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Transition & Resilience: The Bulletin

Issue #4 | March 2021

Welcome to news from the Nuclear Closure Communities Technical Assistance team, helping communities that host a nuclear power plant better prepare and plan for a post-nuclear future. Learn more and get in touch at


Views from the field


Our team has spent the last few months speaking to a variety of communities who host nuclear power plants that run the gamut: from stations that have long since closed to those closing soon or perhaps not for decades into the future. While each host community has its own unique set of circumstances, obstacles and opportunities, we are seeing patterns emerge as we continue talking to these host communities. For some great insights, read this “view from the field” from Jim Hamilton with the Nuclear Decommissioning Collaborative.

Building community capacity and strengthening resiliency

The services we are providing to local communities generally fall into three categories. The first two, planning and evaluation/analysis are available at no cost to host communities under our existing Cooperative Agreement with the Economic Development Administration (EDA). As action/implementation efforts are more substantial in scope, these may be undertaken with additional support from EDA available through the Nuclear Closure Communities grant program.

Planning. We assist communities just getting started on their resiliency journey. In this stage, our services focus on establishing baseline information such as modeling the economic relationship between the plant and the surrounding region. We also provide first-hand knowledge about what to expect during the decommissioning process and how local communities may work to influence outcomes. We find that the best planning comes from a solid understanding of the fundamentals.

Evaluation / Analysis. With the basics in place, we help host communities evaluate and analyze a variety of economic development scenarios. We help communities model the impacts of plant closure and create various strategies to mitigate closure-related job loss. Development of mitigation and resiliency strategies can begin before, during or after plant closure but we often find that early planning, wherever possible, is a community’s best approach.

Action / Implementation. Implementation plans build upon good planning and analysis. These can range from the implementation of economic resiliency programs to more substantive infrastructure projects targeted at mitigating the impacts of plant closure. 

Two difficult questions: economic subsidies for nuclear power and disposing of spent nuclear fuel

The issue of subsidies to support the ongoing operation of nuclear power plants is heating up. Power companies are making announcements that plants will be shut down without increased subsidies, other states are taking steps to eliminate current subsidies, and the fate of numerous plants are tied to this question of subsidies. The spent nuclear fuel (waste) generated from a plant’s operation has long been a burden to host communities.  While the federal government is responsible for finding a permanent solution, they have not and over 80,000 tons of this fuel remains stranded at nuclear power plants across the country. This makes redevelopment or re-use challenging.  For more on these two thorny issues, read Jim’s full post here >>

Keep reading and resources

Could Diablo Canyon become a green energy hub? ‘Grand vision’ includes eco-tourism, research: Read about the massive partnership of business, education, environmental and political players being proposed for the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant once it closes in 2025. “Put simply, we believe that the Central Coast should be the gateway to a new frontier of renewable energy innovation.” 

The Economic Impact of the VY Station on Windham County and Vermont: The economic impact of the operation and eventual decommissioning of the Kewaunee Nuclear Power Station was estimated to be $630 million. This report includes recommended actions to address regional leadership and capacity building, entrepreneurial development, tourism and new energy industry potential, and other issues relevant to any community facing or preparing for the closure of a local power plant. 

Five-Year Strategic Plan for Economic Development, Citrus County, FL: When the Crystal River power plant closed in 2013, about 600 workers lost their job and the economic impact on the region was comparable to the Vermont Yankee closure. The shut-down led to the development of a highly-acclaimed five-year community action plan that spells out a variety of steps to help recover from economic shock.

The Social and Economic Impacts of Nuclear Power Plant Closures, Indian Point Task Force: This impact analysis by the Institute for Nuclear Host Communities outlines findings, goals, and best practices for the closure of Indian Point Energy Center in southeast New York, highlighting the role of local expertise to coordinate the many components that work together to create rural prosperity, and the long-term strategies to replace lost economic activity (and support new and small businesses!)

CEDS 101: What you need to know right now about the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

Watch our partners at NADO Research Foundation discuss how you can use the CEDS planning process to bring together a diverse set of partners to generate good jobs, diversify the economy, and spur economic growth. Get in touch with Brett Schwartz at for more information. Go to recording >


Check out The Nuclear Decommissioning Collaborative’s regularly updated news board to keep up to date with nuclear decommissioning initiatives across the country. 

Upcoming events and opportunities

Join SGA for a public briefing about the findings in this year’s Dangerous by Design report and hear how dangerous streets continue to put vulnerable people walking and traveling actively at risk, and what needs to happen to start to turn around this terrible, decades-long trend. March 25, 2021 @2:00-3:00 pm EDT

NADO Research Foundation is hosting the webinar "Rural Resilience and Economic Development," a discussion to address structural challenges and opportunities in small towns and rural communities, “Mega Trends” in rural development, a prosperity community development framework, how to build entrepreneur-led ecosystems, and much more. March 23, 2021 @2:00-3:00 pm EDT

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is accepting applications for the Build to Scale Program, a $38 million funding opportunity that fuels tech-based economic development in regional economies. Applications close April 29. 

The American Association of Retired Persons’ (AARP) Community Challenge provides grants to fund quick-action projects to help communities become more livable for people of all ages. Applications are accepted for projects for public spaces, housing, transportation, civic engagement, coronavirus recovery, diversity, inclusion, and more. Applications are due April 14.


Know someone who might like to join this email list? Signing up is easy.

To inquire about partnering with the team on behalf of your community, please fill out the contact form on SGA’s website.

This effort utilizes Federal funds under award ED20HDQ3030068 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the project team and do not necessarily reflect the views of EDA or the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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