A look behind the scenes at the Perry nuclear plant

PERRY, OH (WOIO) - The tallest structure in Lake County produces electricity for more than 1 million homes in Ohio. But the future of the Perry nuclear power plant is in question, as other forms of power have become more cost effective.

"What that could look like, is the sale of the plant. It could be some kind of regulatory solution that helps provide for the plant or it could be closure of the plant," said Jennifer Young with First Energy.

Cleveland 19 cameras were allowed into the power plant this week because it was shut down to swap out used fuel rods with new rods to create energy. Permanent closure is a real possibility, however.

"If the Perry Power Plant were to close, there would be a great number of benefits to the community and state lost -- economic benefits from the taxes, and from the jobs," Young said.

It would mean a loss of $14 million in payroll and property taxes to the local area, and it could mean a rate hike for residents. Ohio already imports more power than it supplies.

"Closure of the nuclear plant in the state would mean Ohio needs to import more electricity from other states. In general, states that import power have higher rates than states that are generating their own," Young said.

First Energy is expected to decide the plant's future in the next year to 18 months.

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