Biden Administration to Fund $1.5 Billion for Revival of Michigan’s Palisades Nuclear Plant

The Biden administration is set to offer a $1.5 billion loan to Holtec International Corp, Bloomberg reports. 

This funding, pending conditional approval from the US Energy Department, aims to rejuvenate the Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan, marking the first revival of a closed US nuclear reactor. This step aligns with the administration’s broader strategy to sustain the nation’s nuclear power plants as part of its climate change mitigation efforts.

Holtec, a privately-held company, has emphasized that the Palisades reactor’s restart hinges on federal financial support. Without it, the company has planned to decommission the facility. This decision comes at a time when more than a dozen US nuclear reactors have ceased operations since 2013, mainly due to economic pressures from cheaper natural gas and renewable energy sources. 

The Energy Department has highlighted the risk of closure for up to half of the country’s nuclear reactors if economic challenges persist.

The loan program, which aims to refurbish aging energy infrastructure, is a component of President Joe Biden’s climate legislation. Its goal is to assist in transitioning away from fossil fuels and towards a decarbonized electricity grid by 2035. 

Holtec acquired the 800-megawatt Palisades plant in 2022 from Entergy Corp., which shut it down for financial reasons. The company’s plans for restarting the plant gained momentum following support from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and a purchase agreement with Wolverine Power Cooperative for two-thirds of the plant’s output, expected to begin by late 2025. 

However, the project still faces regulatory approvals from federal nuclear authorities. If successful, Palisades will become the first nuclear reactor to be financed under the Biden administration, representing a historic step in US energy policy.

Information for this story was found via Bloomberg, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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