Advanced Cameras Confirm Davis-Besse Nuclear Plant Shield Building Integrity Two Years After Cracks Found

High-definition cameras inserted into sample holes in the Davis-Besse nuclear plant's shield building have revealed a handful of additional cracks, FirstEnergy reported Friday, but confirmed that the building is structurally sound.

As of last week, the utility had examined 43 of 82 "core bores" in the building's walls. They revealed three subsurface cracks that were not visible using previous inspection technology, as well as a small amount of spreading in cracks found in 2011 that initiated the inspection program.

"Analysis of all inspection results to date confirms the 2011 conclusion that the shield building's structural integrity is not impacted by the presence of these tight cracks. The robust building continues to function safely and reliably," Davis-Besse Site Vice President Ray Lieb said in a release.

FirstEnergy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have inspected the building closely since a reactor pressure vessel head replacement revealed small cracks when the concrete was cut open. FirstEnergy suspects the cracks formed during a severe snow storm in 1978. Regulators have since confirmed the building's effectiveness at protecting the reactor, and the utility weatherproofed the concrete.

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