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Gundersen: Doubts on Geotechnical Data Undermine Safety at Proposed Fermi 3 Atomic Reactor via Beyond Nuclear

Gundersen voiced his concerns about the trustworthiness of geotechnical data gathered by DTE and its subcontractors as part of the Fermi 3 Development Project. Detroit Edison has argued that it was not required to have quality assurance in place, as it was not yet an “applicant” for a new reactor construction and operating license at the time.

“Given Detroit Edison’s violations of quality assurance requirements, the geological borings and soil samples are suspect. Fermi 3’s building structures would be very heavy, so the geotechnical data has to be verifiable, so that the atomic reactor’s foundations are rock solid, and seismically qualified.”

Gundersen pointed out that Detroit Edison’s playing fast and loose with the definition of the word “applicant” presents dangers not only at Fermi 3, but would set a very bad precedent across the nuclear power industry.

Gundersen continued: “If Detroit Edison was not an applicant, then it was not subject to NRC rules guarding against deliberate misconduct, the bearing of materially false witness, and requirements of completeness and accuracy of information, employee whistleblower protections, oaths of affirmation, and reporting of defects and noncompliance. Without quality assurance in place from the get-go, the very fabric of nuclear safety regulation has been torn asunder at Fermi 3. Whistleblowers watch out: NRC confirms that whistleblower protection did not apply at Fermi 3. As a former nuclear whistleblower, this is truly terrifying.”

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