Upton tours nuclear plant, stresses workplace safety

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) toured the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant on Friday and received assurances from plant officials that full corrective measures had been taken to allow the facility to restart operations.

The plant was offline for 43 days after a leak in the bottom of a water storage tank was discovered. Following a replacement of the tank floor and nozzles, Palisades returned to service on June 17th. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission independently verified that Entergy Corp., Palisades’ owner, repaired the leak and verified that the plant is safe to operate.

“In total 10 NRC inspectors performed a wide range of inspections to ensure the leak in a refueling water tank, the reason for the shutdown, was fixed,” NRC officials said in a recent report. “Going forward, the NRC will continue to make sure the tank remains safe. We will independently inspect the areas around the tank where leaks have been previously identified and will follow Entergy’s actions to monitor the tank.”

Upton spoke to resident Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors during his visit.

“I wanted to hear from the front-line, boots-on-the-ground people to get the full story,” Upton, who also serves as chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said. “We were here to see what has been done and to ask tough questions about the maintenance of the plant. We appreciate the hard work Palisades employees have done to fix this problem, but we want to know what Entergy’s plans are to prevent future problems from occurring.”

Upton said he plans to continue to track progress at Palisades.