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Thursday
May052011

Entergy Nuclear and NRC break safety promises at Palisades atomic reactor

Beyond Nuclear, in alliance with Don't Waste Michigan, has issued a media release accusing Entergy Nuclear of indefinitely postponing multiple, vital safety repairs -- and NRC of letting them get away with it. The 44 year old atomic reactor, which just began its NRC-approved 20 year license extension on March 24th, needs its reactor lid replaced, its steam generators replaced, its emergency sumps upgraded, and its fire protection regulations upgraded. In addition, Palisades' high-level radioactive waste dry cask storage -- just 100 yards from the water of Lake Michigan -- remains vulnerable to earthquakes; Palisades' indoor pool, storing many hundreds of tons of high-level radioactive waste, remains vulnerable to disruptions of the primary electric grid, as it lacks any backup power. Any one of these risks could lead to Chernobyl- or Fukushima-scale radioactivity releases in the heart of the Great Lakes, source of drinking water for 40 million people in the U.S., Canada, and many Native American First Nations.  (In the photo above, Mike Keegan, Alice Hirt, and Kevin Kamps of Don't Waste Michigan's board of director speak out against the reactor and radioactive waste risks at Palisades during the Aug. 2000 Nuclear-Free Great Lakes Action Camp; Palisades' cooling tower steam is visible in the background; the crosses bear the names of surrounding downwind communities that could be ruined in the event of a catastrophic radioactivity release).