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A day after restart, glitch closes Ohio nuclear plant

OAK HARBOR, Ohio -- Valve problems caused the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant to stop producing electricity yesterday, a day after it was restarted following a two-year shutdown because of safety concerns.

During the plant's startup Tuesday, operators found three valves that will need to be repaired, said plant spokesman Richard Wilkins.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently granted FirstEnergy Corp. permission to restart the plant, which was shut down more than two years ago after inspectors found that acid had eaten nearly all the way through a steel lid on the reactor.

Several temporary halts are part of the restart schedule, which started with output at partial capacity. Had there not been valve problems, operators would have boosted output to 50 percent within days, Wilkins said.

The halts will "add a few days to the process, but we kind of figured we would be finding something, given how long we were shut down," Wilkins said.

Operators hope to have the plant producing electricity again next week, said Todd Schneider, spokesman for FirstEnergy. NRC inspectors are monitoring the process.

The damage found at the plant in 2002, the most extensive corrosion ever found at a US nuclear reactor, prompted a review of 68 similar plants nationwide.

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