NRC Ups Inspections At Palisades, But Sees Improvement

Apr 9, 2015

Credit US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Despite another radioactive leak, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says overall the Palisades Nuclear Power plant has operated safely over the past year. In February, the South Haven facility found small amounts of tritium in its sampling wells. 

At a public meeting Thursday night, NRC officials applauded the Palisades for its safety improvements. Kevin Kamps of the environmental activist group Beyond Nuclear says he’s not convinced.

“Migrations of radioactive water out of steam generator tubes—we call those leaks. And we were promised last summer during a tour of Palisades by the top official of Entergy at this plant that there would be no more leaks of tritium, they had fixed that problem,” he says.

Officials from the NRC say they will increase inspections at Palisades Nuclear Plant later this year. That’s because last month the South Haven plant did not correctly measure workers’ radiation exposure.

“It wasn’t because somebody received an over-exposure. It was because they failed to proper assess the dose. No one exceeded the federal limits, but because they didn’t accurately assess the dose that is a potential issue that could lead to future problems,” says Jack Giessner, the NRC’s director for Midwest projects.

But activists from Beyond Nuclear worry more than 190 workers could have received unsafe levels of radiation. The NRC says they plan to do another 40 hours of inspections at the Palisades plant this year.