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Upton: Keep Palisades offline until completely repaired

7:23 PM, May 7, 2013   |    comments
  • The Palisades Nuclear Plant has been shut down five times in 2012.
  • AP photo of U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Michigan)
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WASHINGTON (WZZM) -- U.S. Rep. Fred Upton says the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant should remain shut down until its operators can permanently repair a leaky tank that spilled radioactive water into Lake Michigan.

"This situation is not acceptable and demands full accountability," says Upton in a Tuesday news release. "I have been in contact with both the NRC and Entergy and am demanding a permanent solution."

A Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) spokeswoman announced Monday that 79 gallons of "very slightly radioactive water" from the tank had spilled into the lake.  She said there was no human health risk from the spill.

Workers with New Orleans-based Entergy shut down the plant Sunday after finding the leak in a water stoage tank.

"It is my understanding that the water tank will be emptied by the end of the week with the hope that the cause of the leak can be identified shortly thereafter," says Upton.  "Every option must be on the table - including a full replacement of the tank - to ensure that the continuing leak will not occur again."

Upton plans to visit the plant with a board member from the NRC.

Palisades is in Van Buren County's Covert Township.  It has had a series of breakdowns over the last two years, leading to increased oversight by the NRC.

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