Davis-Besse nuclear power plant begins scheduled outage

Source: FirstEnergy Corp.

Davis-Besse nuclear power plant begins refueling and maintenance outage. Major projects include installation of two new steam generators.

FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), announced its Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio, shut down Saturday morning (Feb. 1) to begin installation of two new steam generators and complete refueling and other scheduled maintenance.

The new steam generators are expected to enhance safe and reliable operation of Davis-Besse.  As part of Davis-Besse's design, the steam generators function as heat exchangers, producing the superheated steam that is used to drive the turbine generator, which ultimately produces electricity.  Each of the components, which were fabricated by The Babcock and Wilcox Company (NYSE: BWC) at its facility in Ontario, Canada, measures 74 feet in length, 12 feet in diameter and weighs 470 tons.  While the new steam generators feature upgraded material to enhance the performance of the equipment, the overall design of the steam generators closely matches the original equipment design.

"The new steam generators are expected to provide additional margins of safety and reliability for the long-term operation of Davis-Besse," said Ray Lieb, site vice president, Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station.  "The investment in these new components, along with the other work we will complete during the refueling outage, supports our commitment to remaining an integral part of northwest Ohio's economy for many decades to come."

Other work scheduled during Davis-Besse's outage includes replacement of about a third of the unit's 177 fuel assemblies, numerous safety inspections and preventative maintenance activities to promote continued safe and reliable operations of major components including pumps, valves and motors throughout the plant.

More than 2,300 temporary contractors and FENOC employees from the company's other nuclear power plants will supplement the Davis-Besse workforce during the outage, which is expected to provide an economic boost to the region as these workers lodge in area hotels, frequent area restaurants, and shop at local stores.  A recent economic impact study estimates a local economic benefit of $108 million and overall statewide economic benefit of $150 million as a result of the steam generator replacement and refueling.

Davis-Besse is part of FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company, which also operates the Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport, Pa., and the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry, Ohio.

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