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Impact of Iowa's Only Nuclear Plant

PALO, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--A new study, released just today, shows that Iowas only nuclear power plant is highly beneficial to the state.

The Duane Arnold Energy Center in Palo is about 40 years old now.

More than 250 million dollars annually to Iowas Economy, 600 full-time workers who earn double the average of workers in Benton County, and contributions of more than three million dollars in direct state and local property tax, those are some of the accomplishments leaders at the Duane Arnold Energy Center touted Wednesday morning.

"That's why we're here today, to take a comprehensive look at the benefits of a facility, our employees and our impact on the community, said Rich Anderson, Duane Arnold Vice President.

The study is based on data from 2011. It looks into things like local and state expenditures.

Many say the numbers are a sign of just how far the plant has come.

"Really our plant is in better shape today than it was when we started up in 1974. We've incorporated new technologies, Anderson said.

"I'm hopeful that this is a plant that's going to be around for a long time and continue to provide very low cost available energy and it's certainly done a great job to date and provides some very important jobs, said Governor Terry Branstad.

While those achievements are worth noting, Governor Branstad says the possibility of another nuclear plant in the state is still up in the air.

"I don't think it's an option but I think it's something that the utility regulation board in the state would be willing to consider in future years, he said.

This moment though is about celebrating the contributions of the plant the state does have.

The Duane Arnold energy center generates eight percent of Iowas electricity.

The study also shows for every dollar the center spends, the Iowa economy produces one dollar and 27 cents in return.
 
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