Executive Committee Resolution,
Southwest Michigan Group,
Michigan Chapter, Sierra Club
The Sierra Club Southwest Michigan Group Executive Committee
Resolution regarding closure of Palisades Nuclear Generating Station
WHEREAS the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that Michigan has higher residential electric rates than all but seven of the 48 contiguous states while Consumers Energy continues to honor its agreement to buy all the electricity Palisades Nuclear Generating Station can produce; and
WHEREAS early in 2016, analysts began suggesting that closing Palisades would be financially advantageous for the plant’s owner and operator, Entergy Corporation, and for the plant’s only customer, Consumers Energy; and
WHEREAS Entergy and Consumers have since agreed with financial analysts that terminating their power purchase agreement effective October, 2018, will serve both companies well and, according to estimates by both companies, will save Michigan’s utility customers $172 million dollars; and
WHEREAS Entergy therefore plans to permanently close its Palisades plant effective October, 2018; and
WHEREAS spokespersons for Consumers confidently report that closing Palisades will not adversely affect energy reliability and affordability in Michigan; and
WHEREAS media reports have documented a 45-year history of safety issues at Palisades, which indicates that continued operation of the plant may be dangerous; and
WHEREAS the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted Entergy numerous amendments to its Palisades operating license that allegedly have allowed the plant to operate under relaxed safety standards; and
WHEREAS convincing arguments abound against continued production and stockpiling of dangerous high-level nuclear waste at Palisades and elsewhere, as U.S. officials have developed no workable plan for safe and permanent disposal; and
WHEREAS calculating from figures quoted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and by Huffington Post, three recent bailouts of nuclear plants in New York State and two bailouts in Illinois will end up costing taxpayers and utility customers in those states more than $2.2 billion per plant, a burden the State of Michigan and its people cannot bear; and
WHEREAS NRC regulations require that, before a nuclear power plant begins operations, a fund must be established to pay for the facility’s ultimate decommissioning; and
WHEREAS the people of Southwest Michigan, our state, and our nation owe the dedicated and knowledgable Palisades work crew an enormous debt of gratitude for keeping us safe from catastrophe amid public allegations of instances of mismanagement by Entergy and lax oversight by the NRC, to the point where workers sometimes found it necessary to resort to “whistleblower” tactics, putting their employment and livelihood at risk to keep us safe; therefore
the Executive Committee of the Southwest Michigan Group, Michigan Chapter, Sierra Club resolves
THAT the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, and Michigan Public Service Commission must approve without delay the duly negotiated termination of the power purchase agreement between Entergy and Consumers; and
THAT the permanent closure and decommissioning of Palisades Nuclear Generating Station must proceed on schedule; and
THAT local, state, and national officials and legislators must neither offer nor consider providing financial assistance of any kind, including but not limited to subsidies, tax breaks, rate increases, or a bailout to keep Palisades operating or to cover decommissioning and extended security costs; and
THAT the State of Michigan must provide assistance with job placement, vocational training, and extended terms of unemployment compensation for workers who find themselves jobless due the plant’s closure, in recognition of the debt of gratitude owed to Palisades employees for their dedication and commitment to protecting the people of Michigan from possible disaster.
Organizations that endorse our Resolution
When word of our Resolution started getting out, we heard from others who wanted to sign on. So we started a list. We will update it as others add their endorsements.
Thanks to the following groups for supporting the Palisades workers and for opposing a bailout!
Nuclear Energy Information Service, Chicago, IL
Beyond Nuclear, Washington, D.C.
Don’t Waste Michigan, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Michigan Safe Energy Future
Michigan Safe Energy Future Shoreline Chapter January 2017 Statement on Planned Closure of Palisades Nuclear Plant
We, Michigan Safe Energy Future-Shoreline (MSEF-SH) members, support and are glad to hear of plans to permanently close Palisades Nuclear plant on October 2018.
We ask that the following items be addressed and communicated to our community immediately:
1. Entergy/NRC Region III, please provide a detailed plan to be shared with our community that describes the timeline, finances on reserve and actions that will be required to COMPLETELY restore the site to its natively safe and uncontaminated level.
2. We ask that the Palisades Decommissioning Fund be rapidly filled by Entergy Corporation profits to match the dollars required by the NRC in the escrow account BEFORE October 2018. Once the plant is fully decommissioned, any remaining funds in the escrow account may then be returned to Entergy Corp. The Decommissioning Funds must be placed into low-risk, diversified bank accounts to avoid repeating the losses to the fund that occurred during the 2008 financial crisis when the fund was held in the stock market.
3. We ask that the plant be fully decommissioned and not placed into “SAFSTOR” for an indefinite amount of time. Placing a plant into “SAFSTOR”, would push the cost of the decommissioning on future generations who did not benefit from its operation and who may not have the financial or technical resources to decommission it safely.
4. We ask that high level nuclear wastes currently stored at the site be relocated from their current location on the shore of Lake Michigan to a location further from the shoreline in Hardened On-Site Storage. This will allow for erosion of the shoreline over the ensuing centuries to not endanger our community and future generations.
In addition, we will work to educate and support replacing this industry by attracting future fossil-free, renewable energy business such as Solar production to come into the community and help employ and contribute to the area’s economy and tax base.