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Palisades Plant to Remain Dark as Leaky Tank is Replaced

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Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in Covert (Nuclear Regulatory Commission photo)
Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in Covert (Nuclear Regulatory Commission photo)

COVERT, MI (WKZO/WHTC) - The nuclear reactor at the Palisades plant in Covert will be shut down until sometime this summer while workers remove and replace the bottom of a 300-thousand gallon aluminum tank that has sprung two leaks in the last two years, and caused the reactor to be shut down twice, the latest coming on May 5 that led to nearly 80 gallons of "highly diluted" radioactive water to spill into Lake Michigan. Apparently the inspections showed wear, and the likelihood of more leaks. The tank was original equipment at the facility, making it over 40-years old. Chief Operating Officer Tim Mitchell detailed the issue during a press conference earlier this month after there was a leak of radioactive water that ended up in Lake Michigan. Replacing the bottom of the tank will also permit them to replace the subflooring under it. There is no timetable as to when the plant will go back on line. It’s the ninth shutdown of the plant since January 2011; nuclear opponents are clamoring the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to close the facility permenantly. 

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