A 20-year extension for the operating license of a nuclear power plant in Michigan has been put on hold after an activist group encouraged a federal agency to look more closely into how potassium iodide pills would be given to area residents if the plant ever has a major release of radioactive steam.
Internal documents show the commission originally planned to extend the Fermi 2 nuclear energy facility’s license Tuesday. The move was put on hold after Citizens’ Resistance at Fermi 2 raised the legal contention, The (Toledo) Blade reported. DTE Energy, the plant’s owner, applied for the license extension April 30, 2014, after spending years putting the application together.
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Bill Dean, director of the agency’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, told commission officials agency staff will review the contention and give the commission a recommendation in the coming weeks. The group’s contention, filed on Nov. 21, convinced the NRC to reopen what had been a closed record in the Fermi 2 license renewal proceeding since Sept. 11, 2015.”This contention alleges a deficiency or error which has enormous independent health and safety significance,” the motion shows.
While the group doesn’t anticipate it will stop the license extension, they hope they have “thrown a monkey wrench in both the NRC and DTE’s timetable,” said the group’s co-chair Jessie Collins. Fermi 2 has been operating since July of 1985. The power plant’s license is valid until March 20, 2025.
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