Skip to main content

The Effects of a Shutdown Nuclear Plant

Lisa Black of the Chicago Tribune wrote a piece on the effects the shutdown Zion plant in Illinois has had on the community:
Ronald Schuster remembers exactly how he felt when he heard the Zion Nuclear Power Station would close, a decision that rocked the community that relied on it for much more than electricity.

"It was literally like someone got hit in the solar plexus," said Schuster, a radiation-protection safety officer who was herded into a meeting at 8:05 a.m. Jan. 15, 1998, to hear the news.

...

The plant's closing marked a crushing blow to blue-collar Zion, where it had served as the city's largest employer and taxpayer. Nearly 2,000 out-of-town contractors left town immediately, and the 860 regular full-time workers began looking for new jobs.

Some local businesses saw sales plummet by 25 percent to 30 percent, said Eugene Swindle, who said his auto shop lost up to $6,000 monthly when workers stopped coming in.

Across the street, a new owner of Dunkin' Donuts panicked when shift workers no longer filled the store at midnight, and he returned the store to its previous owner.

"The plant became a way of life in the community," said Mayor Lane Harrison, 57, who grew up in Zion. "We were relying on that one golden goose. ... Everybody was just hoping against hope that they wouldn't close."
You don't know what you will miss until it's gone. For more information on the economic benefits of a nuclear plant, click here.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…