DAVIS-BESSE EVENT DID NOT ENDANGER PUBLIC: NRC CHAIRMAN
The corrosion of the vessel head at the Davis-Besse nuclear reactor in Ohio may
have been the result of failures by the licensee and the regulatory authorities but it did not
constitute a threat to public safety, according to the Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear
"It was an enormous failure on the part of the licensee and of the NRC," stated
NRC Chairman Nils Diaz, "But it was not close to being the impending disaster it was
publicly portrayed to be."
Mr. Diaz observed that the event at Davis-Besse was an incident and not an
accident. "It served as a reminder of the need for constant vigilance and improved
oversight leading to more timely corrective action."
"When errors are made, I think too many Americans receive greatly exaggerated
notions of the risk posed by nuclear power plants, as though incident equaled accident,
equaled doomsday scenario," Mr. Diaz said.
The Davis-Besse nuclear reactor was shut down last year after it was discovered
that boric acid had corroded through much of the reactor's vessel head. The reactor is
being repaired, and the operator hopes to restart the reactor this year.