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Gap in concrete wall found at Ohio nuclear plant

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 15, 2014 at 4:50 p.m.

OAK HARBOR, Ohio — Workers at a nuclear plant along Lake Erie found a gap within the concrete of a protective wall while the plant was shut down to replace two steam generators, its operator said.

Officials at the Davis-Besse nuclear plant near Toledo described the gap as an air pocket and said they don't believe it affected the structural integrity of the shield wall.

A spokeswoman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said that it's too early to determine whether the gap found Thursday posed a problem.

"That is the question we expect the company to provide us an answer with, and we will assess it before making a determination," NRC spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng told The (Toledo) Blade.

The agency plans to send more inspectors to the plant operated by Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp.

FirstEnergy spokeswoman Jennifer Young said the gap runs along the length of a 25-foot cut made in 2011 when a new reactor head was brought into the plant.

The gap is six to 12 inches wide. "It's probably an air pocket that got in there when the concrete was poured," Young said.

She said there's no sign of it on the outside of the mostly concrete-and-steel structure, which is intended to protect the plant from events like storms or terrorist attacks and protect the public in the event of a catastrophe.


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