TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The operator of an Ohio nuclear plant along Lake Erie has found several more cracks in the concrete building housing the nuclear reactor and says some cracks detected earlier have grown a bit.
But the findings do not mean the structure shielding the nuclear reactor at the Davis-Besse plant near Toledo is unsafe, FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Corp. said Friday.
"The robust building continues to function safely and reliably," Davis-Besse Site Vice President Ray Lieb said in a statement.
The reinforced concrete building surrounds a 1½-inch thick carbon steel vessel containing the reactor and is intended to protect the plant from events like storms or terrorist attacks and protect the public in the event of a catastrophe.
The company said high-definition cameras now used for inspecting core samples provide greater clarity and mobility and identified cracks that weren't visible with previous inspection equipment.
Several hairline cracks were found in the structure's 2.5-foot thick concrete two years ago. FirstEnergy determined they were caused by wind-blown moisture seeping into the concrete during a blizzard and freezing and that the building's structural integrity wasn't affected.