NRC approves new reactor for Michigan's Fermi site

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently completed its mandatory hearing on a new reactor for DTE Electric Company’s  Fermi site, near Newport, Michigan.

Based on the hearing, the NRC will allow its Office of New Reactors to issue a Combined License (COL).

DTE originally applied for the COL in September 2008, seeking to build and operate an economic simplified boiling-water reactor (ESBWR) on the same site as another extant reactor. The ESBWR is a 1,600-megawatt electric reactor, which features safety measures that will cool it down without electricity or human intervention after an accident.

The NRC completed its final review of the COL application in September 2014 after reviewing safety concerns – including the final safety evaluation report – and environmental considerations.

The NRC has imposed some conditions on the license, which include actions related to requirements on post-Fukushima Mitigation Strategies and Spent Fuel Pool Instrumentation, as well as a pre-startup schedule for the reactor’s emergency preparedness plans and procedures. Also, as proscribed by current procedures for boiling-water reactors operating at high power levels, the NRC will require DTE to monitor and analyze the steam dryer when the plant is initially started up.

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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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