RCF Study on Property Values and Tax Rates Near Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage

RCF announces the upcoming publication of “Property Values and Tax Rates Near Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage” in the December 2018 issue of Energy Policy.  The study, conducted by RCF President George Tolley and RCF Associate Kirstin Munro, Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance at St. John’s University, considers the impact on property values of proximity to spent fuel at the site of a former nuclear power plant, as well as what happens to local property values following the shutdown of a nuclear power plant.  Using geospatial analysis and hedonic modeling, individual home characteristics, tax rate, distance from nuclear site and time of sale were analyzed to estimate the effects of the closed plant and spent nuclear fuel on residential property values in a 10 kilometer radius surrounding the former Zion Nuclear Plant located in Zion, Illinois.

Major decisions are being made with respect to the country’s nuclear power generation facilities in response to current short-run electricity market conditions, including the recent announcements of several plant retirements. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation and ISO New England have expressed concerns that multiple nuclear power plant retirements will threaten the reliability of the North American power grid.  Findings of the study indicate that negative perceptions of nuclear power plants and spent fuel storage do not translate into market behavior from home buyers and sellers.  The study fails to find evidence that proximity to the spent nuclear fuel affects residential property values.  Further, results provide evidence that operating nuclear facilities have a positive impact on surrounding communities by helping reduce property tax burdens on local residents.  A copy of the complete study can be found here: Property values and tax rates near spent nuclear fuel storage JEPO 123.