News about Palisades – from “rocky history” to shutdown announcement, reversal, and beyond
Editor’s note: News about Palisades Nuclear Generating Station took so much space on our News Page that we decided to put it somewhere else. Our Palisades Chronology now takes up nine pages.
- Page 1 begins with a link to “Timeline: Palisades’ rocky history” published in The Herald Palladium on December 9 and goes to the end of 2016.
- Page 2 covers January and February, 2017, including MPSC closing its initial case in the matter and opening a new one.
- Page 3 brings our Palisades news up to date on plant problems in March and April, up to news about a November tritium tritium leak that wasn’t made public until it was buried in a routine NRC report on April 28.
- Page 4 starts with a report on MPSC’s public hearing in Lawrence and goes through June, 2017.
- Page 5, July, Part 1 – news on the MPSC legal case and a report on the July 13 program that Bette Pierman organized with Chris Williams, who shared what he’s learned watching the decommissioning at Entergy’s Vermont Yankee plant.
- Page 6, July, Part 2 – a Palisades “Event Report,” an NRC investigation, and the July 26 Open House.
- Page 7 goes from the August 17 report that Palisades fixed its tornado problem to the September 26 MPSC news release about its ruling on Consumers’ PPA buyout plan.
- Page 8 – the last three days of September: Entergy’s decision, reactions, and a seven-year list of security amendments.
- Page 9 – news on how Southwest Michigan is adjusting, Entergy’s license amendment requests, more to come.
Palisades Chronology Page 8: news from the last three days of September
An Entergy news release announced that, in light of last week’s Michigan Public Service Commission ruling, it has cancelled its plan to close Palisades.
In December of 2016, Entergy Nuclear and Consumers Energy reached a privately negotiated agreement whereby Consumers would pay Entergy $172 million dollars to cancel the final four years of their 15-year power purchase agreement. The PPA was part of the 2007 transaction that sold Consumers’ Palisades plant to Entergy. On September 22, 2017, MPSC ruled that Consumers could pay Entergy only $136 million to extricate itself from the PPA. Under the plan announced last December, the PPA would have terminated in October, 2018, costing Palisades its only customer, and Entergy would close the plant. Instead, Entergy has decided that it could not accept a $36-million reduction in its asking price to cancel the PPA. Entergy will hold Consumers to the terms of the PPA, and Palisades will continue to operate. Entergy’s license to operate the plant expires in April, 2022.
Despite its refusal to accept $136 million to terminate the PPA, “Entergy remains committed to its strategy of exiting the merchant nuclear power business,” according to its news release. Over the past few years, Entergy has sold off, or closed, or announced the closing of several of its nuclear plants.
In a news release from Beyond Nuclear, Kevin Kamps likened Entergy’s decision to a hostage situation. “The hostage takers demanded a ransom from ratepayers. MPSC did not agree to the full amount demanded. So the hostage takers have refused to release the hostages.”
A news release from Sierra Club Michigan Chapter called Entergy’s decision to keep Palisades operating “confounding,” especially in light of the fact that the very news release that announced its decision not to close the plant reiterated Entergy’s several-year-old stance that the company “remains committed to its strategy of exiting the merchant nuclear power business.”
Other media reports:
- September 28, Mlive: Entergy plans to keep Palisades nuclear plant operating through 2022
- September 28, Michigan Radio: Palisades Power Plant will not close early after all
- September 28, Midwest Energy News: Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan to shut down in 2022
- September 28, VAN 92.7, Holland, Michigan: Mixed Reaction to Palisades Announcement
- September 28, Michigan Agency for Energy: Prepare now for 2022 closing
- September 29, The Herald Palladium: More prep time for economic blow
- September 30, News/Talk 94.9 WSJM, Benton Harbor: Sierra Club Slams Palisades Decision
- September 30, Forbes: Palisades Nuclear Plant Will Continue Operating Through 2022
Research by Michael Keegan of Don’t Waste Michigan has turned up a long history of physical plant security and cyber security amendments and exemptions requested and granted for Palisades, as detailed in these official U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission reports going back seven years.
- March 25, 2010 – Exemption request for a delay in full implementation of certain requirements regarding “physical protection of plants and materials.”
- March 25, 2010 – Above exemption request granted.
- May 28, 2010 – Request for license amendment regarding cyber security sent back to Entergy with questions to be answered
- July 26, 2010 – Withdrew amendment request and asked for another
- April 4, 2011 – Answers to questions and request for another license amendment
- May 9, 2011 – Cyber security amendment granted
- July 28, 2011 – Informed of new cyber security license amendment
- January 22, 2013 – Major revisions to site emergency plan
- December 30, 2013 – NRC Internal Memorandum, “Enhanced Guidance For Licensee Near-Term Corrective Actions To Address Cyber Security Inspection Findings”
- February 10, 2014 – NRC acceptance of delay in Palisades Cyber Security Plan Implementation Schedule
- April 30, 2014 – Request for more information about delay in Palisades Cyber Security Plan Implementation Schedule
- May 22, 2014 – Entergy’s response to request for more information about delay in Palisades Cyber Security Plan Implementation Schedule
- August 21, 2014 – NRC granted Entergy’s license amendment request for a delay in Palisades Cyber Security Plan Implementation Schedule
- December 8, 2014 – NRC specified that the license amendment allows the Palisades Cyber Security Plan Implementation to be delayed until June 30, 2016.
- December 18, 2014 – Entergy requests a license amendment to revise fire safety standards
- February 27, 2015 – NRC grants license amendment revising fire safety standards
- June 11, 2015 – Entergy license amendment request asks for delay in full implementation of Cyber Security Plan until December 15, 2017
- March 30, 2017 – Entergy license amendment request asks for delay in full implementation of Cyber Security Plan until December 15, 2017, to account for transition to a decommissioned plant.
- May 10, 2017 – NRC grants Entergy’s license amendment request asks for delay in full implementation of Cyber Security Plan until December 15, 2017, to account for transition to a decommissioned plant.
End of Palisades Chronology, Page 8
Quicklinks to our Palisades Chronology pages
- Page 1 – day one, June, 1965, to the end of 2016
- Page 2– January and February, 2017.
- Page 3 – March and April, 2017.
- Page 4 – May and June, 2017.
- Page 5 – Early to mid July, 2017.
- Page 6 – Mid to late July, 2017.
- Page 7 – August, 2017, through September 26.
- Page 8 – The last three days of September, 2017.
- Page 9 – October, 2017.