Coalition to MI Gov. Whitmer: “Cease and Desist” from Scheming to Bail Out Palisades!


On June 8, a coalition of 94 organizations, including Beyond Nuclear, plus 328 individuals, wrote to Michigan governor, Gretchen Whitmer, urging her to “cease and desist” from attempting to bail out the closed for good Palisades atomic reactor on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Covert Township, Michigan.

See the letter, here:

6 8 22 Whitmer letter (Cease and Desist Palisades Bailout) - Google Docs

As the letter lays out, Palisades is perhaps the most dangerously age-degraded atomic reactor in the U.S. It has the single worst embrittled reactor pressure vessel in the country. Palisades needs to replace its steam generators for the second time in its history. Its reactor lid was supposed to be replaced more than a decade ago. Palisades’ control rod drive mechanism seals have been seriously problem-plagued for 50 years, including on May 20, 2022, when Entergy Nuclear decided to shut down the reactor for good 11 days earlier than previously announced, due to yet another CRDM seal failure. Although emotionally and psychologically exhausting to contemplate, this list of potential pathways to reactor core meltdown at Palisades is not exhaustive.

Rather than accept that potentially catastrophic radioactive bullets have been dodged at Palisades not for years, but for decades, Gov. Whitmer announced her application to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm (herself a former Michigan governor) for a federal taxpayer-funded bailout, potentially to the tune of many hundreds of millions of dollars, to keep the high-risk Palisades reactor operating for at least nine more years, till 2031. (The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has already rubber-stamped a 64-year operating license at Palisades, from 1967 to 2031; NRC has in the past approved 80-year operating licenses, and could do so again at Palisades, if given the chance; NRC has even floated the trial balloon of granting 100-year licenses!)

This letter, urging Gov. Whitmer to instead focus on the long overdue just transition to an efficient and renewable energy future, is but the latest resistance at Palisades, which dates back more than 55 years, to the pre-construction phase. To learn more about this history, see a recent letter to the editor by Beyond Nuclear’s radioactive waste specialist, Kevin Kamps, published in the St. Joe-Benton Harbor Herald-Palladium, 15 miles south of Palisades.

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