Listing of press related to our efforts to save Palisades

A Michigan nuclear plant is set to close. Does it threaten state’s zero-carbon future?

The Detroit News:  February 27, 2022, by Carol Thompson

One of Michigan’s three nuclear plants will shut down this spring after more than 50 years in operation, removing a major power supplier from the grid and, some climate advocates fear, hindering the state’s ambitions to create a carbon-neutral economy.

Palisades Power Plant could continue operating from its 432-acre campus along Lake Michigan in Covert Township through 2031, when its license expires.

But Mississippi-based Entergy Nuclear instead is scheduled to shutter the plant May 31 and sell it to a New Jersey company for decommissioning.

Closing Palisades makes financial sense for Entergy and Consumers Energy, the Jackson-based utility company that is nearing the end of its long-term agreement to purchase Palisades’ power.

But nuclear energy advocates are pushing state officials to keep Palisades open. Otherwise, they fear Michigan won’t reach its zero-carbon goals.

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Pro-nuclear climate activists urge Michigan governor to save power plant

The Week:  February 23, 2022, by Grayson Quay

More than 230 “experts and concerned citizens” signed a letter written by advocacy group Protect Nuclear Now begging Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) not to close the state’s Palisades nuclear plant, according to a statement the group released Wednesday.

Palisades is one of three nuclear plants in Michigan and provides enough carbon-free electricity to power 800,000 homes, according to the state’s energy department and Entergy, the company that operates the plant.

Protect Nuclear Now notes that although Entergy opted to stop running the plant in May as part of a larger strategy of exiting the merchant nuclear power business,” Palisades is licensed to operate until 2031.

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Pro-nuclear group asks governor to stop Palisades Power Plant closure

The Herald Palladium: February 16, 2022, by Juliana Knot, Staff Writer

COVERT — A climate coalition is seeking to reverse the impending Palisades Power Plant closure, a move they say would both hamper clean energy efforts and devastate the local economy.

Protect Nuclear NOW sent a letter, which had nearly 200 signatures from environmentalists, researchers and energy workers, to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s and other state legislators’ desks on Monday. The letter calls for state lawmakers to use funds from the Department of Energy’s newly formed $6 billion nuclear credit program, which aims to prevent the premature closures of nuclear plants.

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Keep Diablo Canyon open, 79 scientists, academics and entrepreneurs tell Newsom

San Luis Obispo Tribune: February 3, 2022, by Mackenzie Shuman

The pleas asking California Gov. Gavin Newsom to delay the closure of PG&E’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County keep coming.

On Thursday, Dr. Steven Chu, former U.S. Secretary of Energy under the Obama administration and a Nobel laureate, and more than 75 scientists, academics and entrepreneurs sent a letter to Newsom urging him to find a way to keep the plant open because of the necessary carbon-free, clean electricity it provides to the state’s electricity grid.

Diablo Canyon currently provides about 18,000 gigawatt-hours of clean electricity annually, comprising of about 10% of the state’s electricity portfolio.

“The threat of climate change is too real and too pressing to leap before we look. Considering our climate crisis, closing the plant is not only irresponsible, the consequences could be catastrophic,” the letter reads. “We are in a rush to decarbonize and hopefully save our planet from the worsening effects of climate change. We categorically believe that shutting down Diablo Canyon in 2025 is at odds with this goal. It will increase greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and make reaching the goal of 100% clean electricity by 2045 much harder and more expensive.” The letter was sent by the nonprofit foundation Save Clean Energy, which was organized primarily to protest the closure of the nuclear power plant.

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Delay Close of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant, MIT-Stanford Study Says

Engineering News Record: November 18, 2021, by Mary B. Powers

Scientists and engineers from Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology claim in a new report that delaying retirement of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., by a decade until 2035 would reduce carbon emissions from state utilities by more than 10% and save $2.6 billion in power costs.

With accelerating effects of climate change, issues facing California “compel a reassessment” of the closure plan, researchers say. The 2,240-MW two-unit plant, which began operating in the mid 1980s, can remain economic for the foreseeable future, they said.

Using it for desalination also could also increase fresh water in the state for a significantly lower cost than other methods, the academics said.

A settlement was approved in 2018 to permanently close the plant in 2025, before a California law required it to supply all power from zero-carbon sources and before an executive order directed the state to become climate neutral by 2045. Diablo Canyon, owned by utility PG&E, supplies 15% of California’s carbon-free electricity.

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Opinion | Why closing Palisades nuclear plant is like sinking the lifeboats

Todd AllenBridge Michigan: October 14, 2021, by Todd Allen, Guest Commentator

In Washington, the President says we’re in a climate crisis and an economic crisis, and he has set aggressive targets to control greenhouse gases while retaining and creating well-paying jobs. To address these twin crises, Congress is preparing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on clean energy projects. Soon, U.S. leaders at the 26th 2021 United Nations climate change conference, starting on Halloween, are expected to make bigger promises about how America will reduce its carbon emissions.

Yet, in southwestern Michigan, we are preparing to close the carbon-free Palisades nuclear plant and replace it with fossil fuels, increasing carbon emissions while costing hundreds of long-term, family-wage jobs. This decision seems like sinking the lifeboats in the face of a massive iceberg.

The state of Michigan can and should step in to keep Palisades running.

[Continue reading this opinion piece which inspired us to take action!]