As reported by the St. Joe Herald-Palladium, Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps -- as well as other anti-nuclear activists from Don't Waste Michigan -- called for the permanent shutdown of the long problem-plagued Palisades atomic reactor in southwest Michigan, on the Lake Michigan shoreline. The watchdogs spoke out at a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission meeting about two of Palisades' five un-planned shutdowns in 2011, one of which the NRC and even Entergy Nuclear admit was of "substantial siginificance to safety."
Kevin was quoted as saying "We should not be here today, actually. The plant should have been shut down at the end of its 40-year license. This plant was a lemon to begin with. We see Palisades as an accident waiting to happen. The risks are very great. Talk is very cheap. Throw the book at this company. It's way past time to shut (it) down."
Referring to a worker who was nearly electrocuted, Palisades' general manager of plant operations, David Hamilton, confessed "I could have killed somebody" during the incident, which also caused the loss of half of the reactor's control room indicators. Kevin expressed concern for the worker's safety as well, but pointed out that NRC's own "Calculation of Reactor Accident Consequences" in 1982 reported that a catastrophic radioactivity release at Palisades could cause 4,000 "peak early fatalities," 7,000 "peak early injuries," 10,000 "peak cancer deaths from cancer," and $52.6 billion in property damage downwind and downstream. However, the report was based on 1970 U.S. Census data, so almost certainly significantly underestimates potential casualties. When adjusted for inflation, property damages would now top $137 billion.
Don't Waste Michigan led the campaign from 2005 to 2007 to block Palisades' 20 year license extension, but were steamrolled in the NRC's rubberstamp proceeding. Palisades' previous owner, Consumers Energy, admitted in spring 2006 that several major safety repairs or replacements were needed -- such as to the highly embrittled reactor pressure vessel, for the degraded reactor lid and steam generators -- but Entergy has not done so.