LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is petitioning for an energy company to seek more review before it undertakes a license transfer that could cost Michiganders money and safety.
AG Nessel is petitioning the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to look more closely into a case involving a license transfer request for the Palisades Nuclear Plant and Big Rock Point Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation, which are both currently owned by Entergy Co.
Nessel is requesting a hearing for the transfer of control of the licenses to those facilities from Entergy to Holtec International.
Earlier this month, Entergy and Holtec filed an application asking for the approval of the transfer of control of the licenses. Entergy plans to retire the Palisades Nuclear Plant in 2022.
A trust fund of about $550 million was established with ratepayer funds to decommission the Palisades. Not only does Holtec want to use that fund to decommission the Palisades but also to handle the site restoration and fuel management cost.
Attorney General Nessel filed her petition and request to further review this license transfer application.
In her petition, Nessel said that she supports safe decommissioning, site restoration and fuel management at Palisades, but she’s concerned that Holtec does not have the financial qualifications to complete a risk-intensive project.
The petition demonstrates that Holtec has underestimated the costs for actual decommissioning, thus threatening the health and safety of Michigan residents, according to Michigan AG Dana Nessel. The petition also questions Holtec’s exemption request to use the decommissioning funds for site restoration and nuclear fuel management without providing evidence of other funding sources.
“Protecting the environment, the health and the pocketbooks of Michigan residents are part of my responsibilities as attorney general,” said Nessel in a press release. “My concern is that by seriously underestimating the cost of decommissioning, site restoration and nuclear fuel management, coupled with a lack of appropriate financial assurances, Holtec endangers our environment and health, and potentially leaves our residents to bear the costs of proper clean-up.”
Palisades Nuclear Power Plant is located in Covert Township and the Big Rock Point facility is located in Hayes Township both on the shores of Lake Michigan.