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Kewaunee area to take hit when nuclear plant closes

KEWAUNEE - East-central Wisconsin will suffer a huge blow to its economy after the Kewaunee Nuclear Power Plant closes this spring.

According to a new impact study, the plant's employees in Kewaunee, Manitowoc, and Brown counties will lose $85-million and a half million in annual income. And based on averages for the nuclear power industry, the Kewaunee area can expect to almost $640-million a year - all but $50-million of that directly from the plant. Kewaunee's owner, Dominion Resources, expects to close the nuclear plant in April of May.

The firm could not arrange new contracts for utilities to buy plant's electricity, because it got cheaper for the utilities to buy power made from lower-cost natural gas. The Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation recently conducted a new impact study, with help from UW economist Steve Deller. The report said the plant was responsible for over 1,100 jobs, including almost 650 directly at the nuclear facility.