Skip to content


Ripples from US nuclear plant closings overwhelm small towns via abc news

Living in the shadows of the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant’s cooling tower, which soars above Lake Erie in Ohio like an oversized lighthouse, brings with it some give-and-take.

On the plus side, it generates tax money that once paid for a high school swimming pool and auditorium. Then there are the stockpiles of radiation pills and emergency drills for students in case of a disaster.

For the small, mostly rural towns that are home to 61 U.S. nuclear plants that produce one-fifth of the nation’s electricity, each one has been like the golden goose supplying high-paying jobs and money for roads, police and libraries.

But those same places and their residents are bracing for what may come next due to the soaring costs of running aging reactors that have speeded up the closings of a handful of sites and are threatening at least a dozen more. That’s because once the power stops flowing, so does the money.

Towns that already have seen nuclear plants shuttered are now dealing with higher property taxes, cuts in services and less school funding — a new reality that may linger for decades.

In Wisconsin, the tiny town of Carlton saw the source of roughly 70 percent of its yearly budget disappear when the Kewaunee nuclear power plant closed four years ago. That resulted in the first town tax in its history.

[…]

To make matters worse, many closed sites can’t be redeveloped for new uses because they’re still storing radioactive waste.

Some hope the Trump administration’s new budget proposal to revive the mothballed disposal site at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain will eventually allow for new development at the former plants.

“We have become a de facto nuclear waste dump. It just sits there, and sits there forever,” said Al Hill, the mayor in Zion, Illinois, where spent nuclear fuel remains stored on prime property along Lake Michigan even though the plant shut down 20 years ago.

On top of that, the closing took away half of the city’s tax base and pushed property taxes to the highest in the state, making it difficult to lure new businesses, Hill said.

Left behind are empty storefronts and little foot traffic, said Chris Daisy, who runs a downtown bicycle shop.

“It’s had a devastating effect on this town,” he said. “It’s terrible. Any town with a nuclear power plant in it or near it is in danger of suffering the same fate.”

Read more at Ripples from US nuclear plant closings overwhelm small towns

Posted in *English.

Tagged with , , , , .


0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.