Safe, Carbon-Free, Economical Energy for Michigan

Fermi 2 Power Plant

Employing about 850 workers and supplying 20 percent of the power generated by DTE Energy, Fermi 2 Power Plant is an important part of our balanced energy portfolio. Additionally, it’s our only source of carbon-free baseload (always on) power in Michigan and will continue to play an important role in building a cleaner energy future. At Fermi 2 Power Plant, our primary focus is safe, efficient operation of the plant for our customers. We are committed to excellence in operation and dedicated to the environment and to the community.


As with all nuclear plants in the U.S., we use reliable and diverse safety systems with multiple back-up measures to ensure our workers, and the communities around our plants, stay safe.

In addition to the redundant safety systems and physically imposing concrete and steel barriers, we employ carefully developed work procedures and extensively trained personnel to ensure consistency and safety. Our plant’s construction, safety systems and operations are thoroughly checked by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.


Fermi 2 Power Plant began commercial operation in 1988 and has since produced more than 200 billion kilowatt hours of electricity for DTE Energy customers. In 2001, Fermi 2 Power Plant was the first nuclear power plant in the state to achieve Clean Corporate Citizen (C3) status. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's voluntary C3 program recognizes top performers in environmental management and stewardship. The plant has maintained the designation every year since 2001. The plant has also maintained National Wildlife Habitat Council certification since 2000 and has set aside 600 acres for inclusion in the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

To learn more about green initiatives at DTE Energy facilities, visit our Environmental Policies web page.

The Future of Nuclear Plant Development

In 2015, DTE Energy received a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to construct and operate a new nuclear energy facility on the Fermi 2 Power Plant site. The company has not committed to building the new plant, but will keep the option open for long-term planning purposes, given the long-term environmental and economic advantages of nuclear power.
Nuclear Power Generation
At 1.1 million kilowatts, our Newport, Mich., Fermi 2 Power Plant represents 30 percent of Michigan's total nuclear generation capacity. That’s enough electricity to serve a city of about one million people. What’s more, fuel costs are about half those of even the most efficient coal-fired plants, helping to keep energy bills lower for our customers.
Used Fuel Storage
Used nuclear fuel is stored at the Fermi 2 Power Plant and is regulated and inspected by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Fermi 2 Power Plant's used fuel is first stored within our Reactor Building — a well-built, well-protected building capable of withstanding the impact of a wide-bodied commercial airliner. After several years of being stored safely inside the plant, the fuel is moved to dry fuel storage.

Used fuel at Fermi 2 Power Plant was moved into dry fuel storage canisters for the first time in 2014. This storage method, used at nuclear power plants since the mid-1980s, puts used fuel inside canisters composed of reinforced steel and concrete two-feet thick. The canisters are welded shut and backfilled with helium.

These canisters are extremely safe and reliable, providing both structural strength and radiation shielding. Canisters can withstand terrorist attacks and natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes. For more information on how dry fuel storage canisters work, visit our Knowledge Center and read the article about nuclear energy sources.

By law, the U.S. Department of Energy is responsible for developing a disposal facility for the long-term management of used uranium fuel from America's nuclear power plants. The federal government, however, does not have a viable program for the management of used nuclear fuel.

Until the federal government puts in place a program to dispose of these materials, nearly all commercial used fuel is stored safely and securely at the reactor sites. This temporary storage is but one component of an integrated used fuel management system. Other facets include recycling, transportation and final geologic disposal.

The federal government defaulted on its legal obligation to take used nuclear fuel from commercial reactors beginning in 1998. Fermi 2 Power Plant employees, alongside others in the nuclear energy industry, are committed to working with Congress, the administration and state leaders on proposed legislation to create a sustainable, integrated program.
Plant Design
Fermi 2 Power Plant incorporates multiple levels of safety systems, all of which can operate manually or automatically. Multiple independent power sources supply electricity to ensure continuous operation of plant systems.

Built with steel 4-to-6 inches thick, the facility’s reactor vessel is located inside a primary containment structure constructed with a 6-inch steel liner inside a shell of high-density reinforced concrete 8-to-10 feet thick. Both the vessel and containment structures are housed in a reactor building constructed of high-density reinforced concrete that is 2-to-4 feet thick.

Multiple plant cooling systems, a variety of water sources and a series of independent emergency core cooling systems ensure an adequate water supply to maintain proper fuel temperature. Pipes that pass through the containment structure walls typically have valves both inside and outside containment for added safety.
Procedures and Emergency Preparedness
Though an emergency is unlikely, we are always prepared for one. Fermi 2 Power Plant has a detailed emergency response plan. Operators test that plan regularly, with the participation of local, state and federal emergency response organizations.

A siren system that covers a 10-mile radius around the plant is tested the last Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. These sirens, which also alert of weather emergencies, are controlled by Monroe County and Wayne County officials.

To create your own safety plan and review Fermi 2 Power Plant's plans in more detail, please consult DTE’s Emergency Preparedness booklet.
Staff Training
Our plant operators are trained extensively and attend training programs fully accredited by the National Academy for Nuclear Training.
Facility Security
In addition to its physical structure, safety systems and on-site staff training, a security force that undergoes near-constant training protects Fermi 2 Power Plant. Since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, millions of dollars have been invested to make the plant even safer by enhancing security measures. The plant is equipped with extensive security measures to protect the facility from intruders and to protect the public from the possibility of exposure to radioactive releases caused by acts of sabotage. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) calls nuclear power plants "among the best-protected private sector facilities in the nation."