Environmental group challenges need for Monroe atomic reactor

An environmental coalition against the proposed atomic reactor in Monroe, Mich. has filed several legal contentions in hopes of stopping the project altogether.

The group says the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's recent environmental impact statement lacks a plan for radioactive storage, does not assess how the reactor would affect endangered species or historical archeology and claims that the need for the project is misrepresented.

"The worst-kept secret about Fermi 3 is that the numbers don't work. Now the price tag is pushing toward $20,000,000,000; only the NRC, the nuclear cheerleader agency, still believes that the need for electricity in Michigan is spiking, when in fact demand it is shrinking, year after year; and wind, photovoltaic solar and energy conservation are providing, today, the good paying, sustainable jobs for our sane energy future, one that's coming within our grasp," said Terry Lodge, attorney for the coalition of interveners.

Last Friday, the NRC announced a 2 year and 10 month delay from the proposed project date of March 2012 due to setbacks in the foundation analysis of where the reactor will be built. The coalition says this is just one example of why the project isn't safe and a waste of resources.

â??It is time to pull the plug on this nuclear boondoggle. DTE must stop spending ratepayer and taxpayer resources by sending good money after bad. This fiasco has not broken ground and already they are behind schedule by at least 2 ¾ years,â?? said Michael J. Keegan, representative for "Donâ??t Waste Michigan," in a statement.

In response to the coalition's contentions, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board has granted an evidentiary hearing, which will be held in southeast Michigan this fall.

The State of Michigan has acknowledged that Fermi 3â??s impacts on Great Lakes shoreline wetlands would be the largest in the history of Michiganâ??s wetlands protection law, according to a statement from the environmental coalition against the reactor.