flutes, and the blizzard of 1978." He continued, "We spent over a thousand hours of engineering time over the extensive evaluation that was done."

Jennifer Young of First Energy added "the cracks in the wall are not impacting the building" and a weatherproof coating will be installed around the reactor beginning next week to prevent water seepage.

Some however were not so convinced. Opponents of radioactive waste and the threat of nuclear energy voiced their opinions outside prior to the presentation.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich accused First Energy management of lying about the cracks and that "they are incapable of telling the truth when it comes to protecting their profits."

Kevin Kamps, who heads the watchdog organization Beyond Nuclear, stressed the importance of a "carbon-free and nuclear-free" economy. He raised concern over past nuclear disasters at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. He questioned, "Where is it going to happen next?"

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