Nuclear central to liberalisation

27 September 2002

Triponez said nuclear energy was a cornerstone of the Swiss energy supply system, "the importance of which would increase still further in years to come." He added that his organisation would strongly oppose two anti-nuclear initiatives due to be put to a nationwide vote by the end of next year, the success of which, he said, could seriously damage both the successful implementation of deregulation and the Swiss economy generally. He said: "With or without acceptance of the Swiss electricity market liberalisation law, adequate and economic electricity supplies are of vital importance for the majority of small- and medium-sized businesses. That is true not only for businesses but for our entire economy and for our entire modern society as a whole.

"Electricity demand is increasing constantly and is likely to rise rapidly in years to come. That means that we could soon be faced with the prospect of supply shortages. The latest estimates refer to 2010, if production is not increased sufficiently."

FirstEnergy also reported that "training was not provided to individuals performing the inspections for boric acid." and that its monetary incentive programme for top managers "rewarded production more than safety" at senior levels. The shift in that direction came about in the mid-1990s.

The report was written by a team drawn from Davis Besse and two other FirstEnergy plants, Beaver Valley and Perry.

The NRC has said that it "identified questions of accuracy" both in FirstEnergy internal documents and in those the company provided to the NRC.

The NRC said it also found "unresolved items" over FirstEnergy's running of Davis Besse in five areas. They were technical specifications; adequacy of corrective actions; following procedures, such as those for boric acid corrosion control; the adequacy of procedures themselves to do what they were supposed to do; and the completeness and accuracy of documents, such as work orders and responses to generic letters and bulletins.

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