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The Palisades Nuclear Plant takes small steps toward decommissioning

The green blue waves of Lake Michigan brush against the shores that lie in front of the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant. The prominently gray facility stands as a divider between the pale yellow sands of the coast and the deep green of the trees and grass of the land. White clouds plume out from an adjacent structure near the heart of the Palisades.
Official Photo
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
The Palisades Nuclear Plant when it was in operation. Though the project has strong support, approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is not assured.

Holtec International is still pushing to recommission the site.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC, issued three exemptions to Holtec International in December.

One enables Holtec to change the site’s emergency plan to fit the current status of the decommissioning effort, which began in June of 2022.

The other two allow the company to reduce insurance costs for the site.

However, spokesman Nick Culp said the company does not plan to reduce the onsite property damage insurance due its plan to reboot Palisades.

He added that Holtec is optimistic it will be able to restart the plant in late 2025.

“There are certainly a number of milestones that we have passed at this point and a number of more to come," Culp said. "So, we feel very encouraged with a strong wind at our back."

Holtec is seeking a U.S. Department of Energy loan for the project.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and other leaders have hailed the plan. But there’s no guarantee the NRC will allow the plant to reopen.

Michael Symonds reports for WMUK through the Report for America national service program.

Report for America national service program corps member Michael Symonds joined WMUK’s staff in 2023. He covers the “rural meets metro” beat, reporting stories that link seemingly disparate parts of Southwest Michigan.