Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant to Close in 2019

Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station

HARRISBURG — Three Mile Island, the site of the biggest nuclear disaster in U.S. history, plans to shut down.

The nuclear power plant near Harrisburg has been losing money for years. Now, the owners announced they plan to shut it down in the fall of 2019.

The eyes of the nation focused on the plant during a partial nuclear meltdown in March 1979. Officials evacuated homes all around the island. They worried part of the plant could explode.

In the end, no one was hurt either at Three Mile Island or by radiation.

Following the accident, one tower never went online again.

The plant has been in operation for the nearly forty years since the incident, but now in a statement, Exelon blames state policies for the closure.

In recent years, the plant’s owner, Exelon, found it could not sell energy produced from the plant. Experts say there are cheaper options than nuclear power, including natural gas and renewable energy.

TMI employs 675 workers who will lose their jobs when the plant shuts down.

“They are great employees, committed to operating this power plant very well over the years, and so to come with the news today, was a difficult, difficult message to carry,” said Exelon spokesperson Marshall Murphy.

Newswatch 16 spoke with people in central Pennsylvania who had mixed opinions on Three Mile Island closing.

MORE: United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission Backgrounder on the Three Mile Island Accident

15 comments

  • truthseeker

    The whole idea of electrical generation by nuclear power is a farce. They lead people to believe that nuclear power would generate electricity too cheap to meter, when in reality the real purpose of nuclear power is to produce Plutonium to build nuclear weapons. The only place Plutonium is produced is in a Nuclear Power Station, electricity is the by-product. Now that we no longer need 30,000 nuclear weapons because of the end of the cold war, and because we already have enough Plutonium pits, nuclear power has fallen out of favor. The technology existed long ago to build sodium based nuclear reactors that were much safer and more efficient. At the time, they weren’t worried about safety or efficiency only about producing as much Plutonium as possible.

  • truthseeker

    What VALFREYJA says is absolutely correct. On the news this morning they said that no radiation was released, talk about a blatant lie. At the time of the accident at TMI the Governor Dick Thornburgh evacuated the area around TMI in a 5 mile radius. There was a radioactive hydrogen gas and steam build up and they feared that it would continue to build up until it exploded. So what do you think happened to the radioactive hydrogen gas and steam? It was vented into the atmosphere. During this time people complained of a metallic type taste in their mouth while breathing the air. What do you think that was? Radioactive contamination; Plutonium and other radioactive isotopes such as Iodine-131. There is all kinds of pictures showing the mutations in plant and wildlife such as flowers with 2 head, strange coloring, a dandelion with a large flat stem and two yellow heads…etc. It’s all about the money the real facts are covered up and suppressed because no one wants to pay for the human health, ecosystem damages and lawsuits. There’s no doubt in my mind that the level of radiation released was much higher than they told people.

  • Valfreyja

    “No one was hurt”
    I know dozens of doctors and nurses who vehemently disagree but who’ve been silenced, even so far as having the wikipedia page erase their edits, when they try to speak about the obvious radiation damage done to women’s reproductive systems for years after the event.

  • john williams

    if it was a cost competitive source of energy in todays market they wouldnt need any state or federal subsidies. Nuclear power was sold as a too good to be true bill of goods. Just ask all the residents of Beach Haven and berwick who were told to build “all electric” houses because the cost per kilowatt hour was never going to go over 1.25 cents becuse they allowed Susquehanna station to be built in their backyard, ask them how that worked out for them. I lived next to TMI in the early 90’s (while going to college in Middletown PA) while they were evaporating radioactive water from the accident at the rate of 3 to 5 gallons per minute and deemed perfectly safe by the NRC and the EPA. I turn 50 this summer and just had a bout of cancer, and never smoked in my life.

    • common sense stuff

      what are you blabbering about? “green” energy gets the most subsidies, and what are you going to do when the wind doesn’t blow on a cloudy day?

    • Dont Mind The Facts

      What kind of cancer?
      Sun related? Other factors in life? Family history?
      No no please… just blame nuclear energy.

  • AngryConservative

    Legislate to crush gas,coal and nuclear… so they can pass their “Clean Green” solar and wind. Who cares about jobs or affordability

  • Fredric

    Cheer all you want but in this world of “global warming,” how are ever going to survive with battery powered cars , electrical microwave ovens, electricity to heat your house, or, heaven forbid, your air condition home and office.

    Roast and freeze people.

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