October 20, 2015
Covert, Michigan – Entergy’s Palisades Power Plant has returned to service after a $58 million investment to upgrade and inspect plant equipment, plus a $63 million investment in new fuel, for another 18 months of safe, emissions-free energy generation. In another positive development for the western Michigan nuclear power plant, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission returned Palisades to the agency’s highest safety category.
Following its second longest continuous production run, Palisades Nuclear Power Plant shut down on September 16 to begin a planned refueling outage. Palisades was reconnected to the grid at 9:23 p.m. on Monday, October 19.
The outage put 1,600 skilled professionals and $58 million to work in southwest Michigan to complete more than 9,000 tasks to refuel and make important upgrades, inspections and replacements to prepare the plant for continuing safe and reliable service. The supplemental workforce dramatically increased the plant’s economic contributions to the local community through accommodations, dining and shopping services.
“This refueling outage was a great success,” said Palisades Site Vice President Tony Vitale. “The equipment maintenance, replacements and upgrades prepared Palisades to deliver another 18 months of safe, clean, reliable electricity to Southwest Michigan.”
During the outage Palisades also completed safety enhancements ordered after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, an additional $50 million safety investment. Those enhancements will serve as even greater, more robust defenses against significant potential external events, such as tornados, flooding and earthquakes.
In early September, Palisades underwent an NRC inspection to address occupational radiation safety related to control rod drive replacement during the 2014 refueling outage. Because of corrective actions the plant has taken, the NRC returned Palisades to Column 1 of the agency’s Reactor Oversight Process – the highest safety category.
Palisades was online generating electricity more than 98 percent of the time during its previous operating cycle. U.S nuclear power plants are among the most reliable electricity generators, operating on average more than 90 percent of the time.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $12 billion and approximately 13,000 employees.