To his credit, PUCO chair Andre Porter prioritized safety, in addition to reliability and cost, when it comes to Ohio's electricity supply ("PUCO Chair Andre Porter sees big changes coming for power companies," Plain Dealer, Aug. 30). FirstEnergy's Davis-Besse atomic reactor fails all three tests, but none more potentially catastrophically so than safety.
How can Davis-Besse be called reliable, when it shut down from 2002 to 2004 in the aftermath of the reactor lid corrosion "Hole in the Head Fiasco"? In fact, that $600 million boondoggle left no money to trim trees, leading to the second biggest power outage in history, 12 years ago.
Obviously, Davis-Besse is not cost competitive if it's part of FirstEnergy's request to PUCO for permission to gouge Ohio ratepayers to the tune of $3 billion.
And it's most unsafe. We've known for four years the Shield Building, its concrete containment, is severely cracked. And the cracking grows worse every time it freezes at the site – numerous times each year.
If its core melts down, its cracked shell won't contain the catastrophic release of hazardous radioactivity. And Davis-Besse has had more close calls with disaster than any other U.S. reactor.
For all these reasons, Davis-Besse should retire, as planned, on Earth Day, 2017.
Takoma Park, MD
Kamps serves as radioactive waste specialist at Beyond Nuclear, which has intervened against Davis-Besse's 2017-2037 operating license extension.