The number of nuclear power plants in Iowa is about to go from one..to zero.

An agreement between Alliant Energy and NextEra Energy Resources has been reached to gradually shutdown the Duane Arnold Energy Center (DAEC) in Palo, within the next two years.

In 2020, the only nuclear power plant in Iowa will be out of business--in its current form. The agreement states that the two parties are shortening their existing power purchase agreement by five years, with the intention of partially repurposing it for wind energy.

The plant currently has 540 employees, which will gradually draw down to 300 and later, less than 50--a significant blow to a town of only about 1,000 people--and to the Cedar Rapids area and Iowa. Those employees laid off will be offered generous retirement compensation packages, or new jobs within the repurposed plant. A NextEra spokesperson told the Gazette:

Our focus is 100 percent on minimizing the impact on our employees and their families

In short, the decision is about money, as in cheaper energy sources, which unfortunately require less manpower.

Learn more about the buyout of Duane Arnold Energy Center and future plans HERE.

[Via Gazette]