Atomic Safety and Licensing Board cancels oral arguments in Davis-Besse license renewal hearing scheduled for May 18

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board canceled oral arguments scheduled for Friday, May 18, in Port Clinton, Ohio, on the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant license renewal hearing, at the request of the intervenors.

Friday’s session was to discuss the admissibility of a new contention filed by the intervenors, Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don’t Waste Michigan, and the Green Party of Ohio, arguing that cracks in the Davis-Besse shield building should be considered “an aging-related feature” to be monitored throughout any period of extended operation. The oral arguments were announced in a Board Order issued March 28 and press release 12-047, issued May 2.

On April 5, plant operator FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. (FENOC) submitted responses to the NRC staff’s request for additional information and an amendment to its license renewal application. These documents addressed issues relating to shield building cracking and provided a new aging-management program called “Shield Building Monitoring Program.”

FENOC then filed a motion opposing the contention on the shield building as moot.

The intervenors responded on May 14, requesting to reschedule the oral argument until after they amend their contention to reflect the license renewal application amendment. Under hearing proceedings, intervenors would have until June 4 to amend their contention. The Board granted this motion today. The Board said it will consider the amended contention and replies by FENOC and the NRC staff before deciding whether to reschedule oral argument.