After a three month long shutdown, the Davis Besse Nuclear Power Station has returned to service, according to FirstEnergy, owner of the plant.
The plant was shut down on October 1 to allow for the replacement of the reactor head and for other scheduled maintenance.
On October 14, it was reported that a series of cracks were detected in the reactor's shield building. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission was on site when the cracks were detected. Both the agency and FirstEnergy launched investigations into the cause of the cracks.
Despite the presence of the cracks, the NRC stated that FirstEnergy had provided sufficient assurance that the shield building is capable of performing its safety function. The agency gave permission to FirstEnergy to restart the plant Friday, December 2.
The plant began generating power at 7:23 AM Tuesday. It is operating at 23 percent capacity and is expected to be at full capacity by the end of the week.
Meanwhile, as part of its agreement to allow FirstEnergy to restart the plant, the NRC says that the company must complete and submit the results of their investigation and inspection by February 28, of the cracks in the shield building and corrective measures to be taken.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, (D-OH) issued a statement on Monday, condemning the NRC's permission to restart the plant. " . . .at this time, the NRC and FirstEnergy have no idea what the cause of the cracking is; and . . .FirstEnergy did not perform enough tests to determine the cause or the extent of the problem before it rushed to restart the reactor."
A public meeting scheduled for December 15 to allow FirstEnergy and NRC officials to meet with the public has been canceled and not rescheduled. NRC spokesperson, Viktoria Mitlyng, said the meeting will be held at a later date.