An environmental coalition, including Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Ohio Sierra Club, has petitioned the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) for hearings to intervene against the planned steam generator replacement at FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company's (FENOC) Davis-Besse atomic reactor on the Lake Erie shoreline just east of Toledo.
Toledo attorney Terry Lodge represents the coalition; Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer at Fairewinds Associates, Inc (photo, left) serves as the coalition's expert witness. Gundersen has identified 9 differences between the degraded old and replacement new steam generators, any one of which should have triggered an NRC license amendment proceeding.
The coalition contends that FENOC's shortcut on safety -- its circumvention of an NRC license amendment proceeding -- risks repeating the same sort of dangerous mistakes made at the San Onofre nuclear power plant in southern California. In January, 2012 a steam generator tube rupture at San Onofre released radioactivity to the environment, and led to the discovery of widespread tube degradation in replacement steam generators just a year or two old. San Onofre Units 2 and 3 remain shutdown, nearly a year and a half later. Friends of the Earth (FOE) recently won a favorable ruling by an NRC ASLB at San Onofre, granting FOE a license amendment intervention hearing. Arnie Gundersen also serves as FOE's expert witness in the San Onofre proceeding.