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Palisades nuclear power plant shut down on Friday prior to July 1 takeover by decommissioning company

Palisades Nuclear Power Plant.
Entergy Corporation
The Palisades Nuclear Plant sits on the shores of Lake Michigan in southwest Michigan.

The Palisades nuclear power plantin West Michigan shut down on Friday, likely for the last time. Owner Entergy said the plant is in now in "defuel outage" where teams will safely remove the used fuel from the reactor. 

The state has been mounting a last-ditch effort to find a buyer for the Covert, Michigan plant, but time is running out.

Officials would like to keep the plant open because even though the electricity it produces is expensive, it's virtually carbon emissions-free. That means keeping it open would help the state with its goal to be carbon neutral by 2050. 

But any buyer would almost certainly need significant credits from a just-announced federal bailout program for financially distressed nuclear plants. Entergy said it has received no offers from any potential buyers. 

The Michigan Public Service Commission declined to comment.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the plant won't be able to resume operation once all the fuel is removed. Holtec, a decommissioning company, is scheduled to take over the plant's license on July 1.

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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