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Published: Thursday, 10/5/2006

Panel looks at partial meltdown of Fermi I

MONROE - Anti-nuclear activists are commemorating the 40th anniversary of Fermi I's partial meltdown with a speakers' panel at 7 tonight at Monroe County Community College.

The event will look back at what happened at the former experimental reactor in northern Monroe County as well as what to expect from the nuclear power industry.

Speakers will include Paul Gunter and Kevin Kamps of the Washington-based Nuclear Information and Resource Service; Michael Keegan, of Citizens' Resistance at Fermi II/Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes, and Terry Lodge, a Toledo lawyer and spokesman for the Toledo Coalition for Safe Energy.

The event will be in Rooms 173 C and D in the community college's administration building on the main campus, 1555 South Raisinville Rd., Monroe.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission records show that a blocked coolant line caused a partial meltdown of Fermi I's reactor core on Oct. 5, 1966.

Two fuel assemblies powering the reactor were destroyed.

Two others overheated so much that they bowed more than an inch, according to NRC records.

The plant was reloaded with fuel 3 1/2 years later, and used for occasional tests before being shut down for good in 1972. It was owned by a consortium of 20 companies and located a quarter mile from its successor, Fermi II. The latter is owned by Detroit Edison Co. and went online in 1985.

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