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« U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear Beyond Nuclear v. NRC Appeal on Fermi 3: Despite Setback, Environmental Coalition Vows Ongoing Resistance against Proposed New Reactor | Main | Beyond Nuclear press release in response to adverse federal court ruling on Fermi 3 »
Monday
Feb262018

Beyond Nuclear Appeals to U.S. Supreme Court in Opposition to Fermi 3 Proposed New Atomic Reactor

Photo showing cooling towers and electricity transmission lines at Fermi 2. Exclusion of Fermi 3's transmission lines from NRC's EIS forms the basis of Beyond Nuclear's NEPA appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.Environmental Coalition’s Decade-Long Resistance Challenges U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Rule that Undermines National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to Aid New Reactor Construction

Link to Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court

Link to Petition's Appendix

Link to Media Release

July 2015 Backgrounder on the issues: Beyond Nuclear appeals scandalous NRC rule that has long undermined NEPA, paving way for new atomic reactor construction

A bi-national environmental coalition has resisted the Fermi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 3 from the very beginning. Fermi 3 is a General Electric-Hitachi design, dubbed the ESBWR (so-called "Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor"). This U.S. Supreme Court appeal caps a decade of resistance to Fermi 3. Detroit Edison (DTE) announced the proposed new reactor in February 2007, as part of the Bush/Cheney “Nuclear Renaissance.” DTE applied to NRC for a combined construction and operation license in September 2008. The bi-national environmental coalition, comprised of Beyond Nuclear, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don’t Waste Michigan, and Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, legally intervened in March 2009. The coalition, with Toledo-based attorney Terry Lodge as its legal counsel, ultimately submitted some three-dozen technical contentions to the NRC’s ASLB (Atomic Safety and Licensing Board). Oral hearings were held in downtown Monroe, MI at Halloween, 2013, including on issues of Quality Assurance (QA) violations; Fairewinds Associates, Inc. nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen served as the coalition's expert witness on QA (see Fairewinds Energy Education's website, where Arnie also serves as Chief Engineer). When the NRC approved DTE’s Fermi 3 license in May 2015, the coalition immediately appealed to the federal courts.

An artist's rendition of the proposed new Fermi 3 ESBWR (in blue), proposed to be built on the Fermi 1 meltdown site, next to Fermi 2, on the Lake Erie shoreline in southeast MI.Additional coalition partners and allies resisting Fermi 3 include the Alliance to Halt Fermi 3, of which Beyond Nuclear is a member group, and Citizens Resistance at Fermi Two (CRAFT).

Please note that Fermi 3 would be built on the very spot where Fermi 1 had a partial core meltdown on October 5, 1966. Beyond Nuclear and its allies have fought hard to prevent the white washing of this infamous "We Almost Lost Detroit" history, including by submitting legal filings in the Fermi 3 license proceeding.

This appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court not only culminates this decade of resistance. It carries on a tradition of anti-nuclear resistance at Fermi dating back nearly six decades, to when the United Auto Workers appealed its case against Fermi Unit 1 to the U.S. Supreme Court.