Nuclear Power Plants and Residential Housing Prices: Evidence from Two California Plants
Growth and Change
Nuclear power plants can theoretically influence property values through a number of different channels. The public perception of risk associated with the potential hazard from the operation of a nuclear reactor and the storage of nuclear waste may lead to lower bids on properties in close proximity to the plant. In contrast, workers at the plant may be less concerned with any potential hazards, and may actually value being in proximity to the workplace. Hence, one cannot a priori sign the distance gradient of homes in the vicinity of a nuclear power plant. In this study, a hedonic model coupled with geographic information system (GIS) techniques is used to estimate housing price surfaces around two nuclear power plants in California. The use of GIS software allows more potential influences to housing prices to be accurately incorporated than previously included in hedonic studies. Based on the evidence from the plants chosen, these findings do not support the contention that negative imagery surrounding nuclear power plants or stored nuclear waste has a significant detrimental influence on residential home prices in the immediate vicinity of these facilities.