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Study Finds Seabrook Nuclear Plant Contributes $535 Million to Local Economy

Nov. 8, 2013—The Seabrook nuclear energy facility in New Hampshire contributes more than a half-billion dollars in total economic benefits annually in three local counties and stimulates additional economic activity across a variety of sectors nationwide, according to a study released today.

Conducted by the Nuclear Energy Institute, the study shows that nuclear plants continue to provide their communities significant economic benefits, which business leaders say are more important than ever in a weak economy.

"This study confirms that Seabrook is vitally important in strengthening regional and state economies through job creation, tax payments, and direct and secondary spending. In a multitude of ways, nuclear energy facilities and their employees are invaluable to the communities in which they operate," said Richard Myers, NEI's vice president for policy development, planning and supplier programs.

“As our state continues to recover from the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, all of us must remain focused on ways to continue to enhance our state’s economic competitiveness by keeping taxes and fixed costs like energy low,” said Jim Roche, president of New Hampshire’s Business and Industry Association. “The recent closure of Vermont Yankee just across the border reminds us that we cannot take our energy resources—especially those that support jobs and stimulate downstream economic activity—for granted.”

The analysis of NextEra Energy Resources’ Seabrook plant is the latest in a series of studies by NEI to quantify how nuclear plants benefit the economy in the communities and states where they are located. NEI performed the analysis using data provided by NextEra and applied it to the nationally recognized IMPLAN economic modeling system.

NEI’s previous studies have found that the average nuclear plant creates $470 million in economic output in the local area, including $17 million in salaries and additional spending that results from the presence of the plant and its employees. These large industrial facilities employ 400 to 700 workers at salaries 36 percent higher than the average amount for workers in their areas and pay some $16 million a year in state and local taxes. NEI has also documented the multiplier effect as the plant’s presence stimulates the creation of several hundred more jobs in the area to support the facility and its employees, from dry cleaners and grocery stores to businesses that sell industrial supplies.

Seabrook generates about 40 percent of the state’s electricity. The plant employs about 650 people and, in Rockingham and Stafford counties alone, these employees make more than double the average salary for workers in the local community. “The plant’s continued operation stimulates $535 million of economic growth locally and a staggering $1.4 billion across the entire United States economy,” the report said. The study also found that for every dollar of output from Seabrook, the local economy produced $1.34, while the New Hampshire and Massachusetts economies produced $1.39 and $1.10 respectively.

The plant also supports the surrounding communities through educational initiatives, environmental and conservation projects, and various charitable organizations. Seabrook and its employees contribute approximately $180,000 annually to the United Way and another $80,000 a year to other charitable groups and nonprofit arts organizations throughout the region. Over the past decade, the plant has contributed more than $1 million to local environmental groups, the report said.

NextEra asked Richard England, a professor of economics and natural resources at the University of New Hampshire, to provide an independent review of the report. England found the report “accurate, factual and credible,” noting that the IMPLAN model NEI used is “probably the most conservative” model currently being used for economic impact studies.

“Clearly, the data in this report shows the substantial and positive impact Seabrook Station has on our local, regional and national economies,” England said.