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Fission and Fury in Perry Ohio: One Town’s Fight to Save Their Nuclear Power Plant

Kelsey Tsipis photo

Residents and town officials in Perry are not going quietly into the retrenchment of America’s nuclear energy industry.

Before much of America learned to fear atomic energy, towns like Perry, Ohio, learned to love it. For over thirty years the Perry Nuclear Power Plant has been the linchpin of the small Rust Belt community, bringing flush budgets and well-paying jobs to an area with little other industry. But like many nuclear power plants in the U.S., the Perry plant is aging, costly to maintain, and unable to compete with the nearly two-decade run of record-low natural gas prices. On the isolated shores of Lake Erie, Perry is now caught in a global energy shift. In the coming years, more than two-thirds of the nuclear power plants in America are similarly at risk of shut down, the consequences of which will leave deep voids in the diversity of America’s energy grid and depleted tax bases in the rural towns that house nuclear power plants. Residents and town officials in Perry, however, are not going quietly into the retrenchment of America’s nuclear energy industry.


Kelsey Tsipis
Written by
Kelsey Tsipis

Kelsey Tsipis is a seasoned science writer who has covered a wide array of topics, including tidal disruption events, the nuclear power market, racial barriers to breastfeeding, and advances in climate modeling. She has written scripts and produced videos for PBS NOVA, fact-checked for Undark magazine, and designed interactive graphics for a variety of outlets.

Prior to MIT, Kelsey worked at an international nonprofit research institute as a medical editor. As a journalism student at UNC Chapel Hill, Kelsey covered a wide range of public health and policy topics, including the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, for which she won the North Carolina Medical Society Scholarship for Medical Journalism. She currently works at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard as a Senior Science Writer.

Kelsey Tsipis Written by Kelsey Tsipis