The closing of any major employer in a town can have catastrophic effects on any community. Consequently, there are many economic benefits — both for site owners and surrounding communities — to repurposing the usable components of a retiring coal power plant for an advanced nuclear plant at the same location. For more information about the benefits of the coal-to-nuclear transition, contact Christine King, GAIN Director, at [email protected] or 650-283-4235.

Establishing Permanent jobs

Jobs will be positively affected by a transition from coal to nuclear technology. According to a case study in the Investigating Benefits and Challenges of Converting Retiring Coal Plants into Nuclear Plants report, if a large coal plant site is replaced by a nuclear power plant of equivalent size, jobs in the region could increase by more than 650 direct, indirect and induced permanent jobs.

The jobs include positions across the nuclear plant, the supply chain supporting the plant as well as the community supporting the plant. Typically these jobs come with a 25% higher wage than other energy technologies.

Image of a nuclear reactor control room
Permanent jobs, like those required for a nuclear power plant’s control room, could increase wages in a community. Image courtesy of Idaho National Laboratory.
Main Street in Logan, Utah. Photo by Michael Hart on Unsplash.
The ongoing economic activity ensured by transitioning from coal to nuclear power plants will allow U.S. main streets to continue flourishing. Pictured is Main Street in Logan, Utah.

Increasing economic Activity

Long-term job impacts, of transitioning from an all-coal scenario to an all-nuclear scenario, could lead to additional economic activity of approximately $275 million — of which $102 million is new labor income (i.e., wages) — the study indicates.

Included in this economic benefit is a 92% tax revenue increase from the nuclear plant for the hosting local county. This income would benefit local schools, infrastructure and public services. More than 72% of the increase is a result of taxes paid by the plant, and the remaining 28% is divided between suppliers and community spending. County-level taxes increased by 59% while state taxes increased by 64%.

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