Duane Arnold Nuclear Power Plant, Palo, Iowa
The Duane Arnold Power Plant near Palo, Iowa is the state’s only nuclear power plant. It is a single-unit plant capable of generating 5,282 kilowatt-hours. Construction of the plant first began in 1970, and its commercial operations began in 1975. The plant is owned by FPL Group, Central Iowa Power Cooperative, and Corn Belt Power Cooperative.
The plant, also known as the Duane Arnold Energy Center, has taken steps to minimize its impact on the local environment. Most of the land surrounding it has been leased out for farming or left in its natural state. In addition, proponents of nuclear power believe it is a clean source of energy because it emits very few pollutants into the air. Despite this, some environmentalists remain concerned about the overall safety of this power plant.
Duane Arnold Energy Center and Safety Concerns
In 1986, a serious safety issue was uncovered at the power plant: the original containment shell was undersized. This meant it would not function correctly in the event of an emergency, and a leak may have resulted. The problem has been resolved by the installation of a leak prevention system.
Today the Nuclear Regulatory Committee is discussing whether to renew the Duane Arnold Power Plant’s license. Some activists wish to have the plant decommissioned, largely due to concerns about the overall safety of nuclear power and uranium mining. The NRC has revealed that in its preliminary conclusion, there are no significant safety risks concerning the plant that would be grounds for nonrenewal of its license.