NIMBY is a term that means, “Not In My Backyard.” It has become a catchphrase for efforts to prevent various plants or facilities from being built near cities or neighborhoods. NIMBY efforts have made the news for years.
Here’s something different – a headline from an Associated Press story: Illinois community forms panel to stop nuclear plant closure.
That is a YIMBY. Yes, in my backyard.
Byron, Illinois, is a town of roughly 3,800 people and sits squarely in the middle of Northern Illinois. West of Chicago, Southwest of Rockford.
The two-unit Byron Nuclear Station makes 2,347 MW of power and employs more than 700 people. It powers more than two million homes. Carbon-free.
In response the community has formed the Byron Station Response Committee and will create plans to change that decision.
From the local newspaper: “’We need Byron Station in our community … It provides 700 good-paying jobs, over $38 million in taxes, and supports our local schools, fire departments, forest preserves, and park districts. It’s a key source of business for our local retailers and restaurants.’ …The Byron Forest Preserve District received $2.3 million in tax money from the Byron Station last year.”
A benefit of a nuclear plant in cities is not just the tax dollars or financial contributions. People who operate the plants have a particular community interest and care, a positive intellect, a thorough way to looking at issues. That benefits a community.
In many cities, important businesses or industry help form the identity of the city. Byron, Illinois, is one of those places. The citizens know what the want in their backyards … a safe, productive plant that provides carbon-free power.
Feature image of the Byron Station, Exelon