In an April 2017 decision, the Massachusetts Land Court credited Dr. George S. Tolley, President of RCF Economic & Financial Consulting, Inc. (www.rcfecon.com) and Professor Emeritus of Economics at University of Chicago, with successfully testifying that no proof had been offered of depressive effects on property values from spent nuclear fuel in dry cask storage. The case involved the famed Pilgrim plant in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Dr. Tolley’s testimony was instrumental in convincing the court that Plaintiffs had not offered credible evidence of damages, saving the defendant Entergy the expense that would have ensued from loss of the case. In an earlier proceeding, Dr. Tolley had successfully testified that there were no negative property value impacts from proximity to Entergy’s Indian Point nuclear plant in New York. Dr. Tolley further demonstrated there were positive property value impacts from Entergy’s payments in lieu of taxes, which had the effect of reducing local property taxes thus acting actually to increase property values.
The Land Court’s decision has implications for dozens of nuclear plants and nearby locales throughout the U.S. As capacity to store spent nuclear fuel in deep pools at each plant approaches a limit, dry cask is the next best alternative in view of the fact that permanent, centralized storage is not currently available in the U.S.
For more details on the Massachusetts Land Court case, see the court’s decision: http://masscases.com/cases/land/2017/2017-13-479028-DECISION.html
For more details on findings in the Indian Point proceeding, see the following: http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1333/ML13331B465.pdf