The Palisades Nuclear Plant in Michigan was shut down in May of this year, and now chances of it staying open, rather than remaining decommissioned appear low after the plant’s application for federal funding was rejected, despite the support of the state.
Holtec International, which currently owns the plant, applied in an effort to restart operations, though it ultimately didn’t work out.
Patrick O’Brien, director of Government Affairs and Communications at Holtec, noted that the demands of an operator and a skilled workforce likely factored into the rejection.
State officials, most notably Gov. Gretchen Whimer, have rallied to keep the nuclear plant in operation as part of its clean energy initiatives. Whitmer had personally penned a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy vouching for the Palisades plant.
The U.S. has never restarted a decommissioned nuclear plant before.
“The Palisades decommissioning timeline is a 19-year timeline,” noted O’Brien. “So there’s some time to work through anything legislatively and really decide the best use of the property long term once we get that site cleaned up.”