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Palisades owners apply for license transfer with federal regulators


The change of ownership of the Palisadesnuclear power plant took an important step this week.

The plant’s current owner, Entergy Corporation, agreed in 2018 to sell it to New Jersey-based Holtec International.    

This week, Entergy and Holtec submitted aLicense Transfer Application with federal regulators.

Holtec specializes in decommissioning facilities like Palisades.

The defueling and decommissioning of the Palisades power plant is scheduled to begin in 2022.

“Holtec’s plan to safely accelerate the Palisades decommissioning schedule by more than four decades provides the potential for site redevelopment much sooner than if Entergy continued to own the facility after shutdown,” says Chris Bakken, Entergy Executive Vice President Nuclear Operations and Chief Nuclear Officer.

Holtec’s filings with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission detail its plan to complete the dismantling, decontamination, and remediation of Palisades to NRC standards by 2041.

Critics of the deal want more state and local involvement in the decommissioning plan.

“The problem with Holtec is they’re going to try to do as little clean up as they can get away with,” says Kevin Kamps with Beyond Nuclear, a nuclear waste watchdog. “They’re going to take as many short cuts on high level waste management as they can get away with...and then pocket all the remaining money.”

Kamp and other critics fear without greater supervision Holtec may use shortcuts to reduce costs.

Built during the late 1960’s, the Palisades nuclear power plant started operating at full power in 1973.  

The plant was previously owned by Consumers Energy, before being sold to Entergy in 2007.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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