A new reactor proposed at the Fermi nuclear plant in Michigan moved a step closer toward approval Thursday with the issuance of a final environmental impact statement by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

In a release, the agency said it found no environmental impacts that would stand in the way of a combined license for the new unit. The FEIS will also inform the Army Corps of Engineers as it prepares a separate permit under the Clean Water Act.

Detroit Edison submitted an application in 2008 to build a GE-Hitachi Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor at the Fermi plant between Detroit, Mich., and Toledo, Ohio. Approval for the reactor's design is expected some time this year. Work on the NRC's safety evaluation report for Fermi 3 is ongoing.

Because of a court decision, the NRC cannot issue final approval for Fermi 3 or other COL applications until the agency completes an environmental study and rulemaking on its waste confidence decision. That is expected to be complete in September of 2014.