Owner says Three Mile Island plant to shut down in 2019

Posted May 31, 2017

Exelon Corp. today said it will prematurely retire its Three Mile Island Generating Station on or about September 30, 2019 - unless, according to a press release, there are "needed policy reforms" at the state level on energy credits.

Exelon said it is taking the first steps to shut down the plant, including informing key stakeholders.

Exelon wants Pennsylvania to give nuclear power the kind of preferential treatment and premium payments that are extended to renewable forms of energy, such as wind and solar.

"Like New York and IL before it, the commonwealth has an opportunity to take a leadership role by implementing a policy solution to preserve its nuclear energy facilities and the clean, reliable energy and good-paying jobs they provide", Exelon's president and CEO, Chris Crane, said in a statement. Exelon employs 675 people at the plant.

Exelon said it will cancel 2019 fuel purchases and make permanent shutdown notifications to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission within 30 days.

In its closure announcement, Exelon pushed Pennsylvania legislators to integrate nuclear energy into the state's renewable portfolio standard or pass a zero emissions credit (ZEC) program similar to those in NY and IL. It will also immediately take one-time charges of $65-$110 million for 2017 and accelerate some $1.0-$1.1 billion in depreciation and amortisation between now and the announced shutdown date.

A federal inquiry found no deaths or injuries were caused by the accident, though it dented public confidence in nuclear energy for years.

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"Amending the AEPS is one of many potential solutions to preserve Pennsylvania's nuclear plants".

"Like New York and IL before it, the commonwealth has an opportunity to take a leadership role by implementing a policy solution to preserve its nuclear energy facilities and the clean, reliable energy and good-paying jobs they provide", said Crane. Either that, or the state could pass a ZEC program like NY or IL.

"Like New York and IL before it, the Commonwealth [of Pennsylvania] has an opportunity to take a leadership role in implementing a policy solution to preserve its nuclear energy facilities and the clean, reliable energy and good-paying jobs they provide".

The closing of the central Pennsylvania nuclear plant would effect 675 workers directly employed there and another 1,500 local union workers under contracts, owner Exelon Corp. says in a statement. It is a pressurized water reactor designed by Babcock and Wilcox.

CBS reports several other energy companies that could shut down nuclear power plants that are hemorrhaging money.

In December, Illinois approved $235 million a year for Exelon to prop up nuclear plants in the Quad Cities and Clinton, six months after the company threatened to shut them down. This included the James A Fitzpatrick plant, which Exelon then agreed to buy from Entergy.

Low natural gas prices from abundant shale formations like Pennsylvania's Marcellus have helped keep power prices low for years, making it hard for nuclear reactors to compete with gas-fired generators in deregulated power markets in the U.S. Northeast and Midwest.