VIDEO: FirstEnergy nuclear power unit names new president

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FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co., a unit of Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp., said Samuel L. Belcher, currently senior vice president and chief operating officer of FENOC, has been elected as its president and chief nuclear officer.

In his new position, Belcher will provide overall guidance and strategy to the FENOC nuclear power fleet and interface with industry leadership to drive high standards and best practices that enhance U.S. nuclear industry performance. Belcher replaces Peter P. Sena, who has left the company to pursue other opportunities.

In a related move, Paul Harden, FENOC senior vice president of Fleet Engineering, has been elected senior vice president and chief operating officer. Harden, who will report to Belcher, will provide day-to-day leadership focused on safe and reliable performance of FENOC's fleet nuclear support groups and four nuclear units. Both changes will be effective March 8, 2015.

"Sam and Paul have been instrumental members of the FENOC leadership team, setting strong standards for safety and performance excellence," said James H. Lash, FirstEnergy Generation president. "Sam's robust operational background, coupled with Paul's solid engineering experience, have helped drive improvement across the fleet. I am confident their energy, knowledge and guidance will ensure the company's nuclear facilities remain a reliable cornerstone of FirstEnergy's generating portfolio while taking performance to even higher levels."

A 23-year nuclear veteran, Belcher joined FENOC in December 2012 from Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, where he was senior vice president, Site Operations. He also held the positions of site vice president and plant general manager at Constellation's Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in New York. Prior to Constellation, Belcher served as director of Fleet Operations at FENOC and held a number of leadership positions in operations with Energy Northwest and Entergy Nuclear.

Harden joined FirstEnergy in January 2008 as vice president, fleet support before being named site vice president for the Beaver Valley Power Station. He was named senior vice president of Fleet Engineering in April 2013. Prior to FirstEnergy, Harden served as fleet vice president of Projects and Engineering for Nuclear Management Company in Wisconsin. In addition, he has held leadership positions in operations and engineering at the Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan and Kewaunee nuclear plant in Wisconsin.

Harden earned a bachelor of science degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a masters of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame. He has held a Senior Reactor Operator license and is a registered professional engineer. He served in the U.S. Navy Reserve as an electronic technician from 1985 to 1992.

FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Its FENOC subsidiary operates the Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport, Pa.; the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry, Ohio; and the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio.

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