FBI investigates potential threat to Davis-Besse

PORT CLINTON An alleged threat against the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station surfaced Sunday night,
JACOB LAMMERS
May 24, 2010

PORT CLINTON

An alleged threat against the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station surfaced Sunday night, law enforcement officials reported.

The potential threat was viewed as serious enough for the Port Clinton Police Department to call in the FBI Monday night.

A restaurant employee called Port Clinton police reporting two Arabic men wrote a note on a napkin while at McCarthy's Restaurant & Pub in downtown Port Clinton, Ottawa County Sheriff Bob Bratton said.

Port Clinton police Detective Bob Case said a note was written on a napkin with the word 'boom' and a depiction of a power plant, not necessarily Davis-Besse.

Scott Smith, spokesman for the Toledo office of the FBI, said the FBI has been investigating the threat since Monday.

"We're aware of it," Smith said. "We're investigating it as with all leads."

The FBI is determining whether the threat is credible and will release more information today if any arrests are made.

"It's been my experience that if we have anything relating to Homeland Security we notify them, and they make the determination for the steps they're going to make," Bratton said.

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office has in place several protocols if a potential threat against the nuclear power plant should occur. The sheriff's office typically does not release details concerning these protocols.

"We don't reveal them because it's part of a complex security system," Bratton said.

The nuclear power plant has not had any significant problems recently, Bratton said.

The Davis-Besse plant near Oak Harbor is one of two commercial nuclear power plants in Ohio. The plant has been shut down for technical problems a few times since going operational in 1977.

When it was shut down in February 2002, operators discovered that boric acid had been dripping on the top of the reactor head and had eaten away about 70 pounds of steel.

The FirstEnergy Corporation of Akron, which owns the plant, repaired the reactor. The plant went back on line in 2004.