Davis-Besse Safety Concerns: A Look Inside

OAK HARBOR, Ohio — First Energy opened the doors of its Davis-Besse nuclear plant to reporters on Thursday, in part to show that the company is being transparent about safety at the facility.    

The company has faced criticism after engineers last year found small cracks in the shield building that surrounds the reactor.

Engineers said the structural integrity of the building was never compromised.     

“The shield building meets all its design parameters, we have evaluated it for all its parameters, and it is fully operable,” said Jon Hook, the design engineer manager at the plant.      

The reactor is actually within a containment building, and the shield building surrounds that containment building.      

FirstEnergy is now applying a special sealant on the shield building.

The company said the small cracks can be traced back to the brutal blizzard of 1978.

It said the sealant will prevent even such a blizzard from affecting the building at all.

Eight years ago, the FOX 8 I-Team broadcasted images of boric acid on the lid of the Davis-Besse nuclear reactor.

The acid incident led to widespread changes.

“(Things) are safer today than they were ten years ago,” said Hook, whose been at the plant for 25 years.

“Everybody owns the station,” Hook continued.  “Everybody owns the issue.”

Hook said people know they have a voice and that managers will listen.