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Palisades Nuclear Plant could face shutdown in 2017

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The Palisades Nuclear Plant on the Lakeshore in Covert Michigan.
The Palisades Nuclear Plant on the Lakeshore in Covert Michigan.

COVERT, MI (WTVB) - Reuters is reporting that Entergy has been put on notice, that the Palisades Nuclear Plant may be shut down by 2017, if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can’t be convinced that the nuclear reactor vessel continues to be safe to use.

Opponents of the plant say that the nuclear reactor vessel is one of the oldest in the country and after years of being bombarded by nuclear radiation, the metal containment has become brittle.  They say if there was an emergency, and the reactor suddenly had to be splashed with millions of gallons of cold water, that it would crack open like an egg.  It’s called "pressurized thermal shock."  If that happens, it would be a disaster on the scale of Chernobyl, and a large section of S.W. Michigan would become uninhabitable.  

The NRC says that it’s safe now, but figures there would be a small risk of it happening by 2017, unless Entergy can prove otherwise, or take steps to shore it up.  They plan a webinar on the debate on Monday.

 

 

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