U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) rulings regarding the proposed Fermi 2 license extension, and the proposed Fermi 3 new reactor combined construction and operation license, have been coming fast and furious in recent days. And Beyond Nuclear, along with its environmental coalition allies, stands ready to press its case in both proceedings. The Fermi nuclear power plant is located on the Lake Erie shore near Monroe in southeast Michigan (see photo, left).
On Feb. 6th, the NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel (ASLBP) overseeing the Fermi 2 license extension proceeding issued its ruling on environmental coalition contentions against DTE's application. The ASLBP only admitted a small fraction of the numerous contentions filed last August.
The ASLBP will schedule oral argument hearings in the near future.
Fermi 3 proposed new reactor COLA
On Feb. 4th, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissioners held their "Mandatory, Uncontested Hearing" on DTE's (formerly Detroit Edison) combined Construction and Operating License Application (COLA) for the proposed Fermi 3 ESBWR (General Electric-Hitachi, so-called "Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor"). Required by the Atomic Energy Act, the day-long session was self-congratulatory, making short shrift of the countless risks that Fermi 3 would create. The hearing was one of the very last steps remaining before NRC grants COLA approval.
The environmental coalition, including Beyond Nuclear, that has been intervening against Fermi 3 for six and a half years issued a press release, vowing to appeal NRC's rubberstamp of the Fermi 3 COLA to the federal courts, on "Nuclear Waste Confidence," quality assurance (QA), and NRC's violation of NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) by excluding Fermi 3's transmission corridor from the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement).
On Feb. 12th, Lodge will file a "place-holder" contention with the Fermi 3 ASLB panel regarding Nuclear Waste Confidence. It seeks to apply any U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit environmental coalition legal victory against NRC's current, bogus reincarnation of Nuclear Waste Confidence (now renamed Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel by the agency) in the Fermi 3 proceeding. That is, Beyond Nuclear will call for the blocking of Fermi 3's license, or its revocation if already granted, until the Nuclear Waste Confidence concerns have been addressed -- if they even can be. More.