Group says Palisades leak is a symptom of larger problems

May 13, 2013

Palisades Nuclear Power Plant
Credit US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

West Michigan Congressman Fred Upton and a commissioner from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will tour the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant near South Haven on Monday.

Kevin Kamps of the group Beyond Nuclear spoke with WMUK's Gordon Evans about on-going problems at Palisades. The plant has been shut down since May 5th because of a leak in the safety injection fueling tank. That caused 79 gallons of radioactive water to leak into Lake Michigan. MLive Kalamazoo has a timeline of problems at the plant since 2007

Kamps says the leak is part of an ongoing problem with safety and maintenance at the plant. He says the plant which is now more than 40 years old is well into its "breakdown stage."

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the water was "slightly radioactive" and is under the levels considered safe. But Kamps says radioactivity has been coming from Palisades for over 40 years. 

Congressman Fred Upton says the leaking tank should be fixed. Kamps says Beyond Nuclear, which has often been critical of Upton, shares his concern over this issue. Kamps says replacing the tank is the bare minimum that should be done. But he says there are other safety critical systems that need to be fixed.