Got $36M? This nuke plant could be yours

It's not the Brooklyn Bridge, but authorities in Alabama do have a nuclear power plant they want to sell you. Minimum bids for the never-finished Bellefonte nuke plant start at $36.4 million, which is essentially the value of the 1,400-acre patch of land on the Tennessee River in Hollywood, Ala., with a couple reactors thrown in, reports the Times Free Press.

That's a fraction of the some $5 billion that authorities have spent over nearly a half century to develop the site, once the state's largest energy project.

Now, turkey vultures circle the 480-foot cooling towers, the paper reports. Work began in 1973 on two nuclear reactors—four were planned—when demand for electric power was growing by 5% a year.

But as demand ebbed, the project stalled and, faced with a final price tag of $8 billion, the Tennessee Valley Authority decided to quit while it was behind.

Support for nuclear power waned after the 1979 meltdown at Three Mile Island, per the Washington Post. "Selling the property now is a smart business decision," said the TVA.

The auction is set for Nov. 14, and bidding opens Monday; Phoenix Energy in Nevada has already offered $38 million. Hollywood Mayor Frank "Buster" Duke, who worked at the site as a pipe fitter, hopes a buyer will finish the plant—and generate much-needed jobs.

"The plant was 90% complete when TVA quit building it, and I know they would have to change and update some things, but I sure hope somebody could operate it to make power," Duke told the Times Free Press. (The US Army has a secret nuke facility buried beneath the Greenland ice sheet.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: Got $36M? This Nuke Plant Could be Yours

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