The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is holding back approval of a 20-year extension for the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant in Michigan at the request of group called Citizens' Resistance At Fermi 2, which has registered complains about the plant operator's plans to distribute potassium iodide in the event of an emergency scenario at the plant.
DTE Energy, which owns and operates the Fermi 2 plant, applied for a license extension in April 2014. The NRC had plans to approve of the extension this week, documents show, but an NRC memo reviewed by The (Toledo) Blade says that the “contention alleges a deficiency or error which has enormous independent health and safety significance.”
The Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation Bill Dean has said the agency will review the group's complaint and make a recommendation “in the coming weeks.” The report in The Blade, meanwhile, quotes the leader of the citizens' action group has claiming he was aware the complaint would not prevent the application from eventually meeting with regulatory approval. The complaint, however, has “thrown a monkey wrench in both the NRC and DTE's timetable,” said co-chair Jessie Collins.
When the application is approved, it will be the 87th U.S. plant to receive a 20-year extension from the commission.
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