Holtec International – which aims to restart the shuttered Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan – is interested in building one of its small modular reactors (SMR) at the site.
The company participated in a public meeting Nov. 1 with U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff to discuss the matter. Holtec is hoping to obtain a Limited Work Authorization and Construction Permit application from NRC.
Holtec’s SMR-160 is a pressurized light-water reactor, generating 160 MWe/525 MWt using low-enriched uranium fuel, which could also produce process heat for industrial applications and hydrogen production.
It’s unclear how many SMR units Holtec plans to pursue at the Palisades site.
“Our company will continue to engage the agency as we work through pre-application activities,” a statement sent by Holtec reads in part. “The company has previously observed that former power plant sites – both nuclear and non-nuclear – may be ideal candidates for citing SMR, such as at Palisades.”
Holtec is targeting the end of the decade for SMR deployment.
The company acquired Palisades nuclear plant in June 2022 just after it was shut down. Holtec wants to restart the plant, but this is contingent on federal dollars to get the plant up and running again. In early 2023, Holtec applied with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office for federal loan funding to repower Palisades.
Federal energy officials are reviewing the $1 billion grant application, expected to be the primary investment in the nuclear plant restart.
In September Holtec and Wolverine Power Cooperative announced the signing of a long-term power purchase agreement that would allow the restart of the 800 MW plant.
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