Central PA Residents React to Three Mile Island Closing

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HARRISBURG -- It's known internationally for being the site of the biggest nuclear disaster in United States history.  And now 38 years later, owners of Three Mile Island announced plans to close.  The shutdown has people in central Pennsylvania looking back to March 28, 1979.

"My biggest memory--there was no social media, very few of us had cable television--was being in the cafeteria and everyone knew we were going to be driving to Canada,” John Uehling said.

"Just a lot of misinformation.  I knew some people who seriously packed up their families and headed north because they just didn't know what the effects were going to be here,” Joyce Hendricks said.

"I remember everybody being really scared, and I was concerned about my friends and relatives in the Harrisburg area. I don't know if I was safer here, but I felt safer here,” Sarah Fry said.

But in recent years, nuclear plants have had a hard time competing against natural gas plants and renewable energy.  Three Mile Island's owner says the plant been losing money for five years and will close in the fall of 2019.

Everyone who spoke with Newswatch 16 says they're surprised to hear about Three Mile Island shutting down.

“I think it's the end of an era,” Uehling said.

People we spoke with have mixed opinions on Three Mile Island closing.  Joyce Hendricks of Selinsgrove doesn't mind seeing it go.

“Not really safe when it comes down to it either,” Hendricks said.

But Sara Fry of Hummels Wharf does not think it's a good idea to close the plant.

“I'd probably not be in favor of closing it.  I think it's a safer form of energy,” Fry said.

Nearly 700 people will lose their jobs when Three Mile Island closes.  Three Mile Island is scheduled to shut down in September 2019.


  • mahanoyproud

    They should move the reactors to northern Schuylkill county for infrastructure improvements. it sure beats those ugly windmills and cogen plants.

  • Timothy Tingley

    We should turn it into a prison, and then Pennsylvania will keep it open forever! Maybe a casino out front.

  • RicU.

    1. When T.M.I. does close, it will cost the area $75,000,000 in taxable income. Try replacing that with the PA tax and fee it to death schemes.

    2. One other point…. It will remain radioactively HOT for CENTURIES. Who pays or that? One guess allowed.

    3. With no replacement generation, this will be an economic disaster. Enough said?

      • Fredric


        1. There are more carcenegenic pollutants in the solar panels,

        2. Plus you need to keep the panels clean, you need water,

        3. Plus the sun is not out at night or foul weather when you need it,

        Solar in its current state is a pipe dream, a Disney style cartoon. You can be serious.

      • An Engineer

        “Green” energies are just as destructive as (you think) fossil fuels are.
        Where does the metal and materials come from? How about the vast area of land cleared for the set up? Birds killed by turbines? Ever see a lithium mine for those electric car batteries?
        The only thing Green about wind and solar is the green (money for those who are slow) coming from the government to subsidize it.

      • Breakingwind

        Most of the wind power produced in PA goes to NY and Ohio. PA residents that have to see the ugly windmills get no energy bill breaks. Guess who did benefit in PA though

  • Johsua

    **BEEP** They should have torn that place down 40 years ago! Nobody wants that nonsense! **BEEP**

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