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Illinois nuclear plant shutdown situation – defacto radioactive dump

DecommissioningNuclear plant shutdown in Illinois could offer lessons for SLO County  Power plant in Zion, Illinois, closed nearly 2 decades ago because of an employee’s mistake. Tribune, 26 June 16

Community leaders say storage of spent nuclear fuel is preventing redevelopment of desirable lakefront property

They are leading a push to obtain federal financial compensation for communities that become de facto storage sites for waste  BY STEPHANIE FINUCANE sfinucane@thetribunenews.comNearly 20 years after the shutdown of a nuclear power plant in the small community of Zion, Illinois, the city’s finance director describes the local economy in a single word: struggling.

“We’ve lost about $18 million communitywide,” said David Knabel, referring to the annual property tax that used to be generated by the power plant. “That tax burden got shifted to businesses and residents.”

Since the plant closed, property tax rates rose 143 percent, according to city documents. That’s made it tough to attract new employers.

“With the tax rate going through the roof … who wants to buy a house or bring businesses in?” asked Knabel.

Yet Zion isn’t blaming the nuclear power plant. As local pastor and City Commissioner Mike McDowell pointed out, that was a business decision.

The city is upset, though, that it’s become a long-term storage site for highly radioactive spent fuel — something it never signed on for.

Officials say the spent fuel is preventing redevelopment of the prime lakefront property where the plant was built, and they’re looking to the federal government for financial relief.

“We can’t get the federal government to move it,” said McDowell, “and at this point, we’re not being compensated for the impact.”……..

Once the decommissioning is complete, the property will be returned to Exelon Corp., the parent of Zion’s operator, Commonwealth Edison.

Officials in the city of Zion don’t know when that will be, nor do they know how much of the property could be permanently off-limits because of the spent fuel storage facility.

Like reactor communities across the nation — including San Luis Obispo County — the citizens of Zion did not expect to store spent nuclear fuel indefinitely. They believed the federal government would make good on its commitment to accept the waste, which at one time was destined for Yucca Mountain, Nevada. That plan fell apart, however, and the federal government has yet to identify an alternative site for permanent storage.

Zion is leading a push for federal legislation that would provide financial compensation to communities that have become de facto storage sites for spent fuel………


June 27, 2016 - Posted by | politics, USA, wastes

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