Environment

A photo from the 1999 demolition of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Washington. It was part of the decommissioning of the former nuclear power plant.
Jackie Johnston/AP Images

If you get your power from Consumers Energy, you’ve likely been putting money into a savings account for Palisades Nuclear Power Plant for years. Consumers charges rate-payers a small fee that goes into what’s called a decommissioning trust fund. That money will be used to clean up radioactive contamination at the site once Palisades shuts down. Right now there’s more than $400 million in the trust fund, but environmentalists worry it won’t be enough. 


Great Lakes Ice Cover Low This Winter

Feb 15, 2017
NOAA, Great Lakes Today

Last week, only 15 percent of the Great Lakes was covered in ice. That’s the highest level of ice cover recorded so far this winter – but it’s far less than the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 64-percent prediction. 

Got Pollution? Lake Ontario City Puts It In Giant Box

Feb 1, 2017
iStock/Elizabeth Quillian

Imagine a huge steel box – whose lid is 10 football fields across. That’s what the city of Hamilton is building on the western end of Lake Ontario. It’s designed to clean up the most polluted spot on Canada’s side of the Great Lakes. And as Veronica Volk with Great Lakes Today reports, residents hope it will improve Hamilton’s reputation too. 

8th graders work on a math assignment at Covert Public Schools
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Palisades Nuclear Power Plant is expected to close next year. That means more than 600 people will lose their jobs. That could also spell bad news for Van Buren County. The county gets almost $10 million in property taxes from Palisades every year.


A partially constructed wind tunnel. A new type of wind power from the Sheerwind Company based in Minnesota. It funnels wind to increase wind speeds that then blow past propellers to make energy.
Rebecca Thiele/WMUK

A Western Michigan University professor says market forces, not government policy will determine the future of the energy industry. Joyashish Thakurta says the trend is away from coal toward natural gas. 

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