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Palisades Plant Down for Repairs; Under Fire by NRC for "Chilled Work Environment"


COVERT, MI (WHTC/WKZO) - The Palisades Nuclear Plant has shut down to fix a seal in one of the four main pumps that cool the reactor and keep it from overheating.

The reactor was shut down late on Friday evening. Spokesperson Lindsay Rose says they detected that the seal was not performing the way it should. She says fixing it now will make the plant more reliable during the prime air conditioning season in July and August, when the plant’s capacity for generating electricity will be needed, but didn't say how long it will take to complete the repairs and restart the reactor. 

Meanwhile, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says it’s not satisfied that management at the Palisades plant has done enough to address the "chilled work environment" within their Security Department. The issue was mentioned as an ongoing NRC concern when the plant was visited by Commission Chair Allison Macfarlane and Congressman Fred Upton on June 6th.The NRC sent a letter to the plant on Friday stating the facility is falling short of assessing and understanding the causes of the problem. and that management has not demonstrated a strong commitment to improving the safety environment in that department. Palisades has 30 days to respond to the NRC with proof that they have taken or will take action on the Palisades Security SWCE Action Plan.

Finally, the Palisades plant management will host an open house at the Beach Haven Event Center in South Haven tomorrow evening from 5 to 7 PM. The public will get a chance to meet with staffers from the facility and to discuss various plant topics.