Rep. Schneider Introduces Federal Legislation to Help Communities with Stranded Nuclear Waste, Including Zion

June 16, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON— Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) today announced the introduction of the Sensible, Timely Relief for America’s Nuclear Districts’ Economic Development (STRANDED) Act.


This legislation would provide funding to communities like Zion, IL that currently house spent nuclear fuel, as well as assistance for communities facing the recent closure of a nuclear power plant. The STRANDED Act would also provide tax incentives to promote homeownership as well as fund research on how to spur development in these communities.


The Zion Nuclear Power Station closed in 1998. The site now has more than 1,020 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel just yards from Lake Michigan awaiting a final, permanent storage location. The failure of the federal government to follow through on its commitments under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act has stranded this waste in Zion and other communities across the country.


“As the nation seeks a permanent solution, we have a moral responsibly to help communities like Zion left housing the stranded spent nuclear fuel,” said Congressman Schneider. “I am proud to reintroduce the STRANDED Act with increased congressional support and expanded resources for these communities. This is an important step forward for nuclear-affected communities striving to move past the legacy of their decommissioned plants, boost their local economies and create a brighter future for their residents.”


Specifically, the STRANDED Act would:


  • Create within the Economic Development Administration (EDA) a non-competitive economic impact grant program to provide funding for communities currently storing spent nuclear fuel, based on the amount of waste held on-site.



  • This economic impact grant program would also provide federal funds to assist communities in making up a revenue shortfall, caused by the closure of a nuclear power plant which typically represent a significant portion of a community’s tax base. This assistance would be phased down over 8 years.



  • These programs build on the assistance of “nuclear closure communities” from the EDA that was first funded in the December 2019 omnibus appropriations legislation.



  • Help expand homeownership in nuclear-affected communities by making them eligible for the first-time homebuyer tax credit.



  • Establish an “Innovative Solutions Prize” competition to develop ideas on how nuclear-affected communities can successfully move past the legacy of their decommissioned nuclear power plants.



Rep. Schneider previously introduced the STRANDED Act during the 115th and 116th Congresses. Original cosponsors of the legislation introduced include Reps. Marcy Kaptur, Salud Carbajal, Jared Huffman, Andy Kim, Ron Kind, Chellie Pingree, and Peter Welch.


Text of the legislation is available online.