Palisades Nuclear Power Plant, Covert Township, Michigan
Palisades Nuclear Power Plant is located in Covert Township in Van Buren County, Michigan. It was constructed in 1971, at which time it was owned by CMS Energy Corporation and operated by the Nuclear Management Company. Since 2007, the plant has been owned and operated by Entergy.
With a capacity of 798 megawatts, Palisades Nuclear Power Plant is a major source of electricity for the state of Michigan. Like all nuclear power plants, it is considered a relatively clean source of energy compared to burning fossil fuels. This is because nuclear plants do not need to burn fuels; as a result, they do not release potentially dangerous emissions into the air. However, the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant has been the center of controversy concerning its overall safety.
Criticism of Palisades Nuclear Power Plant
Safety must be a top priority for all nuclear plants. These plants use radioactive uranium to heat water into steam, which in turn powers electricity-generating turbines. Both the uranium and any water exposed to it must be handled and disposed of very carefully. Any unplanned events or emergencies can cause leaks of radiation into nearby air or water supplies.
Unfortunately, the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant’s safety standards have been criticized in recent years. In 2007, testing of groundwater near the plant found some contamination of radioactive waste. In 2009, environmental groups accused Entergy of delaying or cancelling necessary safety repairs at the plant. In 2010, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave Entergy a notice of violation to meet safety regulations.
Power plants of all kinds can have severe impacts on the environment and surrounding communities. If they are not carefully designed, constructed, and maintained, innocent people may have to suffer the consequences.