Final outage completed at Palisades plant

October 23, 2020, 7:01AMNuclear News

Palisades: The Covert, Mich., plant reentered commercial operation on October 21 for one last run. Photo: Entergy Nuclear.

Entergy Corporation’s Palisades nuclear power plant returned to service on October 21, following the completion of the Covert, Mich., facility’s final refueling and maintenance outage, which began on August 30.

The company invested more than $86.5 million during the outage, according to Entergy. The plant’s 600 full-time nuclear professionals worked with approximately 800 supplemental workers to replace reactor fuel and to inspect and upgrade hundreds of pipes, pumps, electrical components, and other equipment.

Quote: “Our dedicated employees and supplemental workers have worked diligently during the past several weeks to complete hundreds of tasks, inspections, and upgrades to prepare Palisades for safe and reliable operations as we enter our final cycle of electrical generation,” said Darrell Corbin, site vice president and the company’s top official at Palisades. “Entergy’s focus remains on operating Palisades safely and reliably, and we will continue to make the necessary investments into the plant.”

Background: The Palisades plant houses one 811-MWe two-loop pressurized water reactor that began commercial operation in December 1971.

In December 2016, Entergy announced that it would retire the plant in October 2018, in keeping with its strategy of exiting the merchant nuclear power business. In September 2017, however, the company then said that it planned to keep Palisades in operation until the spring of 2022 under its power purchase agreement (PPA) with Consumers Energy, due to an order by the Michigan Public Service Commission granting Consumers Energy recovery of only $136.6 million of the $172 million it had requested for a buyout of the PPA.

Entergy agreed in August 2018 to sell Palisades to a Holtec International subsidiary for accelerated decommissioning after the plant is shut down and defueled. The sale is also to include the site of the decommissioned Big Rock Point nuclear plant near Charlevoix, Mich., where only the independent spent fuel storage installation remains.

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