NRC Reviewing Cracks in Ohio Nuclear Plant's Shield Building

The Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station is located in Oak Harbor, Ohio, approximately 21 miles southeast of Toledo.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced it has begun a "rigorous review" of FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co.'s analysis of cracks found in the shield building at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, which is located in Oak Harbor, Ohio, about 21 miles southeast of Toledo. FirstNuclear submitted the root cause analysis of shield building cracks Feb. 28 to NRC.

The root cause analysis will be made publicly available online through NRC's ADAMS document database. The commission also schedule a public meeting and issue an inspection report containing its conclusions once the review is complete.

NRC said in addition to reviewing the root cause submittal, it will assess the company's proposed corrective actions and long-term monitoring program of the shield building. Four NRC inspectors have been monitoring FirstNuclear's investigation of the root cause since it started.

The company informed the commission of the problem on Oct. 10, 2011, saying workers discovered cracks in the shield building while the plant was shut down to replace the reactor vessel head. The shield building is a 2.5-foot-thick reinforced concrete building that surrounds a 1.5-inch-thick steel containment vessel enclosing the reactor. Between the two buildings is a 4.5-foot space.

NRC reviewed the cracks after they were discovered and determined they did not pose an imminent safety issue. Before the plant returned to service, however, it issued a Confirmatory Action Letter confirming FirstNuclear's commitment to determine the cause of the cracks by Feb. 28 and to implement long-term measures to ensure the shield building continues to fulfill its safety function.

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