Congressional redistricting has pitted Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich head-to-head in what’s likely to be a contentious primary battle for the handsomely remodeled 9th District. Though few issues separate the two longtime Democratic leaders, there is one lingering doozy: the fate of FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in Kaptur’s stomping grounds east of Toledo.
For more than a decade, the plant has cultivated a reputation as the Lindsay Lohan of nuclear reactors, with a long rap sheet focusing mostly on cracks in its foundation. The latest problems were found in November, prompting the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to force a shutdown. But after an in-house checkup by FirstEnergy showed that everything’s cool, the NRC allowed the plant to go back online — provided that FirstEnergy prepare a full report by February in order to keep the feds’ bullshit meter from going off. At the same time, FirstEnergy is in the process of seeking a 20-year lease renewal for the plant.
Both Kaptur and Kucinich have been vocal in their preference that Davis-Besse not be encouraged to bust out its Chernobyl impression. But while Kaptur is calling for close monitoring of the plant, Kucinich wants it boarded up unless a complete overhaul happens.