The Effect of Decisions About Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage on Residential Property Values
Format of Original
National, regional, state, and local surveys have revealed that people have intensely negative images of “nuclear” and “radioactive” technologies, activities, and facilities, as well as associated fears of stigmatization. In light of these perceptions, the debate over where to temporarily store or permanently dispose of spent nuclear fuel (at the reactor site, an interim storage facility, or a permanent repository) provokes immense concern among possible host jurisdictions. To address these concerns, one needs to know if people's subjective opinions conform with the choices they make and are therefore reflected in their economic behavior. Argonne National Laboratory researchers used a hedonic model to complete a study of residential property value dynamics over a 5-year period within a 15-mile radius of two California nuclear power plants. They tracked the economic ramifications of decisions about the spent nuclear fuel stored at those reactors. The study revealed that no significant negative effects on residential property values resulted from a decision to move spent nuclear fuel from wet storage to a dry-cask storage facility or from a request to extend the reactor operating permit (given future changes in the type of nuclear fuel storage facility that would accompany such an extension).