Citizen Power asks Nuclear Regulatory Commission to check FirstEnergy Corp.'s Beaver Valley Unit One

by John Funk / Plain Dealer Reporter
Wednesday May 27, 2009, 7:59 PM
Pittsburgh-based Citizen Power, a regional watchdog and public policy group, has petitioned the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to look further into the safety of FirstEnergy Corp.'s Beaver Valley Unit One.
The complaint came after the company repaired a corrosion hole in the steel envelope lining the inside of the reactor's huge containment building. The liner is supposed to block any radioactive gases that could penetrate the building's concrete walls.
FirstEnergy determined that the hole had been caused by a piece of wood left behind more than 30 years ago when the building's 3-foot-thick walls of steel-reinforced concrete were poured. An expert hired by Citizen Power questions that cause as "simplisti c."
The petition could upset FirstEnergy's efforts to extend the reactor's operating license another 20 years. An NRC spokeswoman confirmed the petition and said the agency had already determined it needed more information about the corrosion from the company.
A FirstEnergy spokesman said it will comply with whatever the NRC asks.