August 10, 2015

PRESS RELEASE: Sierra Club Files Amicus in Palisades Nuclear Plant Case

For Immediate Release 
August 10, 2015

Contacts: Mark Muhich: 517- 787- 2476 or
Walter Taylor: 319-366-2428 or
Sierra Club Files Amicus in Palisades Nuclear Plant Case

The Sierra Club has weighed in on the safety of the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in Covert, MI, owned by Entergy, with an amicus brief [1] filed August 7th with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The 44 year old Palisades plant is one of the oldest nuclear power plants in the world, and has the most “embrittled” reactor pressure vessel of any US nuclear plants. Entergy is now seeking unprecedented “regulatory relief” from federal rules governing the testing and maintenance of the nuclear reactor’s pressure vessel. 

"Entergy is trying to avoid following NRC regulations that would assure the safety of the Palisades pressure vessel,” says attorney Walter Taylor of Cedar Rapids, IA, who is representing Sierra Club.  “This is putting Michigan residents at risk of radioactive exposure."
Sierra Club’s brief supports a decision by the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board panel to require a full evidentiary hearing on this matter, which was issued on June 18th [2].

Four environmental organizations, Beyond Nuclear, Don’t Waste Michigan, Michigan Safe Energy Future-Shoreline Chapter, and Nuclear Energy Information Service, submitted the petition to the ASLB panel calling for a formal evidentiary hearing into the severity of “embrittlement” of the Palisades reactor pressure vessel after Entergy applied for regulatory relief.  On July 13th, Entergy appealed the ASLB decision to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

“Sierra Club has long maintained a national policy of “unequivocal” opposition to commercial nuclear power,” said Mark Muhich, chairman of the Sierra Club’s Nuclear Free Michigan Committee. “We felt compelled to weigh in on this case because a rupture of the Palisades pressure vessel due to embrittlement could kill thousands of western Michigan residents, ruin thousands of square miles of the best agricultural land in the state, and poison Lake Michigan, the source of drinking water for millions of people.”

View a text version of the amicus brief here, or email for a full copy.

[1] Sierra Club’s full amicus brief is available upon request to Mark Muhich (contact info above) or a text version is available at this link.
[2] ASLB panel Memorandum and order from June 18th can be found here: