Today, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a final decision on the uncontested hearing issues associated with DTE Electric’s combined license (COL) application for the proposed Fermi Unit 3 near Monroe, Michigan. As we noted previously, the NRC conducted an evidentiary hearing at NRC headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, on February 4, 2015, relating to uncontested issues involving the Fermi 3 COL application. This hearing is distinct from the hearing on contested issues that was also held on the Fermi 3 COL application. The contested issues have now also been resolved. The so-called “mandatory” hearing therefore is the final step in the NRC’s comprehensive evaluation of the proposed new unit. The NRC Staff previously issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Fermi 3 in January 2013 and the Final Safety Evaluation Report in November 2014.
In its decision today (CLI-15-13), the Commission concluded “that the Staff’s review has been adequate to support the [safety and environmental] findings set forth in 10 C.F.R. §§ 52.97(a) and 51.107(a).” As a result, the Commission authorized issuance of the COL. The COL is expected to be issued promptly. The COL will authorize construction and operation of a new Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) unit at the Fermi site in Michigan. The Fermi 3 COL will be the third new reactor application (fifth unit) approved by the NRC and the first COL to reference the ESBWR design. Today’s decision and the forthcoming license represent a significant accomplishment for the DTE Electric Fermi 3 project team.