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« Exelon applies for 80 years of operation at Fukushima Daiichi twin design reactors | Main | A monumental day: NYS Court of Appeals decision effectively stops NRC from re-licensing Indian Point »
Thursday
Dec152016

NRC finalizes Fermi 2's 20-year license extension

Fermi 2, on the Lake Erie shore in Monroe County, MIOn Dec. 15, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) finalized its rubber-stamp approval of DTE's (Detroit Edison's) application for a 20-year operating license extension at its Fermi 2 atomic reactor in Monroe County, on southeast Michigan's Lake Erie shoreline.

This took place despite Citizens' Resistance at Fermi Two (CRAFT) efforts to raise objections -- specifically, regarding the lack of emergency response capability in the event of a catastrophic release of hazardous radioactivity, to deliver potassium iodide (KI) in time to prevent harm to area residents' thyroids from dangerously radioactive I-131. (See CRAFT's Facebook page here.)

The Monroe News reported on CRAFT's resistance to the license extension.

CRAFT's contention built on work launched by Beyond Nuclear and the Alliance to Halt Fermi 3, the "Got KI?" campaign.

CRAFT had previously raised a wind power contention, as an alternative to 20 more years of radioactive Russian roulette risks at Fermi 2.

Beyond Nuclear had also joined with Don't Waste Michigan, and Citizen Environmental Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, to challenge Fermi 2's license extension. Terry Lodge of Toledo, OH serves as the coalition's legal counsel. The coalition's contentions included Fukushima lessons un-learned, as well as the vulnerability of Fermi 2's transmission line corridor to provide primary electricity in the event of a Loss-of-Cooling-Accident (LOCA) at the super-sized Fukushima Daiichi twin design Fermi 2 General Electric Mark I Boiling Water Reactor.

Fermi 2 is as big as Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 and 2 put together. (Also see Beyond Nuclear's "Freeze Our Fukushimas" website section.)

However, NRC rebuffed the coalition's contentions on its rush to rubber-stamp.

The Nuclear "Rubber-stamp" Agency has approved 88 atomic reactor 20-year license extensions since the year 2000. However, of these, several reactors have permanently shut down, despite many years or even decades left on their extended operating licenses. These include Fort Calhoun, Nebraska; Vermont Yankee; and Kewaunee, WI. See NRC's license extension website section for more information. And see Beyond Nuclear's Relicensing website section for a chronicle of resistance.