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As of Sept 2022, there is a plan to possibly re-open the plant.
The Palisades Nuclear Generating Station is a nuclear power plant located on Lake Michigan, in Van Buren County's Covert Township, Michigan, on a 432-acre (175 ha) site 5 miles (8.0 km) south of South Haven, Michigan, USA. Palisades was owned and operated by Entergy. It had been operated by the Nuclear Management Company and owned by CMS Energy Corporation prior to the sale completed on April 11, 2007.
Its single Combustion Engineering pressurized water reactor weighs 425 tons and has steel walls 8+1⁄2 inches (220 mm) thick. The containment building is 116 feet (35 m) in diameter and 189 feet (58 m) tall, including the dome. Its concrete walls are 3+1⁄2 feet (1.1 m) thick with a 1⁄4-inch-thick (6.4 mm) steel liner plate. The dome roof is 3 feet (0.91 m) thick. Access is via a personnel lock measuring 3 feet 6 inches (1.07 m) by 7 feet 8 inches (2.34 m). The Westinghouse Electric Company turbine generator can produce 725,000 kilowatts of electricity.
Built between 1967 and 1970, Palisades was approved to operate at full power in 1973.
On July 12, 2006, it was announced that the plant would be sold to Entergy. On April 11, 2007, the plant was sold to Entergy for $380 million. The plant's original licensee was due to expire on March 24, 2011. An application for 20-year extension was filed in 2005 with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It was granted on January 18, 2007. Therefore, the plant was then scheduled for decommissioning by 2031.
Entergy had made a decision to close the plant in October 2018. A decision by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) influenced the company's decision. Consumers Energy attempted to buy its way out of a power purchase agreement it has with Entergy and the plant. The MPSC did not approve Consumer Energy's full request of $172 million, so Entergy decided to keep the plant open three years longer than planned. On April 20, 2022, just weeks before the facility was scheduled to close, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer requested federal funding to keep the facility open.
Entergy closed the Palisades plant in May 2022 and its sale to Holtec International was completed in June 2022. However, in September 2022, Holtec applied for funds from the Civil Nuclear Credit to reopen the plant.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles (16 km), concerned primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles (80 km), concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity.
The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Palisades was 28,644, a decrease of 4.5 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for msnbc.com. The 2010 U.S. population within 50 miles (80 km) was 1,326,618, an increase of 4.4 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include South Bend, IN (45 miles to city center) and Kalamazoo, MI.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Palisades was 1 in 156,250, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.
Like all U.S. nuclear power plants since September 11, 2001, public access to Palisades is prohibited. However, Palisades can be glimpsed from the neighboring Van Buren State Park.
Originally planned to operate through May 31, 2022, concerns over a faulty control rod drive seal prompted operators to remove the plant from service on May 20.
Once all fuel is removed from the reactor core, Holtec will buy the plant from Entergy and begin a three year process of moving all fuel to dry cask storage. Then a ten year pause to allow the decommissioning trust fund balance to grow followed by a 6 year long dismantling process, with an estimated completion date of 2041.
The cost of decommissioning will be covered by a $550-million trust fund, paid for by Consumers Energy customers.