Plant Operation

Palisades / Holtec To Reapply For Funding In Bid To Restart Michigan Nuclear Plant

By David Dalton
21 December 2022

DOE rejected initial request in November
Holtec To Reapply For Funding In Bid To Restart Michigan Nuclear Plant
Holtec applied in May for federal funds to restart the Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan.
Holtec International is to reapply for federal funding to allow it to restart the single-unit Palisades nuclear power station in Michigan, which closed down in May after more than 50 years in operation.

The company said it will submit its application next year, when the US Department of Energy starts accepting applications for the second round of the Civil Nuclear Credit Program, a $6bn (€5.6bn) investment through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help preserve the existing US reactor flee.

In November, Texas-based Holtec said the DOE had rejected its application for funding for Palisades, which the company acquired earlier in 2022 for decommissioning after it was permanently shut down by previous owner Entergy.

At the same time, the Biden administration announced the approval of up to $1.1bn in conditional funding to keep California’s last commercial nuclear power station, the two-unit Diablo Canyon, online beyond its scheduled shutdown in 2025.

Holtec applied in May for federal funds to restart Palisades, an effort state governor Gretchen Whitmer described as a “top priority” for the state. “I will do everything I can to keep this plant open, protect jobs, increase Michigan’s competitiveness, lower costs and expand clean energy production,” Whitmer wrote in a letter to energy secretary Jennifer Granholm.

Plant Would 'Shore Up' Reliable Energy Production

She said keeping Palisades in operation would protect 600 high-paying jobs at the 805-MW pressurised water reactor facility and 1,100 additional jobs throughout the community while also “shoring up clean, reliable energy production in Michigan”.

Kris Singh, Holtec’s president and chief executive officer, said Palisades is of vital importance of Palisades to Michigan’s clean energy future as a source of safe and reliable carbon-free electricity. He said the governor and her team have been instrumental in supporting this opportunity to keep the plant open.

When the decision not to grant funding was announced, Holtec said: “We fully understood that what we were attempting to do, restarting a shuttered nuclear plant, would be both a challenge and a first for the nuclear industry.

“This decision to reapply is one that we did not take lightly, but the support of the state of Michigan, local officials and key stakeholders – who recognise the significant benefit in providing a safe, reliable, carbon-free power source, as well as providing a significant economic impact through good paying jobs and the use of many local goods and services – leads us to believe this is the best path forward for the facility and our state,” Holtec said.

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