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Environment & Climate Change

Feds plan special inspection of Michigan nuke plant

Fermi_NPP.jpg
NRC
The Fermi 2 nuclear reactor near Monroe, Michigan began shutting down last Sunday night. It's expected to be offline for a month.

FRENCHTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Federal officials are planning a special inspection of the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant this year because the Monroe-area facility's reactor was shut down too many times in 2012.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the supplemental inspection will be in addition to routine or required inspections conducted annually at the plant and is required because Fermi 2 had three unplanned shutdowns within 7,000 hours of reactor operating time.

The Monroe Evening News reports the most recent unplanned shutdown happened in November when a hydrogen gas leak developed in the cooling system of the plant's main electrical generator and operators shut down the reactor. The plant was idled for nearly two months.

Plant spokesman Guy Cerullo says officials have "instituted rigorous corrective actions to minimize these types of shutdowns."

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