STATUS: In progress with opposition
OPPOSITION: Environmental groups (Sierra Club, Don’t Waste Michigan, Beyond Nuclear, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, and Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario).
PROSPECTS: Prolonged Delay
BACKGROUND: DTE Energy submitted an application in September 2008 to construct a new reactor, at its Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station in Monroe County, Michigan, approximately 30 miles southwest of Detroit. The project, called Fermi 3, would add a 1500-megawatt Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR), designed by General Electric, at an estimated cost of $10 billion.
Environmental groups immediately lined up to oppose the project, citing radioactive, thermal and toxic impacts, as well as concerns to Lake Erie from onsite storage of spent fuel. Sierra Club argued that the electricity from the project would not even be needed.
The opposition groups were granted intervenor status in the licensing process before the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The permitting process is already more than a year behind schedule.
SOURCES: NRC (http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/col/fermi.html);
Detroit Free Press (reprinted) (http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/3219512#);
Monroe County News (http://www.monroenews.com/article/20090311/NEWS01/703119974);
Stop Fermi 3 Homepage (http://fermi.homestead.com/).
Last Updated: November 4, 2010