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Environmental coalition defends intervention against Davis-Besse license extension

The infamous Davis-Besse "red photo," showing boric acid/rust "lava" flowing from the severely corroded reactor lidOn May 16th, Toledo attorney Terry Lodge and Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear filed a rebuttal against an appeal by FirstEnergy. In early May, FirstEnergy had requested the five Commissioners at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission overturn an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruling of April 26th. The ASLB had granted a hearing to the environmental intervenors opposed to Davis-Besse atomic reactor's proposed 20 year license extension. The ASLB admitted for hearing renewable energy alternatives to Davis-Besse's extended operation, namely wind power and solar photovoltaic power, combined with compressed air energy storage to mitigate intermittancy. The ASLB also admitted for hearing portions of the environmental coalition's challenges against FirstEnergy's Severe Accident Mitigation Alternatives (SAMA) analyses, charging that calculations of casualties and costs resulting from a catastrophic radioactivity release had been underestimated by the company. Events at Fukushima bear this out. In fact, Davis-Besse has had more brushes with major accidents than about any other atomic reactor in the U.S. (including the 2002 hole-in-the-head fiasco, see photo at left), a horrendous history that can only get worse now that the nuclear power plant is 35 years old.