As reported by John Funk at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the half-baked request by FirstEnergy -- to overcharge ratepayers more than $3 billion on electricity bills, over the next 15 years, just to prop up the dirty, dangerous, expensive and old Davis-Besse atomic reactor and the Sammis coal burner -- is going to hearing on Aug. 31st. This, despite the fact that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio staff have repeatedly missed deadlines to publish their analysis and recommendations regarding the huge money grab.
Beyond Nuclear and environmental allies have officially intervened against the 20-year license extension at Davis-Besse since Dec. 27, 2010. Very recently, the environmental coalition's attorney, Terry Lodge of Toledo, as well as attorneys Diane Curran of Washington, D.C. and Mindy Goldstein of Atlanta, filed an appeal in the Davis-Besse Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) proceeding at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the second highest court in the land. The appeal, dubbed New York v. NRC II, challenges NRC's "Nuclear Waste Confidence" policy. In its ruling on New York v. NRC I in June 2012, the court ordered NRC to carry out an Environmental Impact Statement on radioactive waste generation at atomic reactors like Davis-Besse, as well as to address: the risks of storage pool leaks of radioactivity into soil, groundwater, and surface waters; the risks of fires in storage pools; and the risk of a repository never being opened, meaning the irradiated nuclear fuel could remain on-site at places such as Davis-Besse indefinitely into the future. Beyond Nuclear et al. allege NRC flagrantly flouted the court orders. A favorable ruling for Beyond Nuclear in New York v. NRC II could mean a significant delay in the Davis-Besse license extension. Davis-Besse's initial 40-year license expires on Earth Day (April 22), 2017.
As reported by Tom Knox at Columbus Business First, FirstEnergy Nuclear has tried to deny attempting to scare its Ohio customers. The chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), Andre Porter, made the accusation after a sample lobbying letter was revealed, posted on FirstEnergy's website. FirstEnergy has requested permission from PUCO for a $3 billion, or more, subsidy, at ratepayer expense, to prop up its dirty, dangerous, expensive, and age-degraded Davis-Besse atomic reactor, and Sammis coal burner.
The sample lobbying letter alleged that without the bailout, the two plants would shut down, impacting electricity reliability across Ohio.
The article quoted PUCO Chairman Porter's response to such arguments:
“Stop trying to scare Ohioans,” Porter said. “We’re going to continue to have reliable power. We’re going to continue to have cost-effective services. So stop trying to scare Ohioans.”
However, if the PUCO approve the $3 billion money grab by FirstEnergy, electricity services would become proportionately less cost-effective, by definition!