AKRON, Ohio, Sept. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), announced its Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio, will shut down early Saturday morning to begin installation of a new reactor vessel head and complete other scheduled maintenance.
The new reactor head enhances safe and reliable operation of Davis-Besse. The new head, which replaces the head installed in 2002, features control rod nozzles made of material less susceptible to cracking. Originally planned for 2014, FENOC voluntarily accelerated Davis-Besse's new head installation after modifications were required to 24 of the 69 control rod nozzles on the current head during the site's spring 2010 refueling outage.
"Advancing the installation of the new reactor head provides additional margins of safety and reliability for long-term plant operations," said James Lash, President of FirstEnergy Generation and Chief Nuclear Officer. "The investment in our new head, along with other work we will complete during the outage, supports our commitment to remaining an important part of northwestern Ohio's economy as a reliable, economical and clean energy source for many decades ahead."
Davis-Besse's new reactor head measures nearly 17 feet in diameter, is eight-feet tall and weighs more than 82 tons. The head was manufactured by Areva in France, and a comprehensive, pre-service inspection was conducted by FENOC personnel before the head was shipped to the United States and transported to the plant in November 2010.
Once at the plant, the new reactor head was placed in a specially constructed building where new control rod drive mechanisms and other components were fitted and installed. Next, the new head will be moved in and the old head removed from the plant via an opening that will be cut into the containment building during the outage.
Other work scheduled during Davis-Besse's maintenance outage includes installation of a new reactor control system and upgrading several battery chargers that provide DC power to important plant components. In addition, the station will replace underground piping in a water system that provides cooling to plant equipment and systems.
Some 1,000 temporary contractors and FENOC employees from the company's other nuclear plants will supplement the Davis-Besse workforce during the outage, providing an economic boost to the region as these workers lodge in area hotels, frequent area restaurants, and shop at local stores.
The 900-megawatt Davis-Besse unit operated safely and reliably since the completion of its last refueling in July 2010, generating more than 9.1 million megawatt hours of carbon-free electricity.
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.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release includes forward-looking statements based on information currently available to management. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. These statements include declarations regarding management's intents, beliefs and current expectations. These statements typically contain, but are not limited to, the terms "anticipate," "potential," "expect," "believe," "estimate" and similar words. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially due to: the speed and nature of increased competition in the electric utility industry, the impact of the regulatory process on the pending matters in the various states in which we do business including, but not limited to, matters related to rates, the status of the PATH project in light of PJM's direction to suspend work on the project pending review of its planning process, its re-evaluation of the need for the project and the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of any related capital expenditures, business and regulatory impacts from ATSI's realignment into PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., economic or weather conditions affecting future sales and margins, changes in markets for energy services, changing energy and commodity market prices and availability, financial derivative reforms that could increase our liquidity needs and collateral costs, the continued ability of FirstEnergy's regulated utilities to collect transition and other costs, operation and maintenance costs being higher than anticipated, other legislative and regulatory changes, and revised environmental requirements, including possible GHG emission, water intake and coal combustion residual regulations, the potential impacts of any laws, rules or regulations that ultimately replace CAIR including the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) and the effects of the EPA's recently released MACT proposal to establish certain mercury and other emission standards for electric generating units, the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of the capital expenditures that may arise in connection with any NSR litigation or potential regulatory initiatives or rulemakings (including that such expenditures could result in our decision to shut down or idle certain generating units), adverse regulatory or legal decisions and outcomes with respect to our nuclear operations (including, but not limited to, the revocation or non-renewal of necessary licenses, approvals or operating permits by the NRC, including as a result of the incident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant), adverse legal decisions and outcomes related to Met-Ed's and Penelec's ability to recover certain transmission costs through their transmission service charge riders, the continuing availability of generating units and changes in their ability to operate at or near full capacity, replacement power costs being higher than anticipated or inadequately hedged, the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency mandates, changes in customers' demand for power, including but not limited to, changes resulting from the implementation of state and federal energy efficiency mandates, the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic goals, efforts, and our ability to improve electric commodity margins and the impact of, among other factors, the increased cost of coal and coal transportation on such margins, the ability to experience growth in the distribution business, the changing market conditions that could affect the value of assets held in FirstEnergy's nuclear decommissioning trusts, pension trusts and other trust funds, and cause FirstEnergy to make additional contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger than currently anticipated, the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with FirstEnergy's financing plan, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries, changes in general economic conditions affecting FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries, interest rates and any actions taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect FirstEnergy's and its subsidiaries' access to financing or their costs and increase requirements to post additional collateral to support outstanding commodity positions, LOCs and other financial guarantees, the continuing uncertainty of the national and regional economy and its impact on the major industrial and commercial customers of FirstEnergy's subsidiaries, issues concerning the soundness of financial institutions and counterparties with which FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries do business, issues arising from the recently completed merger of FirstEnergy and Allegheny Energy, Inc. and the ongoing coordination of their combined operations including FirstEnergy's ability to maintain relationships with customers, employees or suppliers, as well as the ability to successfully integrate the businesses and realize cost savings and any other synergies and the risk that the credit ratings of the combined company or its subsidiaries may be different from what the companies expect, the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in FirstEnergy's and its applicable subsidiaries' SEC filings, and other similar factors. The foregoing review of factors should not be construed as exhaustive. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors, nor assess the impact of any such factor on FirstEnergy's business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. FirstEnergy expressly disclaims any current intention to update any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.