Nuclear Plant in Michigan to Become First Decommissioned Facility to Be Reactivated in the US

Holtec International, the company that acquired the Palisades nuclear plant, has unveiled plans to restart the 800-megawatt power facility in partnership with Wolverine Power Cooperative. This move marks a significant milestone as the Palisades nuclear plant is poised to become the first decommissioned nuclear facility in the United States to be reactivated.

Under the newly announced long-term power purchase agreement, Wolverine Power Cooperative has committed to purchasing up to two-thirds of the nuclear energy generated at the Palisades plant, with Hoosier Energy set to acquire the remaining portion. 

“The repowering of Palisades ensures Michigan has sufficient energy to meet future demand and mitigate the impact of climate change, while creating hundreds of high-paying Michigan jobs, expanding the local tax base, and unleashing economic opportunity within the region and beyond,” said Kelly Trice, President of Holtec’s nuclear generation and decommissioning division.

The Palisades plant ceased operations in May of the previous year when its fuel supply was depleted 51 years after it opened. Holtec, which specializes in decommissioning nuclear plants but has recently expanded into building new ones, acquired the plant a month later. Since then, Holtec has made two applications for federal funding to restore the plant to operational status, with one application still pending.

Michigan lawmakers have already allocated $150 million from the state budget towards the effort to restart Palisades. This revival is expected to bolster Michigan’s carbon-free energy supply, aligning with the state’s goals to reduce carbon emissions and enhance electric reliability.

According to an Axios report, the agreement to restart the plant is “contingent on the US Department of Energy approving a $1 billion loan to reopen the plant.” Given these funds, it would take about 18 months to repower the decommissioned plant.

Read: New Survey Finds More Americans Are Now Pro-Nuclear Power

The announcement has been met with some concern from residents of Palisades Park who view the decision as a risky environmental move. They argue that the aging plant, previously closed due to costly maintenance issues, may pose ecological and radiation risks, given its proximity to freshwater supplies.

Information for this story was found via Michigan Live, Axios, 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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