Officials Asked Not To Restart Troubled Nuclear Power Plant In U.S. State

( – A group of individuals and organizations has written to the federal government to ask that a nuclear power plant in Michigan not be reopened. The plant was shut down last May but has since been purchased by Holtec International, a company the group claims is planning to reopen the plant despite initially saying it would be decommissioned. The coalition, which is comprised of 191 individuals and 185 groups, warned the Department of Energy that if the plant is restarted, it will increase the risk of environmental disaster and contamination of drinking water in the region.

The letter alleges that Holtec secretly applied for funding from the Department of Energy’s Civil Nuclear Credit scheme to reopen the facility. That request was rejected and now a second attempt has been made. According to a report by the Holland Sentinel, “Holtec is taking a different route with its second attempt at funding. Rather than applying through the CNC program, the company applied for funds from the US Department of Energy loan office.” The group of locals is now campaigning to have that second request refused as well. 

The company admits that it will face a variety of hurdles to reopen, even if it does secure government funding. It said the obstacles include securing a power purchase agreement, gaining the financial support of the Michigan state government, maintenance and improvement of the facility, and partnering with an operator licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 

There are currently 54 nuclear plants in the United States. They have generated approximately 20% of the nation’s energy since 1990. While some environmental campaigners fiercely oppose establishing more such facilities, others argue that nuclear power is the only route out of fossil fuel usage. At the moment, more than 60% of America’s power comes from fossil fuels, and with low rates of success from solar and wind power, the voices speaking out for nuclear energy are likely to be louder as the government seeks to cut fossil fuel use by half before 2030. 

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