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Issue #12 | November 2021

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Transition & Resilience

A newsletter from the Nuclear Communities TA program


A conversation on decommissioning spent fuel management with a Nuclear Host Community

Thursday, December 2nd at 2-3pm ET

The Maine Yankee nuclear power plant closed in 1997 and was one of the first commercial plants to enter the decommissioning process and create a community advisory panel (CAP). While the plant completed decommissioning in 2005, the CAP continues to meet annually because the former nuclear power plant’s spent nuclear fuel remains stranded at the site indefinitely due to the federal government’s failure to remove it as required.  Join us on December 2nd at 2:00 pm to hear from two key figures in the Maine Yankee closure and decommissioning effort: Eric Howes, Director of Public and Government Affairs at Maine Yankee and Don Hudson, Chairman of the Maine Yankee CAP.  Eric and Don will share their 20+ years’ experience regarding the closure and decommissioning of Maine Yankee and the transition to today’s Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation.

Do you have ideas for future webinars or other virtual events for the Nuclear Host Communities program? Tell us about them through this suggestion form.

More Upcoming Opportunities


Southwest Michigan Advanced Research and Technology Park (SMART Park)

In an effort to strengthen and diversify the area’s economy, Midwest Energy & Communications, a rural electric cooperative and broadband service provider, applied for EDA Nuclear Closure Communities (NCC) funding to support development of the SMART Park on the land located next to its offices. Once completed, the SMART Park will sit on over 230 acres and is anticipated to be home to a mix of advanced manufacturing companies, including those in the solar, fiber optics, and data-hosting industries.


Reads and Resources

  • President Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law this week, which provides significant public investment in US transportation networks, broadband, and public works projects. This decision also allocates the largest sum in recent history toward remediating pollution and strengthening our communities’ environmental resilience, including more than $50 billion for USEPA to improve the environmental impact of our nation’s infrastructure. View White House factsheet.

  • NADO Research Foundation’s Economic Development Writing & Lecture Series presents ten issue briefs and accompanying short video lectures that address practical elements of doing economic development, current and emerging topics and themes, and broader commentary on the current state of economic development, especially in small metros and rural regions. Go to resource.

  • Nuclear Decommissioning In A Circular Economy: An increasing number of reactors now require decommissioning. The question that arises is how to decommission a nuclear facility in a manner that is consistent with circular-economy principles. Read Nuclear Engineering International’s take on it.

  • Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released a compelling statement after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved a proposed rule to amend the agency’s regulations for nuclear power plants undergoing decommissioning. Go to press release.

“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is responsible for ensuring a safe, effective, and efficient decommissioning process for nuclear plants ... The proposed rule does not include any of the critical changes to improve public and stakeholder participation, establish a comprehensive set of decommissioning and cleanup regulations, or address concerns about the safety and duration of onsite storage of spent fuel ... [it] allows the NRC and plant operators to cut corners on safety and limit public engagement at the expense of the communities near nuclear plants.”

More local reads:

Nuclear Question: Debate continues over long-term storage of nuclear waste in the Great Lakes. Bridge Michigan.

Two Canadian Mayors share insight on hosting nuclear industry in their communities. Lucknow Sentinel.

Pueblo County wants to replace Comanche coal plant with nuclear power. Local activists are worried. Colorado News Line. 


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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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