Are Palisades & Cook Nuke Waste Pools A “Catastrophe Waiting To Happen”?

By Doug Cunningham

An environmental coalition opposed to shipping radioactive waste through Michigan to a proposed new interim dump in New Mexico says it is a harebrained idea while a catastrophe is waiting to happen in waste storage pools at the Palisades and Cook nuclear power plants.

Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear says two days of hearings are being held in New Mexico on the Holtec/ELEA interim nuke dump. If that dump opens, tons of nuclear waste would be shipped through Michigan.

“If you’re right there in Benton Harbor/ St. Joe you’re about fifteen miles south of Palisades. You’re about fifteen miles north of Cook. The waste has to come out of those storage pools because those are catastrophes waiting to happen.”

But he says the answer is not what he called a harebrained idea to open a New Mexico interim dump and risk shipping radioactive waste all that distance. Kamps says that poses too great risk – from Gamma radiation to accidents and terrorist attacks.

“So the pools need to be emptied into hardened onsite dry cask storage as close to the point of generation as possible as safely as possible. Get it away from the lake shore, get it to higher ground. Fortify it against accidents and attacks. That’s what needs to happen in the interim for years or decades.”

Kamps says nuclear power is a dying industry and the future is in sustainable energy. Palisades will be shutting down in 2022.