Detroit Edison (DTE Energy) is Michigan’s largest electric utility, serving more than 2 million customers. Since 2007, Black & Veatch has been involved with developing the Combined Operating License Application (COLA) for DTE Energy’s proposed new advanced design nuclear unit, Fermi 3, at the existing Fermi 2 nuclear site in Monroe, Michigan.
For utilities, the COLA process blends two separate regulatory thresholds — construction and operation — into one process. In this manner, utilities can avoid the costly challenges of being in the midst of construction should the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) identify issues when evaluating the operating application.
Black & Veatch has supported DTE Energy with preparation and involvement with meetings with the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS). The ACRS meetings are the final step before the NRC completes the Final Safety Evaluation Report for the application.
These meetings with the ACRS are a first-of-a-kind for both Black & Veatch and DTE Energy. There are currently only a few applications for new nuclear power plants being reviewed by the NRC. The COLA for the DTE Energy Fermi 3 is one of a few applications that have reached the ACRS committee review phase. Therefore, Black & Veatch is one of a handful of design and engineering companies that have been interfacing with the ACRS.
Black & Veatch has worked closely with DTE Energy to detail presentations and to ensure that the team was prepared for these meetings. Black & Veatch’s management consulting division, global water business and global energy business have all participated in various ways to ensure that the proper expertise is applied to resolve any identified issues.
Black & Veatch’s project team is successfully using its nuclear industry expertise to team with DTE Energy to enable millions of energy consumers in Michigan to have access to clean air and carbon-free energy.