Commentary: Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant Shuts Down After 40 Years

Source, Jim Conca, Forbes, September 20, 2019

Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station shut down today at noon after more than 40 years of providing low-carbon constant power to the region.

MI Unit 1 began commercial operation on September 1, 1974 and was licensed to keep operating until 2034. The nuclear power plant has about 635 employees and contributes over a million dollars to the Londonderry Township in local real estate taxes.

Exelon announced in 2017 that it would shut down Three Mile Island Unit 1 unless the state stepped in with a financial rescue of about a penny a kWh, less than half of what renewables get in subsidies even though renewables generate a fraction of the low-carbon electricity to the region that TMI does.

TMI’s Unit 2 has not operated since the 1979 accident that damaged the reactor core. No one was hurt and there were no effects on human health or the environment from that accident, although the accident achieved mythological status as a dreadful event.

In fact, nuclear turns out to be the safest form of energy there is. Period.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, over the last 2 years the 819 MW nuclear power plant at TMI generated over 14 billion kWhs.

In contrast, solar power in Pennsylvania generated less than 0.2 billion kWhs over this time period and wind generated a little more than 0.7 billion kWhs over this time.

Over its life, TMI Unit 1 generated over 240 billion kWhs.

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