Geoffrey Black, professor in the Department of Economics, co-authored a study of the economic and fiscal impacts of a first-of-a-kind nuclear energy facility to be built in eastern Idaho. This electric power generation facility will utilize a group of small modular reactors and could significantly boost the regional and state economies and increase U.S. carbon-free energy development.
The study looks at the economic impact of a 720-megawatt power facility using 12 small modular nuclear reactors at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) site in southeast Idaho during the project’s four-year construction, as well as the ongoing impacts over its 40-year operations period.
Local labor income is anticipated to grow by $644 million and increase Idaho’s gross domestic product by more than $1 billion over the four-year building period, according to the study. Once the facility is built, ongoing operations of the plant could add $48 million to local labor income each year over the plant’s 40-year operations period.
Construction could also increase state and local tax revenues by nearly $37 million and raise federal tax revenues by more than $142 million during the four years. Operations could add nearly $3 million to local and state tax revenues annually and nearly $11 million to federal tax revenues annually.
The study was a joint project of Boise State University’s Idaho Policy Institute and the University of Idaho’s McClure Center for Public Policy Research.
“Providing clear economic data to help policymakers and businesses make sound decisions is a critically important role of our policy research centers,” noted Black, who also presented the study to the Governor’s LINE Commission (Leadership in Nuclear Energy) in January.
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