Palisades chronology: “Palisades’ rocky history” covers 52 years and counting. This is page 9.

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.

Palisades chronology

  • 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 – through the end of 2017: news on how Southwest Michigan is adjusting, Entergy’s license amendment requests, and more.

Palisades Chronology Page 9: October through December, 2017

October 9

When Entergy announced that Palisades would close in October of next year, Van Buren County officials and Kinexus, a community and business development group, began working together to plan for life after Palisades. Their collaboration continues even though the plant apparently will operate until April of 2022. Zachary Morris, Kinexus Economic Development Consultant, told the Paw Paw Courrier-Leader:

The extra time extends our ability as a community to prepare for the inevitable closure of the plant. It gives us time to thoughtfully plan out how to mitigate the impact of the closure and begin implementing strategies to lessen its effects.

October 12

The Press Telegraph asks, “Will Entergy Corporation (ETR) Run Out of Steam Soon?” Their report says Entergy stock is underperforming the S&P 500 by about 15%.

October 15

While Van Buren County officials “felt a sense of relief” when the Palisades closure plan was delayed until spring of 2022, MiBiz reports that planning continues for “life after Palisades” and the loss of “roughly seven percent” of the county’s tax revenue. Valerie Brand of Southwest Michigan First said, “Obviously, we’re very excited the closure is coming at a later date. It will give us more time to lay out opportunities and next steps for what we need to do toward the 2022 deadline.” MiBiz reported “vague talk from state and local officials about the need for partnerships.” Bland said her organization has “generated some very good leads.”

October 18

In response to an inquiry from Iris Potter of Michigan Safe Energy Future, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region III Public Affairs Officer Prema Chandrathil said that Entergy’s proposals to amend the Palisades operating license in light of its plan to close the plant next October are “still under review.” Even though Entergy has since announced that it plans to keep operating the plant until April, 2022, when its power purchase agreement with Consumers Energy expires, Entergy apparently has not withdrawn its amendment proposals; nor has the NRC ruled on the amendments.

Here are the proposed amendments and links to the documents Entergy submitted to the NRC (PNP stands for Palisades Nuclear Plant):

December 5

In March, 2017, Palisades admitted to the NRC that the plant was “not adequately protected from tornado missiles.” Five months later, MLive reported that Entergy said, “Measures are in place.”

Apparently not. On November 27, after NRC gave Palisades “an enforcement discretion expiration date of June 10, 2018,” Palisades said it was going “to request to extend the enforcement discretion from June 10, 2018, to June 10, 2020.” Entergy filed that request on December 5.

December 20

Report says Nuclear Regulatort Commission “downplays safety warnings.”
Palisades made the list of examples: “— The U.S. Department of Labor ordered the Palisades nuclear plant near South Haven, Michigan, to rehire veteran security guard Chris Mikusko who claimed he was laid off in retaliation for pointing out security problems. Mikusko filed a similar whistleblower complaint with the NRC, which rejected his allegations as unsubstantiated.”
More detailed report here: “NRC = Nobody Really Cares” https://projects.bettergov.org/power-struggle/whistleblowers.html

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End of Palisades Chronology, Page 9.

Quicklinks to our Palisades Chronology pages

  • Page 1 – From 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 through December, 2017.

See also our blog posts on Palisades and nuclear energy.