Duane Arnold

Basic Facts:

  • Location: Palo, Iowa
  • Owner: NextEra Energy (Majority)
  • Operator: NextEra Energy
  • Construction Cost: $1,400M (2018$)
  • Plant Output: 600 MW
  • Property Size: 500 acres
  • Status: SAFSTOR
  • Employees: 500
  • Current DTF Balance: $470M (2018$)
  • Decommissioning Cost Estimate: $610M (2018$)
  • Spent Nuclear Fuel on Site: 566 metric tons
Duane Arnold Photo


The Duane Arnold plant is a 600 MW boiling water reactor located on the west bank of the Cedar River near Palo, Iowa. Construction began in 1970 and the plant began licensed operations in 1975. In 2018, the plant owners announced that due to economic considerations, Duane Arnold would cease operations in 2020, 14-years before its license was set to expire. The plant permanently shut down on August 10, 2020.


In its Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report, NextEra stated that by 2023 it plans to move all spent nuclear fuel to dry cask storage and transition the plant into SAFSTOR. NextEra has stated it intends to begin full decommissioning activities in 2075.


The Duane Arnold plant is located within Linn County, Iowa. As of 2016, socioeconomic information is as follows:

  • Population: 220,000
  • Per Capita Annual Income: $49,000
  • Unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted): 3.4%

The Duane Arnold Energy Center employs 500 full-time workers with annual payroll totaling $85M. The plant pays approximately $3M in direct state and local property taxes each year

Contact Information

Economic Development Administration Representative:

Economic Development District

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Unless specific costing information has been provided, decommissioning costs were derived from 2017 Decommissioning Funding Status Report.
Information herein obtained from public sources. Corrections are welcome and may be directed to [email protected].

Additional Information

61 more employees being let go from Duane Arnold nuclear plant

March 17, 2022

61 more workers being let go from Duane Arnold plantThe layoffs in May are part of decommissioning plan Over 60 employees will be let go from the Duane Arnold Energy Center in May under its plan to draw down staff at the closed nuclear plant near Palo.

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Local residents voice concerns, ask questions about potential solar farm project near Palo

May 26, 2021

Local residents voice concerns about potential solar farm near Palo Linn County held its first of two community presentations on its large-scale utility process Tuesday night, although no developer has yet to submit any application Over a hundred residents of Palo and the surrounding community showed up to ask questions and voice their concerns about […]

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NextEra Energy plans to turn Iowa’s only nuclear power plant into a solar farm

March 26, 2021

NextEra Energy plans to turn Iowa’s only nuclear power plant into a solar farm | Clay and Milk U.S. energy company NextEra Energy announced plans last week to build a 690-megawatt solar project at the site of its closed Duane Arnold nuclear plant in Palo, Iowa. The company shut the nuclear reactor in August 2020 […]

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What’s next for Duane Arnold nuclear plant?

September 25, 2020

What’s next for Duane Arnold? Duane Arnold Energy Center near Palo did not restart after the Aug. 10 derecho caused “extensive” damage to its cooling towers. As decommissioning work begins, here’s what we know: How many people did Duane Arnold employ? As of 2018 when decommissioning was announced, about 500 worked at the facility.

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Duane Arnold nuclear plant decommissioning early after damage from the derecho

August 25, 2020

Duane Arnold nuclear plant decommissioning early after damage from the derecho The Duane Arnold Energy Center is beginning their decommissioning process after the August 10th derecho. The energy center is the only nuclear power plant in Iowa. It was set to be decommissioned at the end of October, but will be closing due to the […]

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After 46 years, Duane Arnold Energy Center set to close this year

March 7, 2020

After 46 years, Duane Arnold Energy Center set to close this year After some 46 years, the Duane Arnold Energy Center will end energy production this year. The Palo facility employs nearly 600 workers, Its owner, Florida-based NextEra Energy, announced in 2019 it would decommission the single-unit, 600-megawatt nuclear plant by the end of this […]

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Climate Change, Capitalism And Nuclear Power — The Closing Of Duane Arnold

May 8, 2019
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Powering down: Iowa’s only nuclear plant nears end

May 6, 2019
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Duane Arnold Nuclear Plant planning decommission

April 5, 2019
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Iowa nuclear plant to close in 2020 – July 30, 2018

December 19, 2018
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