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Anti-nuclear group seeks to halt Fermi 3 plant via Blade

NEWPORT, Mich. — A national anti-nuclear group is trying to get the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its objection to DTE Energy’s license to build a Fermi 3 nuclear plant at some point in the future if the utility ever so chooses to do so.

Beyond Nuclear, based in the Washington suburb of Takoma Park, Md., contends the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission erred in issuing the license in 2015 after nearly seven years of public hearings, legal challenges and internal deliberations.

A petition filed this week by Terry Lodge, a Toledo attorney serving as the group’s legal counsel, argues the NRC excluded a 29-mile, 300-foot-wide transmission corridor from the environmental impact statement required under the National Environmental Policy Act, including 10.8 miles of transmission corridor that would pass through previously undisturbed wetlands and other habitat that is likely critical for a variety of endangered and threatened plants and animals in southeast Michigan.


The petition claims the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia should have overturned the NRC’s decision in its ruling last November, when it upheld the NRC’s decision to grant the construction license.


In a statement Tuesday, DTE spokesman John Austerberry reiterated the utility still views the license as only a contingency plan, in the event market conditions someday favor more commercial-scale nuclear power plants to be built from scratch.

If Fermi 3 is ever built, it would be constructed on the same nuclear complex northeast of Monroe where Fermi 2 is now operating and its predecessor, Fermi 1, used to operate. The site is along western Lake Erie in Monroe County’s Frenchtown Township, about 30 miles north of Toledo.


Contact Tom Henry at, 419-724-6079, or via Twitter @ecowriterohio


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