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Opponents of nuclear power ask federal regulators to stop company from restarting Palisades plant

The currently closed Palisades nuclear power plant is located on the shore of Lake Michigan.
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
The currently closed Palisades nuclear power plant is located on the shore of Lake Michigan.

Anti-nuclear energy groups are petitioning the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency to hold a hearing on their push to stop plans to restart the Palisades plant.

The West Michigan nuclear power plant on the shore of Lake Michigan was shut down last year. The decommissioning company Holtec is applying to re-start it, with approval from the Whitmer administration.

Michael Keegan is with Don't Waste Michigan. He said the aging plant is too decrepit to be safely restarted, and that's not the only problem.

"It makes no sense economically to restart this plant," Keegan said. "It's not prudent. The cost is exorbitant."

Keegan said Holtec doesn't care about that, since he said the Florida-based company hasn't put any of its own money into the project, relying instead on $300 million from the state of Michigan, as well as applying for a federal loan from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Holtec said safety is its No. 1 focus, and any restart would include extensive oversight from regulatory authorities.

The company said the 800 megawatt facility, if restarted, is capable of producing clean power to more than 800,000 homes.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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