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    Plan emerges to reopen nuclear plant


    September 13, 2022 - John Tunison - jtunison@mlive.com

     

      COVERT — A plan has emerged to restart the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant near South Haven, but a federal grant is key to the effort.

      Holtec International, owner of the plant as of June 28, has applied for a federal grant under the Civil Nuclear Credit program.

      Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is supporting the effort and wrote a Friday letter to the U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

      “Keeping Palisades open is a top priority for the state of Michigan,” Whitmer wrote.

      “I will do everything I can to keep this plant open, protect jobs, increase Michigan’s competitiveness, lower costs, and expand clean energy production. We know the path ahead is not easy, but we are not going to let that stop us from fighting for economic opportunity for Southwest Michigan and reliable, clean energy for the state. Just because something’s never been done before does not mean it cannot be done in Michigan.”

      The 800-megawatt nuclear power facility on the shores of Lake Michigan in Van Buren County’s Covert Township was shut down May 20. It first started operating in 1971.

      Holtec took over ownership with a goal of decommissioning the plant by 2041.

      But at some point, with a federal announcement of the Civil Nuclear Credit Program, a decision was made to look at restarting the plant.

      The Civil Nuclear Credit Program has $6 billion with a purpose of helping preserve the existing U.S. reactor fleet and saving jobs.

      Whitmer noted that Palisades had 600 workers making an average of $117,845. It also supported more than 1,100 additional local jobs and generated $363 million in regional economic development annually, she said.

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