Congressman inspects Palisades Nuclear Power Plant

6:26 AM, May 14, 2013   |    comments
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The Palisades Nuclear Power Plant near South Haven.

COVERT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Company managers and government regulators say Palisades Nuclear Power Plant near South Haven will not return to service until a radioactive leak is fixed and inspectors say it's safe.

The power plant shut down May 5 after 80 gallons of radioactive water leaked from a cooling tank into Lake Michigan.

"We will assure ourselves that we have addressed the leakage before we put water back in," says Palisades CEO Tim Mitchell.

Monday, St. Joseph Congressman Fred Upton and Nuclear Regulatory Commission Member Kristine L. Svinicki joined plant CEO Mitchell for a tour of the cracked cooling tank.

"We will do whatever it takes to make sure corrective measures are appropriate and adequate," said NRC Commissioner Svinicki.

"This is to be a safely run plant if it is to operate at all," added Congressman Upton.

But protestors outside the plant were skeptical. They say the 42 year old facility is falling apart and unsafe.

"I want them to stop doing band aid fixes on this plant," said protestor Bette Pierman. "Make the repairs, fix the equipment or shut it down."

"Any exposure to radiation carries a risk for cancer," said protestor Kevin Kamps.

Palisades shut down for repairs last June when the same tank started leaking radioactive water from a different crack.

No one would say how long they thought the plant would be off line this time.

"I will be back," promises Congressman Upton. "I will be back before it comes back on line."

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