CLEVELAND — The high temperatures and low water levels in Lake Erie have brought two nuclear plants close to having to shut down their reactors.
The northern Ohio plants rely on Lake Erie's chilly water to cool down the facilities. But the lake has been warm this summer and came close to the 85-degree limit that requires the plants to stop generating electricity.
FirstEnergy Corp., which operates the two plants, has asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to raise the temperature cutoff to 90 degrees at Davis-Besse plant near Toledo, spokesman Todd Schneider said Monday. The Akron-based company also may request that Perry's limit be raised to 88 degrees, he said.
"Engineering studies show we can operate if the water temperature is higher than 85 degrees," Schneider said.
The NRC will decide in the next few weeks whether the Davis-Besse plant's cooling systems could function properly with the warmer water, said spokesman Jan Strasma.