We are pleased to announce that the company has submitted a filing with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to formally begin the process of seeking federal reauthorization of power operations at the 800-megawatt Palisades Power Plant in Covert Township, Michigan. This filing follows a series of public meetings with NRC staff to lay out the path to reauthorize the repowering of Palisades within the Agency’s existing regulatory framework.
Palisades has had a distinguished record of safe and reliable operation. Prior to shutdown, Palisades operated in the NRC’s highest safety category, completed consecutive record-breaking production runs and was recognized within the industry as a high performing plant.
“Our licensing submittal is a significant step in exploring the potential for Palisades to continue contributing to the region’s energy and economic needs, while adhering to the highest safety and regulatory standards,” said Jean Fleming, Holtec International Vice President of Licensing, Regulatory Affairs and Probabilistic Safety Analysis. “We understand the importance of nuclear power in our nation’s energy mix and the critical role it plays in providing safe, reliable, carbon-free electricity here in Michigan. Palisades’s safety and operational performance met the industry’s highest standards when it was taken offline last year. Its systems and equipment remain well maintained and in excellent material condition. This licensing submittal is the first of a series of submittals intended to return Palisades to full operation.”.
Following Holtec’s acquisition of the Palisades Power Plant in June 2022, the plant is now on track to become the first successfully restarted nuclear power plant in the United States, thanks to the plant’s superb material condition and the strong support it has received from its community, state and federal partners. In early 2023, Holtec applied to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office for federal loan funding to repower Palisades. The company is working cooperatively with the Department to move the loan application process forward. On July 31, 2023, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law the State of Michigan’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget, which provides $150 million in funding for the plant’s restart. And on September 12, 2023, Holtec jointly announced a multi-decades long power purchase agreement (PPA) with Michigan’s not-for-profit rural electric cooperative Wolverine Power Cooperative for the sale of Palisades’s power output.
The repowering of the Palisades Power Plant will greatly enhance Michigan’s carbon-free energy generation, the region’s grid reliability and decrease the region’s reliance on (expensive) energy imports. The revived plant will employ over 600 personnel with a payroll of over 80 million dollars and will help create over 500 million dollars in secondary economic activity in the area. During operation, Palisades paid more than 10 million dollars in property taxes every year to support local schools, law enforcement, fire protection, parks, libraries, and other community resources, making it one of the largest taxpayers in Van Buren County. “Holtec plans to build up the Palisades site into a mega-clean energy provider to the region with the restarted Palisades Power Plant as its centerpiece,” said Kelly Trice, Holtec International President of Nuclear Generation and Decommissioning.