Morning Briefing - May 08, 2019
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May 08, 2019

No Time Left to Save Three Mile Island Reactor, Exelon Says

By ExchangeMonitor

Exelon said Wednesday there was no time left in the Pennsylvania legislature to provide financial support to the state’s nuclear power plants and save its reactor at the Three Mile Island Generating Plant near Harrisburg.

“With only three legislative days remaining in May and no action taken to advance House Bill 11 or Senate Bill 510, it is clear a state policy solution will not be enacted before June 1, in time to reverse the premature retirement of the plant,” the Chicago-based power company said in a press release.

Three Mile Island reactor Unit 1 remains on schedule to close by Sept. 30, according to the release.

Exelon announced the planned retirement in May 2017, citing the need for state and federal energy policy reforms to bolster nuclear power against economic challenges including lower-price natural gas.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission license for the 45-year-old Unit 1 reactor does not expire until April 2034. The plant, as of 2017, employed 675 personnel.

The bills under consideration in the current session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly would create a new tier, for nuclear, to the state Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard that requires utilities to purchase power from zero-carbon sources.

There are currently five operating nuclear plants in the state. Along with the soon-to-close Three Mile Island reactor, FirstEnergy Solutions’ two-reactor Beaver Valley nuclear plant is scheduled for retirement by 2021.

Measures in Illinois, New Jersey, and New York state have provided the kind of revenue support for nuclear power that Exelon hoped would extend to Pennsylvania.