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DTE investigating cause of small fire at Fermi nuclear plant this afternoon

James Yeo
Creative Commons
The Fermi 2 plant is located near Monroe, Michigan.

Officials at the Fermi 2 nuclear plant near Monroe are investigating the cause of a small fire that happened around 2 p.m. this afternoon.  

Fermi is already shut down to refuel. That’s normal.

Plant workers were testing four huge back-up diesel generators used only in emergencies. Those tests are normal, too. DTE spokesman Guy Cerullo says they've been testing them for a few days.

What wasn’t normal was when some insulation near one of the generators caught fire. Cerullo says a plant worker nearby put out the fire with a handheld fire extinguisher within minutes. He cannot recall a similar incident and was not immediately sure what material the insulation is made of.

The cause of the fire is unknown. No one was injured. There was no risk to public safety or to the nuclear reactor itself, which is located in a different building than the engines.

Lindsey Smith is Michigan Radio’s investigative reporter. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor and West Michigan Reporter.
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