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City of Zion stuck with costly, dirty, dangerous nuclear wastes

Zion skyline in for a change with planned razing of nuclear towers, Mary McIntyre, News-Sun, 15 Sept 17,  The green-capped concrete towers of Zion’s barren lakefront will be gone soon, but the nuclear waste that has crippled the city economically will remain. Zion Solutions, which is part of Utah-based EnergySolutions, will finish deconstructing and demolishing the former Zion nuclear power plant and its 20-story containment silos in 2018, according to EnergySolutions Vice-President Mark Walker, but 61 casks full of spent nuclear rods will remain on-site indefinitely.

The silos — which were the tallest structures in Lake County when they opened in the early 1970s and are second in overall structural height to the 330-foot Sky Trek Tower at Six Flags Great America — are scheduled to come down during the first quarter of next year.

“The project will be physically completed with (deactivation and decommissioning) in 2018,” Walker said. However, although the federal government designated decades ago that the waste would go to Yucca Mountain in Nevada for permanent storage, the facility has not yet opened, and Zion is stuck with the waste until a solution can be found.

“We’re very concerned with the fact that these casks are visible, and they’re vulnerable,” Kraft said.

Kraft said storing the casks near Lake Michigan is not appropriate in a post-9/11 world.

“They’re lined up like bowling pins,” he said. City officials are also unhappy with the storage of the casks, attributing Zion’s economic troubles to the closed facility.

When ComEd was running the plant, Zion received about $19.5 million annually in taxes from it, according to Zion Finance Director David Knabel. However, with the plant shut down, the 267 lakefront acres owned by the Exelon, which now owns ComEd, generate only $500,000 annually in taxes……

Under a law passed in 1982, energy companies have sued the Department of Energy for billions of dollars because of its failure to provide long-term nuclear storage. However, Knabel said, since Zion’s agreement was not with the federal government, it cannot sue under that law.

Last year, then-U.S. Rep. Bob Dold introduced legislation that would have granted Zion $15 million per year for seven years to compensate for the economic damage caused by storing the nuclear waste. Dold lost re-election last year to Brad Schneider, who is exploring similar legislation with U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth that would include a grant to the city and tax incentives for businesses to come there, according to a Schneider spokesman.

Schneider plans to hold a general meeting for constituents Saturday at the Zion City Hall on Sheridan Road at 11 a.m.

City officials are also unhappy with the storage of the casks, attributing Zion’s economic troubles to the closed facility……..

When ComEd was running the plant, Zion received about $19.5 million annually in taxes from it, according to Zion Finance Director David Knabel. However, with the plant shut down, the 267 lakefront acres owned by the Exelon, which now owns ComEd, generate only $500,000 annually in taxes……. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/lake-county-news-sun/news/ct-lns-zion-nuclear-plant-demolition-st-0916-20170915-story.html

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September 16, 2017 - Posted by | USA, wastes

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