Infamous Three Mile Island is Latest Casualty of Shale Boomby Will Brackett
Competition from cheap natural gas has claimed another U.S. nuclear power plant in a state that has balked at government aid for financially ailing reactors.
Exelon Corp.’s Three Mile Island reactor near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, site of the worst commercial nuclear accident in U.S. history in 1979, will close in 2019 after losing money for five years, the company said Tuesday in a filing. At least five nuclear power plants have retired in the past five years including Fort Calhoun in Nebraska, which closed in October, as shale gas and rising output of wind and solar power depress prices.
While New York and Illinois have stepped in with mandates that customers pay more for nuclear power to save jobs and curb greenhouse gas emissions, Pennsylvania has not. Last year, Illinois approved a $235 million-a-year lifeline for Exelon’s Quad Cities and Clinton reactors after the company announced they would close.