Nuclear Regulatory Commission investigating Palisades Nuclear Power Plant

COVERT, Mich. – On Tuesday the Nuclear Regulatory Commission launched an investigation into the handling of a leak that shutdown the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant and a U.S. Congressman is asking the NRC to look at several startling accusations being made against Entergy Nuclear Operations, the plant’s operators.

On June 12, Entergy shutdown the plant because of a leak in a water storage tank.  A spokesperson for the NRC couldn’t go into detail about the investigation into the leak, but said they are ordering Entergy to give them safety assessment reports, an update on corrective actions and are looking into when the company first became aware of the leak.

On June 22, Representative Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to the NRC laying out several accusations being leveled against Entergy.  Markey’s letter stated that he had been informed that the company knew about the leak for over a year and did nothing, leading to the shutdown.  The letter even claims water was leaking into the plant’s control room and that the water was possibly radioactive.  Markey demanded an investigation into the leak.

The congressman also asked the NRC to review an April 2012  report about the “safety culture” at the plant that he claimed would show that, among other things, some employees believe they can’t challenge management decisions, that management doesn’t want problems reported and that some even believe management tolerates harassment against those who raise concerns about operations.

The NRC’s spokesperson would not confirm that the commission’s investigation had anything to do with Rep. Markey’s letter.  But, did say the NRC has asked for the same April 2012 report that Markey asked to be reviewed in his letter.

A representative of Entergy could not be contacted for comment.

The NRC has promised to forward more information to ABC57 on Thursday, we will continue to follow the investigation as it progresses.

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