The closure of Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant
The New York Times informs that forty years after the worst commercial nuclear power plant accident in United States history, Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, the only nuclear power reactor still operating there is preparing to shut down.
Disaster struck in the early morning hours of March 28, 1979, when water-coolant pumps failed and a reactor overheated.
Accidents like the one at Three Mile Island make it difficult for nuclear power facilities to present themselves as clean and safe, even though they do not generate planet-warming greenhouse gases.
Exelon Generation, the company that owns the plant, said the nuclear power plant would be closed by Sept. 30. The company and its employees had been hoping for a subsidy from the state, and when that fell through, a shutdown was the only option.
With these closures comes a new problem. Eric Epstein, the chairman of Three Mile Island Alert, said the cleanup efforts on the island should be prioritized, which could bring employment opportunities to people losing their jobs.
After the shutdown on Three Mile Island, fuel will be moved into a pool of water. A few years after that, the fuel will be moved into dry storage, where it could stay indefinitely or until the federal government takes ownership of the material.
The facility itself will be given decades to cool down, until it is for people to dismantle the structures.
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