[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ Env Coalition Files Challenge to DTE's Proposed Fermi 3 Atomic Reactor







For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Contact: Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear, (240) 462-3216

Michael J. Keegan, Don't Waste Michigan (734) 770-1441

Ed McArdle, Sierra Club, (313) 388-6645

Derek Coronado, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, (519) 973-1116


Environmental Coalition Files Fourteen Legal Contentions

against Fermi 3 Atomic Reactor

Groups Cite Radioactive Waste Risks, Harms to Lake Erie


Monroe, Michigan – An environmental coalition comprised of Beyond Nuclear, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don’t Waste Michigan, and the Sierra Club has filed fourteen legal contentions with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), intervening against Detroit Edison’s proposed new Fermi 3 atomic reactor in Newport, Michigan. The contentions against Detroit Edison’s application for a Combined Construction and Operation License were due March 9. The coalition objected to Fermi 3’s radioactive, toxic, and thermal impacts on Lake Erie’s vulnerable western basin, especially considering the cumulative damage already occurring in the Great Lakes due to the presence of 33 operating atomic reactors, and dozens of additional coal fired power plants. These include Detroit Edison’s Fermi 2 atomic reactor and Monroe (Coal) Power Plant, one of the largest in North America, Consumers Energy’s Whiting Coal Plant, and First Energy’s Davis-Besse atomic reactor and Bay Shore (Coal) Power Plant, all located on Lake Erie’s shallow western basin.

"Efficiency and renewable, such as solar and wind, could readily replace the dirty, dangerous, and expensive Fermi 3 proposal," said Terry Lodge, the Toledo-based legal counsel to the coalition. “And they could do so much more cleanly, safely, and affordably,” he added.

"The track record of the Detroit Edison Company is abysmal. The partial core-melt accident at Fermi 1 in October, 1966 and the 1993-94 Holiday dumping of millions of gallons of radioactively contaminated water into Lake Erie by Fermi 2 speaks to this record," said Michael Keegan of Don’t Waste Michigan. "The proposed Fermi 3 would represent another half-century of safety and security risks for the Great Lakes shoreline. Many concerned local residents don’t want to play yet another round of radioactive Russian roulette," Keegan added. Michael Keegan resides in Monroe and has been following the Fermi reactors for three decades.

"It is incomprehensible that the NRC failed to notify Walpole Island First Nation in the St. Clair River, or other First Nations whose lands or fisheries lie within 50 miles of the proposed reactor, about their right to take part in this proceeding," said Kay Cumbow of Brown City, speaking for Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination. "Great Lakes waters are protected both by treaties and by the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. We share the obligation to protect these waters with other nations. Indigenous Peoples' land and fisheries in Lake Erie would be harmed by Fermi 3's radioactive, toxic, and thermal discharges," she added.

"As Fermi 2’s storage pool is full to the gills, and vulnerable to accident or attack, Detroit Edison proposes to generate yet more radioactive waste it doesn’t know what to do with," said Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear, a national watchdog group in Takoma Park, Maryland. "With President Obama indicating the end of the Yucca Mountain dumpsite proposal in Nevada, forever deadly radioactive wastes generated by Fermi 2 and 3 would continue to pile up on the Lake Erie shoreline with nowhere to go," he added.

“Taxpayers and ratepayers should not be forced to further subsidize the already heavily subsidized nuclear power and coal industries,” said Ed McArdle of the Sierra Club. "We believe the electricity from Fermi 3 will not even be needed," he added. McArdle resides in Melvindale, Michigan, less than 25 miles from Fermi nuclear power plant.

“We need to implement a 21st century action plan for our energy and environmental needs in the Great Lakes basin. Nuclear and coal are the dirty siblings of a previous century and we can no longer afford to live in an environmentally destructive manner,” stated Derek Coronado of the Citizens Environment Alliance in Windsor, Ontario.

A copy of the 150 page contentions filing is available upon request from Kevin Kamps at Beyond Nuclear, (240) 462-3216 or kevin@beyondnuclear.org.

– 30 –