Over the past decade, it has become increasingly difficult for electric utilities to receive timely approval of new nuclear generating facilities. In part, siting difficulties arise because of strong opposition to nuclear plants by some citizens who perceive that such plants pose threats to health and safety. If many people hold such views, it seems logical to expect that people would not choose to live in communities near such plants and that, as a consequence, residential property values would decline and economic growth would be adversely affected.
Information about the extend to which society holds such fears about health and safety would enable utilities and government agencies to make better-informed siting decisions. This study aims to supply some of this information.
No economically sound research has been conducted to examine the effects of nuclear generating plants on surrounding property values. Accordingly, the objectives of this research are twofold:
- To ascertain whether, over time, nuclear generating plants have adversely affected the growth of the towns or communities in which they are located.
- To determine the effects of nuclear generating plants on the market values of residential properties.
The authors wish to acknowledge the assistance provided by the many local tax assessors and other local and state officials who cooperated so generously with us in providing the data. We also wish to thank the Plymouth Country, Massachusetts, multiple-listing service for making their files available. We are grateful to Howard Hester. Daniel Huegel, and Kathy Philips of the Institute of Land and Water Resources for the time they spent collecting, processing, and coding the data.
Prepared by: Division of Health, Siting and Waste Management