Meeting this week to focus on Palisades environmental impact


A Nuclear Regulatory Commission meeting set for Thursday to prepare for the environmental review of Holtec International’s plans to restart the Palisades nuclear power plant is intended to get as much public input as possible.

NRC spokesperson Scott Burnell tells us the agency is conducting several reviews of the Palisades restart plan, and this is just one of them. They’re looking at how the facility in Covert will affect the environment and community around it in several ways.

“It is the start of the environmental side of the NRC’s review of the various requests Holtec has put in front of us,” Burnell said. “The staff will need to complete its environmental review so that the conclusions can be considered in the ultimate decision of whether or not to authorize Palisades to restart.”

So, what are they considering?

“We look at potential effects on groundwater resources, marine biology, land biology, potential for effects on the community, not just potential effects on human health, but we also look at socioeconomic effects.”

Burnell says Thursday’s meeting will be from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College. There will be an open house from 5:30 to 6 for people to meet with NRC staff.

The meeting is so long so there’s enough time for everyone to have their say. Input from the public will be included in the environmental review.

Burnell says the process of approving a Palisades restart still has a long way to go, telling us it will at least extend well into next year.


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