Palisades nuclear power plant on Lake Michigan seeks approval for repairs
COVERT, MI – The company that owns the Palisades nuclear power plant is asking federal authorities to approve its plan to correct “indications of cracking” on components used to generate electricity at the plant.
United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng said Entergy officials discovered the problem during a recent inspection and informed the commission on Friday, September 18. to the public, she said.
“The public is not in danger,” Mitlyng said. “These signs of cracking have been identified. The factory will repair them according to NRC requirements.
Palisades is located on Lake Michigan, approximately 7 miles south of South Haven. The plant generates 800 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 800,000 homes in Michigan. Entergy Packages close Palisades in 2022.
The nuclear power plant does not currently produce electricity, Mitlyng said. A fueling and maintenance shutdown at Palisades began on August 30, and the plant cannot begin producing electricity until indications of cracks are repaired, she said.
“Only then will the factory be able to come back online,” Mitlyng said of the requirement that repairs be made. “The factory is safe when it is closed as it is now.”
Before Entergy can perform repairs at the plant, it must submit its repair plan to the NRC for approval.
Entergy spokesperson Val Gent said the company plans to do so this week. The company is asking NRC to approve its plan by October 1.
“Palisades maintains a robust reactor integrity program and adheres to the highest federal safety and operating standards,” she said.
A conference call between NRC and Entergy took place Monday morning. During the call, Entergy officials described the approach they would use to correct the indications of cracking.
Following the discussion, several anti-nuclear activists questioned Entergy’s reparation plan.
Kevin Kamps, a member of the Beyond Nuclear group, said he strongly opposed the “proposed bandage repair”.
“This rushed work is unacceptable,” he said. “It increases the risk of mistakes, and the Leeward public, including my family and loved ones in Kalamazoo, have had enough.”
Gent did not immediately respond when asked about criticism of Entergy’s plan.