Ohio FirstEnergy Drops $200 Million Insurance Claim for Acid Leak

December 13, 2007

FirstEnergy Corp. has dropped its $200 million insurance claim for damage from an acid leak to the old cap that covered the reactor at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, a company spokesman said Tuesday.

The Akron-based, investor-owned utility had been in arbitration for a year with Nuclear Electric Insurance Ltd. over the claim.

“It’s the best course of action at this time,” said FirstEnergy spokesman Todd Schneider. “Terminating the claim provides further closure on the Davis-Besse event.”

FirstEnergy operates Davis-Besse, on Lake Erie about 30 miles east of Toledo.

In September, the utility agreed to pay a record $5.45 million fine for failing to stop the acid leak that nearly ate through the 6-inch-thick steel cap on the reactor vessel. The plant has been under closer watch by federal regulators since 2002, when a routine inspection revealed the leaking boric acid on the reactor cap.

The plant was closed for two years but returned to full power in 2004. FirstEnergy spent $600 million making repairs and buying replacement power because of the shutdown.

FirstEnergy, the nation’s fourth largest investor-owned utility, has 16 power plants and 4.4 million customers in New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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