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Nuclear watchdog goes after operators of Palisades plant


A nuclear watchdog group is asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to take stronger enforcement actions against the Palisades Nuclear Plant in South Haven.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will increase scrutiny at the plant because of a downgrade in its safety performance rating.

But Thomas Saporito says that’s not good enough. “I think the conduct by the NRC is outrageous. I think the NRC misrepresented to the public that the plant is being operated safely. It most certainly is not operating safely,” Saporito said.

The NRC insists it would shut down the plant if it wasn’t operating safely.

Thomas Saporito runs the group, Saporito Associates, from Florida. He’s filed numerous petitions alleging wrongdoing at nuclear plants all over the country.

“I’ve never seen one where they actually order the plant to shut down. I don’t’ care if the plant’s on fire at the time you write the petition. They’ve never in my research ordered a plant to shut down,” Saporito said.

In his petition filed Thursdayagainst the operators of Palisades, Saporito asks the NRC to fine the company a million dollars, revoke its operating license, and shut down the plant until the safety is independently confirmed.

The NRC says it will consider the petition. But it’s unclear how long it’ll take to review.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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