Duane Arnold nuclear plant to close in 2020

Iowa’s only nuclear plant is said to stimulate $255 million in economic activity in the state, and about half a billion nationally…

Duane Arnold announced on July 27, 2018 that it would permanently close its doors by 2020. The plant, located outside Cedar Rapids, is a General Electric boiling water reactor that generates about 615 megawatts of power each year.

But because of the economic climate, it will be more advantageous for its owners to accept an early buyout of its power purchase agreement and invest in renewable power sources, like wind:

Alliant Energy has agreed to pay NextEra Energy Resources $110 million in 2020 to shorten the DAEC PPA by five years.

NextEra Energy Resources say they’ll invest a roughly $650 million in existing and renewables by the end of 2020. Of that money, about $250 million is expected to go towards four wind facilities. By opening the wind facilities, an estimated 200 construction jobs will be created during the process.

The powering of the new wind facilities should generate around 340 megawatts of electricity for Alliant Energy customers.

Reports say that approximately 540 employees will eventually lose their jobs once the plant ceases operations. By 2025, the staff level is expected to drop to 50 people while decommissioning progresses.

Nuclear decommissioning can take up to 60 years to complete if the SAFSTOR option is invoked. The intent behind SAFSTOR is to allow most of the radioactivity within the plant to decay significantly, which would make the dismantling process safer for workers.

One thought on “Duane Arnold nuclear plant to close in 2020

  1. In the early seventies, there was a lot of public protest against building nuclear power plants. Those in the know knew the plants could operate safely for decades. Protesters pointed to Chernobyl (release of vast amounts of radioactive particles into the atmosphere over many square miles). Later they pointed to TMI (release of practically no radioactive particles, but was a disaster of public confidence caused by operator error (failure to determine that an Aux Feedwater valve was closed.)

    Now that the commotion has died down and the public is aware that nuclear plants can operate safely while generating huge amounts of electricity, the “save the planet” folks have come to the front demanding that we harness solar power. Covering vast amounts of the earth’s surface with photovoltaics is not a “save the planet” technology, nor does the sun shine on the earth 24/7 nor is the erection of huge farms of windmills capable of producing reliable power continuously”. We’re left with extracting huge amounts oil and gas (created millions of years ago and not replenish-able) from the earth and when it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

    Wealthy businessmen buy windmills for the tax write off they receive. When the windmill grinds to a halt due to lack of maintenance, it is abandoned.

    Getting the public to understand these simple concepts seems wearily difficult. By now it should be obvious to everyone who wants to save the planet that nuclear is not only the best way, there is no better option.

What do you think?