AKRON, Ohio, Dec. 8, 2015 -- FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), announced today that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved a 20-year license extension for the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio, allowing the unit to operate until 2037.
The NRC's decision to renew Davis-Besse's license comes following extensive safety and environmental reviews, public meetings and comments. The plant's original license was set to expire on April 22, 2017, and FENOC submitted a license renewal application to the NRC in 2010. Davis-Besse is the 81st nuclear reactor in the United States to receive a license extension from the NRC.
Davis-Besse is capable of generating 908 megawatts, or enough electricity to power more than one million households. In addition, plant operations displace more than 7.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, approximately the same amount of carbon dioxide released by more than 1.4 million cars each year.
"Today's NRC decision is another key milestone that helps ensure the continued operation of a vital baseload power plant in Ohio," said James H. Lash, executive vice president and president, FirstEnergy Generation. "The license extension secures an important source of carbon-free power for our region while providing thousands of family-sustaining jobs and significant financial support for the community."
FirstEnergy has invested nearly $1 billion to help ensure continued safe and reliable operations of Davis-Besse through the period of extended operation, including the installation of a new reactor head in 2011 and two new steam generators in 2013. The plant has had power output increases totaling 25 megawatts since 2003.
"This achievement is the result of making the right investments in our facilities as well as our people, who are dedicated to the safe and efficient operation of this plant," said Brian Boles, vice president of Davis-Besse. "I am very proud of our employees who have worked to ensure that the plant remains a key asset to the company that can deliver safe, reliable, clean and affordable electricity for many years to come."
The Davis-Besse station is one of the largest employers and the largest taxpayer in Ottawa County. The plant employs more than 700 highly trained professionals with an annual payroll of nearly $65 million. Annual property and payroll tax payments total more than $6.3 million, supporting local schools, police and fire departments, and other vital public services. In addition, employees and the company have contributed more than $1.3 million to local charitable organizations including United Way, Harvest for Hunger and Northwest Ohio food pantries over the past five years alone.
FirstEnergy Corp. is a diversified energy company headquartered in Akron, Ohio. In addition to Davis-Besse, its FENOC subsidiary also operates the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry, Ohio, and the Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport, Pa. Visit FENOC on the web at www.fenoc.com, and follow the nuclear plants on Twitter: @Perry_Plant,@BVPowerStation, and @DavisBesse.
Editor's Note: A photo of Davis-Besse and NRC staff at the license renewal signing is available for download on Flickr.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release includes forward-looking statements based on information currently available to management. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. These statements include declarations regarding management's intents, beliefs and current expectations. These statements typically contain, but are not limited to, the terms "anticipate," "potential," "expect," "forecast," "target," "will," "intend," "believe," "project," "estimate," "plan" and similar words. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, which may include the following: the speed and nature of increased competition in the electric utility industry, in general, and the retail sales market in particular; the ability to experience growth in the Regulated Distribution and Regulated Transmission segments and to successfully implement our revised sales strategy for the Competitive Energy Services segment; the accomplishment of our regulatory and operational goals in connection with our transmission investment plan, including but not limited to, our pending transmission rate case, the proposed transmission asset transfer, and the effectiveness of our repositioning strategy to reflect a more regulated business profile; changes in assumptions regarding economic conditions within our territories, assessment of the reliability of our transmission system, or the availability of capital or other resources supporting identified transmission investment opportunities; the impact of the regulatory process on the pending matters at the federal level and in the various states in which we do business including, but not limited to, matters related to rates and the Electric Security Plan IV in Ohio; the impact of the federal regulatory process on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)-regulated entities and transactions, in particular FERC regulation of wholesale energy and capacity markets, including PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM) markets and FERC-jurisdictional wholesale transactions; FERC regulation of cost-of-service rates, including FERC Opinion No. 531's revised Return on Equity methodology for FERC-jurisdictional wholesale generation and transmission utility service; and FERC's compliance and enforcement activity, including compliance and enforcement activity related to North American Electric Reliability Corporation's mandatory reliability standards; the uncertainties of various cost recovery and cost allocation issues resulting from American Transmission Systems, Incorporated's realignment into PJM; economic or weather conditions affecting future sales and margins such as a polar vortex or other significant weather events, and all associated regulatory events or actions; changing energy, capacity and commodity market prices including, but not limited to, coal, natural gas and oil, and their availability and impact on margins and asset valuations; the continued ability of our regulated utilities to recover their costs; costs being higher than anticipated and the success of our policies to control costs and to mitigate low energy, capacity and market prices; other legislative and regulatory changes, and revised environmental requirements, including, but not limited to, the effects of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, coal combustion residuals regulations, Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and Mercury and Air Toxics Standards programs, including our estimated costs of compliance, Clean Water Act waste water effluent limitations for power plants, and Clean Water Act 316(b) water intake regulation; the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of the capital expenditures that may arise in connection with any litigation, including New Source Review litigation, or potential regulatory initiatives or rulemakings (including that such initiatives or rulemakings could result in our decision to deactivate or idle certain generating units); the uncertainties associated with the deactivation of certain older regulated and competitive fossil units, including the impact on vendor commitments, and as they relate to the reliability of the transmission grid, the timing thereof; the impact of other future changes to the operational status or availability of our generating units and any capacity performance charges associated with unit unavailability; adverse regulatory or legal decisions and outcomes with respect to our nuclear operations (including, but not limited to the revocation or non-renewal of necessary licenses, approvals or operating permits by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or as a result of the incident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant); issues arising from the indications of cracking in the shield building at Davis-Besse; the risks and uncertainties associated with litigation, arbitration, mediation and like proceedings, including, but not limited to, any such proceedings related to vendor commitments; the impact of labor disruptions by our unionized workforce; replacement power costs being higher than anticipated or not fully hedged; the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; changes in customers' demand for power, including, but not limited to, changes resulting from the implementation of state and federal energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic and financial goals, including, but not limited to, the ability to continue to reduce costs and to successfully execute our financial plans designed to improve our credit metrics and strengthen our balance sheet through, among other actions, our previously-implemented dividend reduction, our cash flow improvement plan and our other proposed capital raising initiatives; our ability to improve electric commodity margins and the impact of, among other factors, the increased cost of fuel and fuel transportation on such margins; changing market conditions that could affect the measurement of certain liabilities and the value of assets held in our Nuclear Decommissioning Trusts, pension trusts and other trust funds, and cause us and/or our subsidiaries to make additional contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger than currently anticipated; the impact of changes to material accounting policies; the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with our financial plans, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting us and our subsidiaries; actions that may be taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect us and/or our subsidiaries' access to financing, increase the costs thereof, and increase requirements to post additional collateral to support outstanding commodity positions, letters of credit and other financial guarantees; changes in national and regional economic conditions affecting us, our subsidiaries and/or our major industrial and commercial customers, and other counterparties with which we do business, including fuel suppliers; the impact of any changes in tax laws or regulations or adverse tax audit results or rulings; issues concerning the stability of domestic and foreign financial institutions and counterparties with which we do business; the risks associated with cyber-attacks on our electronic data centers that could compromise the information stored on our networks, including proprietary information and customer data; and the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in our United States Securities and Exchange Commission filings, and other similar factors.
The foregoing review of factors should not be construed as exhaustive. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors, nor assess the impact of any such factor on FirstEnergy's business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. FirstEnergy expressly disclaims any current intention to update, except as required by law, any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
CONTACT: News Media Contact: Jennifer Young, 330-761-4362; Investor Contact: Irene Prezelj, 330-384-3859