Zombie reactors really must be resisted!

Yard signs created by Michigan Safe Energy Future's Kalamazoo Chapter and Shutdown Palisades Campaign.

Public Virtual Access to NRC-HOLTEC Meeting, Monday, March 20, beginning at 3pm ET:

Webinar Webinar Link:https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_MTU0MGFlZGItMmI1Yi00NGEwLTkwZjgtOGI0NTc1MWYxYWNh%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%22e8d01475-c3b5-436a-a065-5def4c64f52e%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22f4d12ca8-cdab-400f-9cf0-e494b8ccd74c%22%7d
Webinar Meeting Number:301-576-2978
Webinar Password:103 064 240#


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

In early February, Holtec International submitted a letter to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), regarding the company’s proposed, secretive scheme that they called a “regulatory pathway” to restarting the permanently closed (on May 20, 2022, by previous owner Entergy) Palisades atomic reactor in Covert Township, Michigan, on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Palisades’ operating license was officially ended and terminated by Entergy’s actions and communications, and NRC certification, by mid-June 2022. Holtec took ownership of Palisades, and its “possession-only” license for exclusively decommissioning purposes, on June 28, 2022. However, about a week later, on July 5, 2022, Holtec secretly applied to the U.S. Department of Energy for a billion dollar Civil Nuclear Credit program bailout in order to restart the reactor. This was not made known to the public until September 9, 2022. Holtec’s Feb. 1, 2023 “regulatory pathway” document sent to NRC was largely redacted.

Beyond Nuclear and Don’t Waste Michigan rapidly responded, with their legal counsel, Terry Lodge of Toledo, Ohio, and Wally Taylor of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, in an attempt to require public access to the fully un-redacted, fully transparent version of Holtec’s “regulatory pathway” to restart Palisades documents. Our FOIA request is still in process, and has not yet been answered.

In early March, NRC announced a public meeting, to be held on Monday, March 20th, with Holtec, about its “regulatory pathway” to restart Palisades scheme and documents. Initially, the meeting was to be mostly behind closed doors, with limited public access. Again, Beyond Nuclear and Don’t Waste Michigan’s legal counsel objected. NRC responded within hours that a new version of Holtec’s “regulatory pathway” to restart Palisades documents, with some of the earlier redactions now un-redacted, had just been published. The NRC staff point of contact assured us that more of the meeting next Monday will now be accessible to the public.

Perhaps unsurprisingly (but no less shockingly), our legal counsel’s initial review of the less-redated Holtec “regulatory pathway” to restart Palisades scheme and documents has found that Holtec is asking NRC to simply waive its Atomic Energy Act-based regulations, and simply pretend that the permanent shutdown, and termination of the operating license, never happened. This free pass, or “Get Out of Jail Free Card,” would essentially allow Palisades’ old, terminated operating license to be instantly reinstated, enabling Holtec to bypass a full-blown, lengthy, costly, and undoubtedly controversial and fiercely contested operating license application and adjudicatory proceeding. Somehow, we have to block this proposed gutting and cynical nullification of long-standing NRC safety regulations, and even the Atomic Energy Act itself.

There is more than a whiff of complicity, that NRC staff is seriously entertaining the idea of colluding with Holtec International, and ultimately approving such an outrageous waiver of the agency’s own bedrock safety regulations. This is all the more alarming, given the conclusion reached by the Japanese Parliament, at the end of its investigation of the root cause of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe: the root cause was collusion between the regulatory agency, the company, and other government officials, which left the atomic reactors so catastrophically vulnerable to the one-two punch natural disasters (earthquake and tsunami) that hit them. As we’ve learned over the past 50+ years, such potentially catastrophic nuclear collusion exists in spades at Palisades! It wouldn’t necessarily take an earthquake and/or tsunami (although these, and other natural disasters, are actually possible at the Palisades site) to unleash a catastrophe at a restarted Palisades atomic reactor. A breakdown due to the extremely severe age-related degradation of the plant could be all it takes.

