Upton: Palisades Will Not Return Online Until Safety Concerns Have Been Addressed
Following a tour of the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant with Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner Kristine Svinicki, Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, issued the following statement:
“We believe the source of the May 5 leak has been found,” said Upton, who serves as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “A thorough inspection of the tank is being performed to check for any other leaks. All 10 nozzles on the tank have been or will shortly be replaced with those of a new design.
“This issue rises above politics; as a community, the safety and effectiveness of this facility is important to us all. As this investigation continues, the NRC and Entergy have stated that Palisades will not go back online until they are certain it is safe and sound.”
Upton said he will remain in constant communication with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Palisades officials as they determine the best course of action to make sure there are no further leaks, including whether to replace the tank.
“There will be no shortcuts,” Upton said. “This must be done right. And the NRC must have all the tools in the toolbox available to make sure this happens.”
Upton said he will return to the plant before it goes back online.
“Commissioner Svinicki recognizes the concerns that I have raised and share with all Southwest Michigan residents regarding the plant’s safety and security.”
Upton viewed the problem tank and watched real-time recordings of workers checking it. A half-inch crack about the width of a thumbnail is believed to have been the source of the leak. It was found next to a nozzle that had not previously been replaced.
Since learning of the recent tank leak, Upton has been in close contact with both the NRC, the independent federal agency charged with overseeing nuclear reactor safety and security, and Entergy Corporation, the New Orleans-based company that owns and operates the Palisades facility.