Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, shares the concerns of many with the presence of another tank leak that has again shut down the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant and is calling for the facility to remain offline until the problem is permanently fixed. Upon learning of the leak, Upton, who serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has been in close contact with both the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRC), the independent federal agency charged with overseeing nuclear reactor safety and security, and Entergy Corporation, the New Orleans-based company that owns and operates the Covert Township facility.
"This situation is not acceptable and demands full accountability," said Upton. "I have been in contact with both the NRC and Entergy and am demanding a permanent solution."
Upton plans to visit Palisades with a member of the NRC Commission to inspect the recent leak. The NRC is headed by five Commissioners appointed by the President.
"I expect to personally visit the facility with an NRC commissioner in the very near future. When it comes to nuclear energy, safety must always come first, and without that assurance by the NRC, the facility needs to stay offline.
"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. Every option must be on the table -- including a full replacement of the tank -- to ensure that the continuing leak will not occur again."