U.S. Congressman Ed Markey (Democrat-Massachusetts, pictured left) issued an August 30th press release entitled "Markey Questions Palisades Nuclear Plant In Light of New Leak, On-going Safety Issues," containing a link to his letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Allison Macfarlane. Entergy Nuclear's Palisades atomic reactor is located in southwest MI, on the shoreline of Lake Michigan.
Markey serves as Ranking Member of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, and as a Senior Member of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. He has watch-dogged nuclear power issues in the U.S. for decades, including safety and security risks at the problem-plagued Palisades atomic reactor for many years running.
In his press release and letter, Congressman Markey questions the safety implications of Palisades' latest leak-related shutdown, on August 12th, involving primary reactor coolant water, leaking through-wall from a Control Rod Drive Mechanism (CRDM). CRDMs are involved in the safety-critical control of the nuclear chain reaction in the atomic reactor's core. Palisades has been shutdown since the August 12th leak investigation began, but Congressman Markey notes that Palisades began reactor restart on August 30th. Palisades is now operating at full power.
Markey also questions NRC about an investigation, ordered by former NRC Chairman Jaczko, and allegedly interferred with by NRC Commissioner Ostendorff. Jaczko ordered an investigation into why he was kept in the dark about a leak of acidic and radioactive water into Palisades' control room, being caught in buckets, while he toured the atomic reactor on May 25th. Markey revealed the significance of that leak in June, after a tip off from courageous Palisades whistleblowers and their Washington, D.C.-based attorney, Billie Pirner Garde.
NRC will hold a public meeting in South Haven about Palisades' (lack of) safety culture, on Wed., 9/12 from 6-8:30 PM. Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps, who hails from southwest Michigan, will speak on "The Radioactive Catastrophe Waiting to Happen at Palisades, and What You Can Do to Prevent It," in his hometown of Kalamazoo, on Thurs., 9/13 from 7:30-9 PM. Click here for more details on those two events, as well as for extensive background information regarding recently revealed, as well as very long term, safety, health, and environmental risks at Palisades.