Duane Arnold Energy Center near Palo did not restart after the Aug. 10 derecho caused “extensive” damage to its cooling towers. As decommissioning work begins, here’s what we know:
How many people did Duane Arnold employ?
As of 2018 when decommissioning was announced, about 500 worked at the facility. Now, about 400 workers still are at Duane Arnold, NextEra Energy spokesman Peter Robbins said.
Why is it being decommissioned?
Dean Curtland, plant director, told The Gazette in 2018 Iowa’s changing energy landscape has overshadowed and outpriced Duane Arnold.
Closing the facility could save NextEra about $300 million over 21 years, with cost savings coming as early as 2021. That translates to about $42 per residential customer.
What impact did the derecho have on its decommissioning?
NextEra Energy already was planning on decommissioning Duane Arnold this year.
When the derecho caused “extensive” damage to the facility’s cooling towers, NextEra opted against restarting the plant so close to the Oct. 30 decommissioning date.
Replacing the cooling towers with fewer than three months until decommissioning was “not feasible,” Robbins said last month.
What is happening now that the plant is shut down?
The decommissioning process is underway as employees remove nuclear material from the facility.
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