Nuclear, Reactors

Moody’s outlook negative while NRC investigates Davis-Besse plant’s problems

New York, March 20, 2002 — Moody’s has changed the outlook of Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. and Toledo Edison Co. to negative from stable based on the uncertainties surrounding the Davis-Besse nuclear plant outage.

Moody’s Investors Service changed the outlook of the two energy companies and left the outlook for FirstEnergy Corp. in place after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) began investigating holes found in two reactor caps at the plant. While the discovery poses no danger to the public, the investigation and repairs may cause the outage to take longer than originally planned.

The 883 MW Davis-Besse plant accounts for approximately 8% of the total FE system generating capacity and 10% of system generation.

While an original estimate of a 60- to 90-day outage included repair and replacement power costs of $55 million, the additional damage may add to both the duration and the expense associated with the shutdown.

At this point the extent of the damage has not been identified and the inspection is being reviewed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Moody’s will focus on the timing of a preliminary damage assessment and the schedule and cost estimate for repairs and replacement power. The outlook change includes the Baa3 secured lease obligation bonds (SLOBs) of Beaver Valley II Funding Corp., CTC Mansfield Funding Corp. and CTC Beaver Valley Funding Corp. FirstEnergy Corp. is a registered holding company headquartered in Akron, Ohio.

Its seven electric utility operating companies comprise the nation’s 4th largest investor-owned electric system, serving 4.3 million customers within 36,100 square miles of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.