FRENCHTOWN TWP. (WWJ/AP) – An environmental coalition is making more arguments against a proposed addition to DTE Energy Co.’s Fermi nuclear plant in southeastern Michigan.

The groups filed new legal contentions with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, based on a final environmental impact statement issued in January.

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DTE is seeking a federal license to build and operate the Fermi 3 plant, the first of its kind currently proposed in the Midwest.

Opponents of the plan say the project’s environmental review is flawed. New arguments against Fermi 3, include questioning whether the plant’s electricity would be needed and addressing environmental issues involving a proposed 11-mile corridor for transmission lines from the plant to a substation.

The groups say that Fermi 3’s proposed 300-foot-wide transmission line corridor would cover nearly 400 acres of undeveloped land, and that there’s no mitigation plan whatsoever for this habitat loss, the Monroe Evening News reported.

DTE says it disagrees with the arguments. The federal panel will review the arguments and decide whether to hold hearings.

DTE spokesperson Guy Cerullo said the utility company has not decided whether DTE ultimately will build the reactor.

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“We have an obligation to serve and plan for the future, and these type of base load plants take time to build, so it’s something that we’re always looking at in the future. But we’ve not committed to building a new unit at this time,” Cerullo said in January.

The existing Fermi 2 plant is located next to Lake Erie in Monroe County’s Frenchtown Township. Fermi has been running since Jan. 1988, after a construction period that spanned 20 years.

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