FirstEnergy seeks multi-billion dollar ratepayer bailout in Ohio to prop up dirty, dangerous, and uncompetitive coal burner & atomic reactor
As reported by John Funk in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, in an article entitled "FirstEnergy rate deal to cost customers an extra $3 billion, says Consumers' Counsel," Ohio-based FirstEnergy electric utility is trying to force ratepayers to prop up two uncompetitive plants. The Davis-Besse atomic reactor is located on the shore of Lake Erie east of Toledo (photo, left), and the Sammis coal burner is located on the banks of the Ohio River in southern Ohio. The bailout would cost Ohio ratepayers $182 million per year. Davis-Besse and Sammis can't compete with other sources of electricity on the wholesale market, including wind power.
Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign has published a backgrounder on the Sammis coal plant.
The Ohio Sierra Club Nuclear-Free Committee has published a backgrounder on the Davis-Besse atomic reactor.
Beyond Nuclear plans to testify at public hearings before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) that the problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor should be retired, as planned, on Earth Day (April 22), 2017, the day its 40-year license expires, if not even sooner. This is not only an economic imperative, but also a safety and environmental necessity.
Ohio ratepayers are encouraged to attend the PUCO hearings, and speak out, in defense of their pocket books, as well as their health and environment. The hearings will take place at/on:
Akron: Monday, January 12, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. at the Oliver R. Ocasek Government Center, 161 S. High St.
Toledo: Thursday, January 15, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. at the Michael V. Disalle Government Center, County Commissioners Hearing Room, 1st Floor, 640 Jackson St. (Between Huron and Erie Street)
Cleveland: Tuesday, January 20, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. at Cleveland City Hall, Council Chambers, 2d Floor, Room 216, 601 Lakeside Ave.
Resisting Davis-Besse's 20-year license extension
Beyond Nuclear has joined with allies (Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario (CEA), Don't Waste MI (DWM), Green Party of Ohio) to resist Davis-Besse's 2017-2037 license extension since late 2010, and put out a backgrounder at that time regarding the reactor's many close calls with disaster.
The intervention expanded to challenging Davis-Besse's severely cracked concrete Shield Building in 2012.
In 2013, Beyond Nuclear (along with CEA, DWM, and Sierra Club Ohio Chapter) challenged Davis-Besse's experimental steam generator replacement, now underway. Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer of Fairewinds Associates, Inc., served as expert witness.
Also in 2013, FirstEnergy admitted the cracking had grown worse, something it (and NRC staff) had adamently denied was possible. In 2014, FirstEnergy admitted that each and every time it freezes at Davis-Besse -- many times each year -- the cracks grow 0.4 to 0.7 inches! The intervening environmental coalition has filed multiple contentions related to these latest FirstEnergy admissions.
Attorney Terry Lodge of Toledo serves as legal counsel for the environmental coalitions engaged in both proceedings.
Given the concrete containment cracking of a Crystal River, FL (permanently closed in 2013), the experimental steam generator replacement of a San Onofre, CA (two reactors permanently closed in 2013), and the age-degradation and economic uncompetitiveness of a Kewaunee, WI (permanently closed in 2013) and Vermont Yankee (permanently closed on 12/29/2014), it is high time for Davis-Besse to permanently shut down!