COVERT, MI (WHTC) - Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials admitted during a “webinar” last night that the metal surrounding the main reactor at the Palisades plant near Covert is some of the most fragile among such commercial facilities in the nation, and that it will exceed standards for brittleness by 2017. The issue came up as the agency discussed the effects of pressurized thermal shock, in which a heated reactor is filled with cold water due to an emergency or accident. However, the NRC concurred with plant operator Entergy in saying that Palisades is currently operating safely within present federal regulations. The facility is licensed through 2031, but activists have been pressuring the NRC to close it due to its age of 42 and a number of shutdowns in recent years. Another webinar on radioactive releases is set for July.
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