Company approved to decommission Palisades nuclear plant now considering small reactor there
Holtec International is in discussions with federal regulators about constructing a small modular nuclear reactor at the closed Palisades Nuclear Plant on Lake Michigan.
An online meeting on Wednesday consisted primarily of Holtec officials asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about how to proceed with the permits to construct a reactor designed to generate160 megawatts. That’s enough power for more than 100,000 homes.
It is possible that Holtec could pursue permits for more than one small reactor at the Palisades site.
Holtec originally took over Palisades to decommission the plant. Then it floated the idea of restarting the aging nuclear reactor.
This latest possibility would begin with a Limited Work Authorization and Construction Permit application from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which could be pursued nearly simultaneously.
During a public comment period in the meeting, environmentalists strongly opposed continuing to use the Palisades site for various reasons.
In a news release before the Holtec and NRC meeting, the environmental group Beyond Nuclear noted Holtec’s SMR-160 reactor design is not yet certified. It also said it had obtained documents from the State of Michigan through the Freedom of Information Act that indicated Holtec planned to pursue permission to construct a small modular nuclear reactor at the permanently closed Big Rock Point nuclear plant site near Charlevoix. That plant was shut down in 1997 and decommissioned in the early 2000s. Holtec purchased the site last year along with the Palisades plant from Entergy.