Recently, Entergy has been cited for violations of a number of regulations and breaches of safety procedures at its Palisades Power Plant in Covert. The plant is over 40 years old. It was designed for a 40-year life span. The NRC extended its license for another 20 years until 2031. The plant was bought by Entergy from Consumers Energy in 2007. Since then there have been an increasing number of violations culminating with 5 unplanned shutdowns in 2011.
A Detroit Free Press article documented the recent problems and the likely downgrading of the plant safety rating. It is on its way to being rated among the nations 5th worst.
This plant is located in the midst of exemplary sand dunes and adjacent to Van Buren State Park, and of course it is on Lake Michigan. The poor safety record not only puts the plant’s staff and its neighbors. We have seen the major disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan make large areas of land and sea unfit for human use and habitation. That should have been a wake up call to Entergy.
And the NRC shouldn’t hesitate to end Palisades’ life as an operating plant if serious safety concerns keep occurring.