More cracks in concrete at Ohio nuclear plant prompt repairs

FILE – In this April 4, 2017, file photo, plumes of steam drift from the cooling tower of FirstEnergy Corp.'s Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio. FirstEnergy Corp. President Chuck Jones is telling state lawmakers that a proposal to keep alive its two nuclear plants along Lake Erie is more than just a bailout. Jones said the plants need to keep operating to ensure Ohio has a diverse lineup of homegrown energy sources and that electricity prices aren't vulnerable to wild swings. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

OAK HARBOR, Ohio (AP) — Workers will spend several weeks repairing cracks in an Ohio nuclear plant’s concrete walls that protect its reactor.

FirstEnergy Corp. says its Davis-Besse nuclear plant along Lake Erie near Toledo will continue to operate during the work this fall.

Workers will remove and replace concrete in the areas where the cracks are located.

The utility and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission both say consultants have determined that the cracks have not weakened the concrete shield building.

The first cracks were found in the plant’s concrete shell in 2011. Plant operators have said the problem traces back to a 1978 blizzard that likely pushed moisture into the concrete.

FirstEnergy waterproofed the building and stepped up inspections, but it believes there is still water within the concrete causing the cracks to grow.

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