Activists: Palisades Will Still Be A Risk After Shut Down

Jul 14, 2017

Palisades Nuclear Power Plant (file photo)
Credit Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

An anti-nuclear activist says Palisades Nuclear Power Plant will still be a concern even after it’s closed. Chris Williams advocated for the shutdown of another Entergy-owned plant - Vermont Yankee. Williams addressed South Haven residents and activists at a talk Thursday night at Lake Michigan College. 

Chris Williams pushed for the shut down of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant and now is a watchdog during it's decommissioning
Credit Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Entergy intends to sell Vermont Yankee to a decommissioning company called Northstar and has considered doing the same with Palisades. (Correction: Our original story said that Entergy had already sold Vermont Yankee to Northstar. However, the sale has not yet been finalized).

Williams says the estimated clean-up cost for Vermont Yankee was more than a billion dollars, but Northstar claims it can do the job for about half the price. He says he’s skeptical that the company will do a quality clean-up. 

“It sounds too good to be true it probably is,” says Williams.

Anti-nuclear groups also expressed concern about what’s called the spent fuel pool. That’s where the nuclear waste cools down before it’s permanently stored on the site.

Kevin Kamps is with Beyond Nuclear, one of the groups that pushed for Palisades’ closure. Kamps says in the pool, the waste is more susceptible to natural disasters and terrorist attacks. And if the pool stops cooling, the waste could catch on fire.

“That pool - so long as it is in operation - is a problem,” says Kamps.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission plans to answer questions about Palisades’ closure at an open house on July 26th. It’ll take place at the Baymont Inn in South Haven at 6 p.m.