May 2, 2014
DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) filed an application with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to renew the license for its Fermi 2 nuclear power plant.
U.S. nuclear power plants were originally licensed for 40 years of operation. For Fermi 2, the original license ends in 2025. A successful license renewal process will provide the residents and businesses of southeast Michigan a source of clean and safe energy for an additional 20 years — until 2045.
"For more than 26 years, we've made electricity in Monroe County, and we want to be a part of the community for decades to come," said Joe Plona, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer at Fermi 2. "This application is a renewal of our commitment to continue to serve our customers with our energy and be a force for growth in the community."
Fermi 2 earned its original operating license in 1985. During the past quarter century, the power plant has generated 190 million megawatt-hours and represents about 15 percent of DTE Energy's total generation.
The application includes safety and environmental evaluations of the plant, which involved more than two years of engineering reviews to ensure Fermi 2 can safely operate through 2045.
The NRC will conduct an in-depth review of the safety, environmental and technical evaluations of the plant. The NRC process to decide on the license renewal takes about two years. It is a thorough and transparent examination of Fermi 2's ability to serve its customers in a safe manner within federal guidelines until 2045.
More than 70 U.S. nuclear power plants earned license renewal through the same NRC process.
Fermi 2, located in Newport, Mich., is a major economic benefit for the region.
The plant employs 850 full time employees — and nearly 80 percent of those employees live in Monroe and Wayne counties. During refueling outages at the plant every 18 months, Fermi 2 hires more than 1,000 contractors.
"We've worked for years to be a positive, team player in this community," Plona said. "Our employees live and raise families in this community and the plant serves our neighbors with a source of clean and safe energy. That is our commitment today and every day that we operate."
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