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Biden Administration to Lend $1.5B to Restart Michigan Nuclear Power Plant

via CBS

The US government will provide a $1.5 billion loan to restart the Palisades nuclear power plant in Michigan.

The plant was shut down in 2022 but recently acquired by Holtec International which plans to restart it by 2025.

This would be the first nuclear plant restart in the US. The loan aims to restore carbon-free electricity for the region while supporting jobs.

Some critics have concerns about safety given the plant’s age.

Restarting will require extensive inspections, testing and approval from nuclear regulators.

“Nuclear power is our single largest source of carbon-free electricity, directly supporting 100,000 jobs across the country and hundreds of thousands more indirectly,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said.

“The repowering of Palisades will restore safe, around-the-clock generation to hundreds of thousands of households, businesses and manufacturers,” said Kris Singh, Holtec president and chief executive.

“It is a loan we have to pay back,” Holtec spokesman Patrick O’Brien said.

While nuclear energy sees growing support as a carbon-free option, experts note restarting an old plant presents significant technical challenges and regulatory hurdles to ensure safety.

The loan aims to facilitate the plant’s contribution to energy security if those challenges can be addressed.

“There is more enthusiasm toward nuclear power — in Congress, in the industry and also internationally,” stated Najmedin Meshkati, an engineering professor at the University of Southern California.

“It puts the onus and burden on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Holtec to double down on efforts to make sure this plant is safe enough and all the safety measures are intact,” Meshkati said regarding Palisades.

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