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article imageThree Mile Island power plant is shutting its doors

By Karen Graham     Sep 20, 2019 in Business
At noon Friday, the remaining nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania generated its final kilowatt of energy as the infamous nuclear site shuts down permanently
Exelon Generation's Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant in Middletown, Pennsylvania was the scene of the nation's worst nuclear disaster 40 years ago - on March 28, 1979, - when Reactor number 2 suffered a partial meltdown, resulting in a subsequent radiation leak.
Reactor number 1 at TMI was not involved in the meltdown and has continued to operate - and has a license to operate until 2034. Back in May 2017, the Chicago-based energy giant threatened to close the money-losing plant unless the state of Pennsylvania stepped in to bail the plant out.
However, in a statement released on May 8, 2019, Exelon said the money-losing facility was to begin a planned shutdown on June 1 - now that it had become clear that it will not get a financial rescue from the state.
Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station as of February 2014.
Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station as of February 2014.
Z22 (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Although Friday will be the last day that TMI generates electricity, the plant has not been profitable for five years, according to The Hill. The plant’s four cooling towers will remain up.
In 2017, the power plant employed 675 people. A Department of Labor and Industry posting from August this year shows approximately 112 employees would be affected by the plant's closure. Exelon has worked to place plant employees into other positions within the company, according to a company press release.
Just because the TMI plant will officially be closed on Friday, it will take decades before it is considered "officially cleaned up." It will cost about $1.2 billion and all radioactive material at the site should be removed from the plant by 2078, according to CNN News.
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