AKRON, Ohio, June 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), announced today plans to accelerate the replacement of the reactor head at the company's Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio. FENOC plans to shut down the 908-megawatt unit in the fall of 2011 to install the new reactor head. The project was originally scheduled for 2014.
Davis-Besse is currently preparing for restart following a scheduled refueling where 24 of 69 control rod nozzles were modified using an industry-proven method to ensure their structural integrity. Installing the new head with nozzles made of material less susceptible to primary water stress corrosion cracking will further enhance safe and reliable operations at the unit.
"We are confident that the process used to modify the affected nozzles was successful," said James Lash, FENOC president and chief nuclear officer. "Post-modification inspections and tests indicate these nozzles will support continued safe and reliable operations. At the same time, advancing the installation of the new reactor head will provide additional margins of safety and reliability for long-term plant operations."
The new reactor head has been manufactured by AREVA and is currently stored in France. The head is expected to arrive at Davis-Besse in fall of 2010 where it will undergo a series of pre-service inspections. Plans to install the head are now under development.
Davis-Besse is expected to be returned to service by July. Fuel has been re-loaded into the reactor core and the reactor head has been installed. Pre-start-up testing is now underway.
Davis-Besse is part of FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company which also operates the Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport, Pennsylvania, 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 and legislative and regulatory changes affecting how generation rates will be determined following the expiration of existing rate plans in Pennsylvania, the impact of the regulatory process on the pending matters in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, business and regulatory impacts from American Transmission Systems, Incorporated'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, replacement power costs being higher than anticipated or inadequately hedged, the continued ability of FirstEnergy's regulated utilities to collect transition and other charges or to recover increased transmission costs, operating and maintenance costs being higher than anticipated, other legislative and regulatory changes, revised environmental requirements, including possible greenhouse gas emission regulations, the potential impacts of the U.S. Court of Appeals' July 11, 2008 decision requiring revisions to the Clean Air Interstate Rules and the scope of any laws, rules or regulations that may ultimately take their place, the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of the capital expenditures needed to, among other things, implement the Air Quality Compliance Plan (including that such amounts could be higher than anticipated or that certain generating units may need to be shut down) or levels of emission reductions related to the Consent Decree resolving the New Source Review litigation or other similar potential regulatory initiatives or actions, adverse regulatory or legal decisions and outcomes (including, but not limited to, the revocation of necessary licenses or operating permits and oversight) by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, factors that may further delay, or increase the costs associated with (including replacement power costs), the restart of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station from its current refueling outage, including that the modifications to, or other work associated with, the control rod drive mechanism nozzles take longer than expected or are not effective, other conditions requiring remediation are discovered during the extended outage, or the NRC takes adverse action in connection with any of the foregoing; issues surrounding the 2011 replacement of the reactor head at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station; Metropolitan Edison Company's and Pennsylvania Electric Company's transmission service charge filings with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the continuing availability of generating units and their ability to operate at or near full capacity, the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards, the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic goals (including employee workforce initiatives), the ability to improve electric commodity margins and 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 it to make additional contributions sooner, or in an amount that is larger than currently anticipated, the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with FirstEnergy's financing plan and the cost of such capital, changes in general economic conditions affecting the company, the state of the capital and credit markets affecting the company, interest rates and any actions taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect FirstEnergy's access to financing or its costs or increase its requirements to post additional collateral to support outstanding commodity positions, letters of credit and other financial guarantees, the continuing decline of the national and regional economy and its impact on the company's major industrial and commercial customers, issues concerning the soundness of financial institutions and counterparties with which FirstEnergy does business, the expected timing and likelihood of completion of the proposed merger with Allegheny Energy, Inc., including the timing, receipt and terms and conditions of any required governmental and regulatory approvals of the proposed merger that could reduce anticipated benefits or cause the parties to abandon the merger, the diversion of management's time and attention from our ongoing business during this time period, the 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 and the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in its Securities and Exchange Commission 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.