Three Mile Island to close after bailout bill stalls in Pennsylvania legislature

Three Mile Island to close after bailout bill stalls in Pennsylvania legislature

Three Mile Island, site of the United States' worst nuclear power crash, will begin a planned shutdown beginning June 1 now that it is apparent that it won't get a fiscal rescue its owner said Wednesday.

TMI is one of five nuclear power plants in Pennsylvania - the others are Beaver Valley, Limerick, Peach Bottom and Susquehanna - which together produce almost 40% of the state's total electricity generation and just over 93% of its zero-emissions energy.

Though TMI-2 was shut down and decommissioned, TMI-1 continues to operate today.

"Today is a hard day for our employees, who were hopeful that state policymakers would support valuing carbon-free nuclear energy the same way they value other forms of clean energy in time to save TMI from a premature closure", Bryan Hanson, Exelon senior vice president and chief nuclear officer, said in a statement.

With less than a handful of Pennsylvania legislative session days remaining in May and no action yet taken on House Bill 11 or Senate Bill 510, both created to provide aid to Exelon to compete against cheaper natural gas-fired plants, Exelon said "a state policy solution will not be enacted before June 1, in time to reverse the premature retirement of the plant". "I remain hopeful that a consensus on a path forward can be reached in the coming weeks", he said. Lawmakers had now presented two the same bills in the relate Dwelling and Senate to reclassify nuclear vitality so it may possibly maybe take excellent thing about a 2004 legislation requiring electric utilities to have interplay a determined amount of renewable vitality, in accordance to WHYY. Shutdown and decommissioning of TMI Once Reactor number 1 goes offline on September 30, Exelon estimates it will cost in excess of one billion dollars and take until 2074 to decommission the facility.

Exelon has won imports in New Jersey, New York and IL, and had allies in organized labor. But their proposal elicited strong opposition from at least one Pennsylvania utility commissioner and an industrial energy user group and was ultimately too little, too late.

The Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant is seen in the early morning hours March 28, 2011, in Middletown, Penn.

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Nuclear power plants provide around 20 per cent of the nation's electricity, and around 50 per cent of its carbon-free electricity, and the continued decline of the industry has come up as a major talking point in the debate over the U.S.'s carbon footprint.

But critics questioned if a siphoned Three Mile Island is well worth saving, and claimed that ratepayers had already paid to construct the nuclear power plants. However, the plant's closing comes after the Chicago-based energy giant threatened to close the money-losing plant in May 2017 unless the state of Pennsylvania stepped in to bail the plant out.

Exelon attracted accusations of greed.

Three Mile Island's Unit 2 used to be permanently shut down after the 1979 accident precipitated a partial meltdown.

Exelon says it will offer positions elsewhere in the company to employees who are willing to relocate.

"Today is a hard day for our employees, who were hopeful that state policymakers would support valuing carbon-free nuclear energy the same way they value other forms of clean energy in time to save TMI from a premature closure", said Bryan Hanson, Exelon senior vice president and chief nuclear officer.

Equipment failure and operator mistakes led prompting an estimated 144,000 individuals to flee their homes amid ill-informed or contradictory data from utility and government officials and resulting in a number of days of dread.

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