Growing coalition opposes multi-billion dollar ratepayer bailout for FirstEnergy's Davis-Besse atomic reactor
As reported by Tom Henry of The Toledo Blade, the Jan. 15 Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) hearing in Toledo revealed a growing coalition of environmental, public interest, and consumer protection groups opposing a $3.2 billion (or larger) ratepayer bailout sought by FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) to prop up its dirty, dangerous and uncompetitive Davis-Besse atomic reactor on the Lake Erie shoreline, as well as its Sammis coal burner on the Ohio River in southeast OH. Policy Matters Ohio, Ohio Consumers Counsel (a state agency), and American Association of Retired Persons joined with groups like Beyond Nuclear, Don't Waste Michigan, Green Party of Ohio, and others, which have long resisted Davis-Besse's 20-year license extension.
Beyond Nuclear testified at the Toledo hearing, as well as the Akron hearing on Jan. 12. Public Citizen testified at the Jan. 20 hearing in Cleveland, as reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Beyond Nuclear has also submitted all of its written submissions against the Davis-Besse license extension to PUCO's electronic docket. The coalition first intervened on Dec. 27, 2010. Contentions include renewable energy and energy storage alternatives, significant underestimates of severe accident costs, as well as severe and worsening cracking, and rebar degradation, in Davis-Besse's concrete containment Shield Building. Beyond Nuclear also submitted coalition (including Sierra Club) filings against Davis-Besse's risky, experimental steam generator replacement project; Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer of Fairewinds Associates, served as the coalition's expert witness. Terry Lodge of Toledo serves as legal counsel in both interventions.
PUCO's administrative trial begins on Jan. 28 in Columbus, and will last for several days.