“We were here to see what has been done and to ask tough questions about the maintenance of the plant,” said Upton, who also serves as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “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.
“I want to see Palisades operate at the highest levels of safety. No one’s going to take a shortcut to safety – certainly not in our district, not anywhere in the country.”
While Upton was there, he talked to resident Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) inspectors at the plant.
“I wanted to hear from the front-line, boots-on-the-ground people to get the full story,” Upton said.
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 earlier this week.
The NRC 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 stated in a June 17 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 said he will continue to track progress at Palisades.
“We’re going to make sure it operates safely,” Upton said. “It’s vital to all of us living in Southwest Michigan.”