Nuke deal to power jobs

New project to create 2,300 jobs at Davis-Besse.
Alex Green
Feb 2, 2014
The typically stagnant winter economy in Ottawa County is about to get a boost, compliments of the nuclear industry.

Davis-Besse Power Station’s outage means droves of contractors will be funneling into local hotels and businesses. Some contractors have already arrived, and some hotels are booked.

As the plant gears up to replace two steam generators, it needs an additional 2,300 workers, said Jennifer Young, FirstEnergy spokeswoman.

Phoenix-based consulting firm Applied Economics recently completed a study on the power plant’s steam generator replacement project and outage. In short, the study shows the project means big bucks for contractors, businesses and plenty of others in the mix.

Among the benefits of the project:

• A total economic impact of about $500 million.

• A total contractor payroll of about $147 million.

• About 940 of the contractors are local. They’ll collectively spend an estimated $80 million at local businesses during the outage.

• Local hotels and motels are expected to log about 19,200 visitor nights, providing non-local contractors places to stay. This should inject about $2.5 million into the local economy over the next six months.

• The power plant’s new equipment costs about $430 million. For local government, this should create annual new property tax revenue of about $2.4 million a year.

Contractors are already staying at local hotels, but the population should increase most dramatically in March and April, company officials said.

Local business owners are simply thankful for the boost in typically slow times.

“Usually, this time of year, we’re (happy) if 5 percent of our properties are occupied,” said Mike Snider, vice president of rental operations for Lake Erie Vacation Rentals. “By this Sunday, we’ll have 100 percent occupied”

Lake Erie Vacation Rentals is an umbrella organization for property rentals, managing dozens of privately owned condo and beach home rentals.

Snider said the outage’s benefits are already seen across the county, and not just in property rental increases.

“I was out to eat last week and we had to wait for a table,” he said. “That usually doesn’t happen, even on the weekends”

Larry Fletcher, executive director of Lake Erie Shores & Islands West, said businesses are changing the way they operate to accommodate the temporary bump in population.

“Businesses are extending their hours,” Fletcher said. “Some that would normally be closed this time of year are staying open”

The plant’s existing steam generators have been in use since operations began in 1977, Young said.

“The current ones do not pose a safety threat,” she said. “The new steam generators will increase longterm reliability”

Davis-Besse could certainly use the boost in reliability, given the facility’s serious safety issues in recent years.

Young said the company has made concentrated efforts to improve safety at the power plant. FirstEnergy wants to extend Davis-Besse’s operating license to 2037.

Comments

jibber jabber

- - I don't think there being completely honist.

Restless1

You shouldn't miss anymore school days. You need them badly.

Really are you ...

Hopefully they fix whatever they are fixing correctly. Still bringing out the SPEG this year.

Contango

Good news!

Presto

Completely inappropriate headline to this story omg! How about "FirstEnergy wants to extend Davis-Besse’s operating license to 2037 even though this plant's life expectancy ends in 2017". The folks who built Davis Besse and similar style nuke plants around the U.S. in the 70's only intended for them to be used for 40 yrs TOPS. First Energy obviously doesn't care about the public's safety --how shocking--- they behave as if this plant can run forever --we have all been part of an EXPERIMENT here and thanks to stupidly written SPUN stories like this one we will all get to see exactly what happens when nuke plants are operated to DEATH.

Darwin's choice

Safest power generating option yet.

ohioengineer

First, the article is about the economic impact of the project on the local economy, so the headline is entirely appropriate. I am no fan of the SR, but they appear to have gotten it right this time.
Second, the life extension program has undergone extensive review and was approved by a number of Federal and State agencies.
Third, I was on of those "folks" who originally designed these plants, which were indeed overdesigned and with the appropriate upgrades and monitoring can run safely for much longer than the original forty years.

ERIE43452

Dear engineer, DB, in fact has not received a license renewal yet... so why the huge expenditures for a 3 year life expectancy? There will be no license renewals until the waste problem is addressed.

DGMutley

Great news!

ERIE43452

The same “business boom” can be seen with the fracking and coal industries. Outside contractors come into town and spend their money. Local small businesses spend money on upgrades to compete with each other and hire local residents. Business booms. The contractors leave before they are affected by the toxic air and water they've created. Businesses owe money on their upgrades and suffer the consequences. The locals that were hired by the small businesses are fired. The whole town suffers from blight and becomes a poor, unattractive, and toxic place to live. It's not a pretty picture yet it's painted every time. I find it difficult to believe that there are still such short-sighted people out there buying the sales pitch.

The Big Dog's back

Excellent post.