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  • Nuclear Decommissioning and Brownfield Redevelopment: Articulating the Overlap

    Thursday, December 12, 12:15 pm - 01:15 pm
    502 B
    Town Meeting Conversations
    Track 1: Sustainability, Livability, Resiliency
    There are 95 operating nuclear power plants around the country, and all will eventually close. We’re seeing the first wave of closures now, with an uptick anticipated by 2030. Whether sudden or planned, nuclear plant closures often impact small, rural communities, leaving them with substantial areas of land that are home to stockpiles of spent nuclear fuel. In a cascade of negative impacts, plant closures dramatically impact tax revenue, population, jobs, housing prices, identity and cultural capital. Sound familiar? It should: the profile of nuclear host communities and the impacts of plant decommissioning resemble those experienced by brownfield-impacted communities. Nuclear decommissioning is as much a part of the energy transition as increasing renewables, but as a public policy issue, it has not received nearly as much attention. Economic recovery for nuclear host communities is not within the mandate of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or the Department of Energy. The U.S. Economic Development Administration is leading efforts to develop this area of policy and practice. Decommissioning is receiving increased attention from Congress, but the issue is new. Join this radiant, one-of-a-kind discussion for a dialogue with the country’s leading non-profit decommissioning organization and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, and help us think through, in real time, what nuclear decommissioning can learn from brownfield redevelopment and vice versa.
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