Aquatic Ecology Survey - Detroit Edison Fermi 3 Licensing Project

GLEC completed a comprehensive Aquatic Ecological Survey for Detroit Edison’s Fermi 3 project in order to support the construction of an additional nuclear generation facility. The purpose of the survey was to collect data that would provide sufficient information for addressing US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Regulation (NUREG) 1555 objectives. Specifically, the goals of this study were to:

  • Determine current species richness and relative abundances for fishes and macroinvertebrates in the waterbodies located on-site, within the DRIWR and adjacent to the site in Lake Erie and Swan Creek;
  • Determine species impacted by impingement and entrainment as part of the current operation of the Cooling Water Intake Structure (CWIS) for Fermi 2;
  • Compare current impingement and entrainment data to historical data to assess potential impingement and entrainment rates; and
  • Identify potential impacts to aquatic resources associated with the proposed expansion project.

A monthly sampling program was established to document fish and macroinvertebrate species richness and diversity and measure seasonal variation. Water chemistry samples were collected quarterly to document water quality in the vicinity of the DTE Fermi Nuclear Generating Station. During each month, fish, macroinvertebrate and water quality samples were collected using a variety of sampling devices and in situ instrumentation.

Impingement mortality sampling was conducted at the DTE Fermi 2 plant on a monthly basis (24-hour period each month) and entrainment monitoring was performed in front of the CWIS trash racks. Impingement and entrainment data collected at the Fermi 2 facility were used to generate impingement and entrainment estimates for the Fermi 3 facility using Fermi 3 design flows.

A final report was generated by GLEC to detail the sampling and analysis methods, results of the sampling effort (including water chemistry, fish community, macroinvertebrate community and the impingement mortality and entrainment characterization study) and the interpretation of those data gathered over the period July 2008 through July 2009.




Jamie Saxton 

Co-Manager of Operations


GLEC operates one of only a few U.S. laboratories accredited for whole sediment toxicity testing. GLEC also maintains NELAP accreditation for chlorophyll and nutrient chemistry testing.


GLEC's Columbus, OH laboratory is ADEQ accredited for Acute Toxicity and Chronic Toxicity testing.



Great Lakes Environmental Center

739 Hastings Street
Traverse City, MI   49686

Phone: (231) 941-2230
Fax: (231) 941-2240