Palisades Nuclear Plant in Michigan Plans to Reopen With $1.5 Billion Loan

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The conditional loan from the Energy Department is part of a broad effort to revive the use of nuclear energy in the United States.

The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it had agreed to provide a $1.52 billion loan guarantee to help a company restart a nuclear power plant in Michigan — the latest step in the government’s effort to revive the nation’s reactors.

The loan guarantee from the Energy Department will allow Holtec International to revive the Palisades nuclear plant in Covert Township, Mich., on the shores of Lake Michigan and about 40 miles west of Kalamazoo, and keep it going until at least 2051. The loan guarantee is conditional on the facility receiving regulatory approvals and fulfilling other requirements. The plant ceased operations in May 2022.

Nuclear power plants produce electricity without emitting the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet, a feature that has made them popular with lawmakers and energy executives. But many of the country’s nuclear reactors, including the Palisades plant, are at or near the end of their lives and need major upgrades. And few U.S. companies have built new nuclear plants in recent decades because doing so is incredibly expensive and time consuming. As a result, lawmakers in both parties have backed incentives and subsidies for nuclear energy.

Holtec bought the Palisades plant in 2022 in order to close the facility but later campaigned to reopen the plant with the backing of the Michigan governor, Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat.

“Once open, Palisades will be the first successfully restarted nuclear power plant in American history, driving $363 million of regional economic impact and helping Michigan lead the future of clean energy,” Ms. Whitmer said in a statement.

Federal loan guarantees and grants are expected to help extend the life of other plants and spur the development of new technologies to help ensure there is sufficient power to electrify home heaters, cars and industry.

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