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Fermi 2 struggles with large COVID-19 outbreak among workers via Windsor Star

Dave Battagello  •  Windsor StarPublishing date:May 12, 2020 

A large COVID-19 outbreak among employees at Fermi 2 nuclear power plant has led to mandated testing of every employee at the facility which will remain shutdown indefinitely.

Employee online Facebook accounts suggest up 10 per cent of the 2,000 employees at the plant in Monroe, Michigan may have tested positive or facing quarantine to date due to the virus, but DTE Energy which operates the facility would not confirm an exact number.

Fermi 2 launched its regularly scheduled maintenance outage on March 21. Usually the “refuelling” and upgrades at the plant take about six weeks to complete. But the virus outbreak has prolonged that shutdown. There is no timeline when the nuclear plant will restart full operations.

“While the company is not releasing specific numbers, the totals suggest that some workers may have had the virus without showing symptoms,” said Stephen Tait, spokesman for DTE Energy.

[…]

Some of the planned maintenance work resumed on May 4, he said.

“DTE is conducting contact tracing for all employees who tested positive and will notify others who may have been near these employees and potentially exposed to the virus,” Tait said. “In addition, the company is following up regularly with those who have tested positive or are symptomatic and in quarantine.”

The company has activated “site-specific plans” to ensure the nuclear plant’s operations and infrastructure are supported properly during the “stand down” period, he said.

dbattagello@postmedia.com

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