Nuclear power plant in Michigan returns to service

Control room operators at Entergy (NYSE: ETR)’s single-unit, 811 MW Palisades nuclear plant in Covert Township, Mich., returned the plant to service on July 11 after completing repairs to the plant’s refueling water storage tank. Water from the tank is used to enable the transfer of fuel from the reactor to the spent fuel pool during refueling outages. The water is also an additional source of cooling water that can be used in an emergency.

The Palisades plant was removed from service on June 12 when daily leakage of water from the aluminum tank, which is 50 feet in diameter, 35 feet tall and holds up to 300,000 gallons of water, exceeded the 31-gallon administrative limit. Plant staff had been monitoring and collecting the leakage since April 28.

On June 26, after initial repairs were made, the tank was partially refilled, but the refill was stopped when tank leakage appeared again. The tank was emptied and additional examinations and repairs were made.

While refilling the tank on July 6, Entergy said workers observed water in the sand bed beneath the tank that provides support for the tank’s floor. This was expected since previous tank leakage had dampened the sand under the tank. No other leakage from the tank has been identified.

The plant will gradually increase to full power operation over the next several days.

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