We urge you to attend this meeting on Monday, March 20th if you can, and spread the word to other public watchdogs concerned about nuclear safety and transparency, in hopes they can also attend. Feel free to forward this email alert. NRC and Holtec need to be made aware they are being very closely watched regarding this unprecedented scheme to resume operations at an atomic reactor that has been permanently closed.

Please read on, for more info. about the NRC-Holtec meeting on Monday, March 20th, as well as additional background documentation about this subject matter.


Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear and Don’t Waste Michigan

NRC’S MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT (note hot links to more info.):


Monday, 03/20/23, 3:00 PM – 4:20 PM ET


Meeting info

The purpose of the meeting is for Holtec Decommissioning International, LLC to discuss with the NRC staff their regulatory path to potentially request reauthorization of power operation at the Palisades Nuclear Plant, based on its February 1, 2023, letter. A portion of the meeting may be closed to discuss proprietary information. [more…]

Participation: Partially Closed


NRC One White Flint North
11555 Rockville Pike
Rockville MD

Webinar/Virtual Webinar Link:https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_MTU0MGFlZGItMmI1Yi00NGEwLTkwZjgtOGI0NTc1MWYxYWNh%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%22e8d01475-c3b5-436a-a065-5def4c64f52e%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22f4d12ca8-cdab-400f-9cf0-e494b8ccd74c%22%7d
Webinar Meeting Number:301-576-2978
Webinar Password:103 064 240#


Justin Poole
(301) 415-2048

Marlayna Doell
(301) 415-3178


Please note there is a public comment opportunity on the agenda. Please prepare and make public comments on these most critical matters to public health, safety, security, environment, and taxpayer pocketbooks!


At 11:15am ET on Wed., March 15, 2023, Terry Lodge sent the following email to the NRC staff points of contact for this meeting:

Subject: Request that NRC either cancel or open entirely for public viewing the March 20, 2023 meeting with Holtec Decommissioning International, LLC

The text of the email stated:

Dear Mr. Poole and Ms. Doell:

Please review and respond to my attached letter.

Kindly acknowledge receipt.

Thank you.

Terry J. Lodge, Esq.

316 N. Michigan St., Ste. 520

Toledo, OH 43604

(419) 205-7084

See the attached letter here.

NRC staffer Justin Poole then responded to Terry Lodge at 1:55pm ET on 3/15/22:

Mr. Lodge,


I wanted to make you aware that new version of Holtec’s February 1, 2023, letter has recently been made publicly available in ADAMS (this letter is dated March 13, 2023, attached).  The letter contains the same information as the as the February letter but has significantly less redactions so now a large portion of the letter is now available for the public viewing.  However, there is a portion of the information that staff is withholding, per the licensee’s request, in accordance with the requirements of 10 CFR 2.390.


With this new version of the letter, the meeting on March 20th will mostly be open to the public, with only the minimum amount of time reserved for issues that were properly redacted from the incoming consistent with 2.390.


Justin C. Poole

Project Manager

FitzPatrick/Seabrook/NextEra Fleet


U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission


NRC staffer Justin Poole attached this less-redacted version of the Holtec documents to his email.


After reviewing NRC’s latest communication above, Terry Lodge’s initial analysis stated:

It’s an improvement to see what some of their thinking centers on.

The main thing is a straight, naked exemption from coverage of the AEA [Atomic Energy Act], specifically, 10 CFR 50.82(a)(2). Holtec wants an explicit, “one-time exemption” to unring the bell. The regulation says this:

10 CFR 50.82(a)(2) Upon docketing of the certifications for permanent cessation of operations and permanent removal of fuel from the reactor vessel, or when a final legally effective order to permanently cease operations has come into effect, the 10 CFR part 50 license no longer authorizes operation of the reactor or emplacement or retention of fuel into the reactor vessel.

They’re trying to make delicensing an option, a two-way street.


We need all the help we can get to block the Palisades “zombie” reactor bailout and restart scheme. Please attend this meeting if you can. And please spread the word. Thank you.


Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear and Don’t Waste Michigan

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