A letter has been sent to the U.S. Department of Energy by a coalition of environmental groups asking that it hold the Palisades nuclear power plant to a high standard as it considers giving a loan to plant owner Holtec.

Beyond Nuclear’s Kevin Kamps tells us Holtec is seeking a $1 billion loan from the department to get Palisades restarted. He says the Department of Energy should review whether the Palisades plan is in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

“We’ve certainly heard no talk from Holtec or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or the Department of Energy to undertake a review of past environmental impact statements,” Kamps said. “The last one done was in 2006. It was associated with the 20-year license extension, which we also resisted.”

Kamps says with a plan as big as restarting a nuclear reactor, there should be an environmental impact study.

“Here we go again. This is a $1 billion pot of money, and we’re just asking the Department of Energy to be legally compliant in all regards before it grants this money.”

The state has already allocated $150 million to help Holtec restart Palisades with a promise of another $150 million if that federal loan is approved. Kamps says Holtec wouldn’t have to pay it back.

Kamps notes Holtec has indicated Halloween is the deadline for when it needs to hear back from the Department of Energy, so we should be getting some news soon.

The letter to the Department of Energy can be found here.