Three Mile Island nuclear plant moves toward closure
A photo of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant taken from the air. (Tim Lambert/WITF)
(Harrisburg) — The owner of Three Mile Island, site of the United States’ worst commercial nuclear power accident, says it now appears certain it will not get a financial rescue from the commonwealth and said it will go ahead with a planned shutdown starting June 1.
Exelon Corp.’s statement comes two years after the Chicago-based energy giant said it would close the money-losing plant in Dauphin County without what critics have called a bailout. It’s licensed to operate through 2034.
“Today is a difficult 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.
Hanson said a position will offered elsewhere in Exelon to every employee who wishes to stay with the company and is willing to relocate.
A roughly $500 million package for Three Mile Island and Pennsylvania’s four other nuclear power plants has stalled in the Legislature.
Exelon has won rescues in three other states, but in Pennsylvania it faced opposition from the state’s natural gas industry.
Three Mile Island faces particularly difficult economics because the 1979 accident left it with just one reactor.