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Biden Admin Approves Massive Loan To Reopen Nuke Plant That May Close In A Few Years

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The Department of Energy (DOE) announced Wednesday that it would be funding a ten-digit loan to restore a 53-year-old nuclear power plant in Michigan that, due to regulatory hurdles, may close again after 2031.

DOE has committed to giving Holtec, a New Jersey-based energy company, a $1.5 billion loan to renovate the Palisades Nuclear Plant in Covert Township, Michigan, according to a press release from the department. [emphasis, links added]

The DOE says the plant, after being renovated, will “produce baseload clean power until at least 2051,” but that it would need to request a license renewal as its current certification only covers the facility through 2031.

“We don’t know if Holtec is going to be able to secure that extended license renewal, and that means the plant could have to shut down again in just a few years,” physicist Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety for the Union of Concerned Scientists, told The Detroit News.

“That certainly raises questions about the capital investment in restarting at this point. Clearly, if they don’t expect to be able to run it for another 20 years, it probably wouldn’t make sense.

Now that the plant has secured federal support, $150 million in state funds earmarked by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will be disbursed to aid the renovation effort, according to The Detroit News.

Palisades Nuclear Plant opened on New Year’s Eve 1971 and was decommissioned in 2022 after the DOE raised concerns about the plant’s safety. A seal on the device controlling atomic reaction at the facility had degraded by that point, The Associated Press reported.

A Holtec spokesperson directed the Daily Caller News Foundation to a press release the company put out on Wednesday detailing its commitment to safety.

“Prior to shut-down, Palisades operated in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) highest safety category,  completed consecutive record-breaking production runs, and was recognized within the industry as a high performing plant,” the release reads.

“Like all commercial nuclear plants in the United States, a repowered Palisades would continue to operate under the independent federal oversight of the U.S. NRC.

If renovated, the plant would produce 800 megawatts of power a day, according to the DOE. Whitmer says the plant will provide 600 jobs and produce hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefits.

Read rest at Daily Caller

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