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Exelon says ‘undue hardship’ would result from continuing emergency mandates

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 9/4/19

The cost to Exelon of having to continue meeting the off-site emergency planning mandates beyond January 2021 would “result in an undue hardship” for the trust fund that the company is …

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Exelon says ‘undue hardship’ would result from continuing emergency mandates

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The cost to Exelon of having to continue meeting the off-site emergency planning mandates beyond January 2021 would “result in an undue hardship” for the trust fund that the company is required to have to pay for decommissioning Unit 1, Exelon says in the documents filed with the NRC.

However, the company provided no figures in its documents to the NRC for how much Exelon now spends on off-site emergency planning in the area surrounding TMI.

Exelon spokesman David Marcheskie told the Press & Journal in an email that Exelon each year pays more than $1 million to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to support emergency preparedness and training around Exelon’s three nuclear power plants in the state.

Besides TMI, Exelon also operates two reactors at the Limerick Generating Station near Pottstown; and units 2 and 3 of the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, which is 50 miles southeast of Harrisburg in York County.

In 2018, PEMA received $425,000 in fees from Exelon directly related to TMI, PEMA spokesman L. Paul Vezzetti told the Press & Journal.

A percentage of that funding  gets distributed by PEMA to counties and municipalities in the form of annual grants to enhance their capabilities via planning, training and exercises, he said.

While the amount of money PEMA gets from Exelon related to TMI would decrease if the NRC approves the company’s request, the company would still need to provide PEMA with some amount of funding, according to Vezzetti.

“If the plant is shut down and the 10-mile emergency planning zone is eliminated, the state would curtail its training exercises related to TMI,” Vezzetti told the Press & Journal. “That would translate to fewer costs, and PEMA would then negotiate with Exelon to determine an appropriate level of funding based on any remaining threats during the decommissioning process.”

Exelon in a statement provided through Marcheskie said that the company “continues to work with all stakeholders to determine future funding needs.”

Dauphin County in 2019 received $86,773.97 from Exelon for emergency planning, county Chief Clerk Chad Saylor told the Press & Journal. That’s roughly the same amount the county has gotten from Exelon each year for emergency preparedness, according to Saylor. The county uses the money from Exelon to pay for a county radiological officer and for off-site emergency planning.

Dauphin is one of five counties within the 10-mile radius, the others being Cumberland, Lancaster, Lebanon and York.

Londonderry Township, where TMI is located, is eligible each year to receive annual grant funding of $5,000 as a host community and first responder of the plant, township Manager Steve Letavic told the Press & Journal in an email.

Otherwise, Letavic noted the annual golf tournament with Exelon that has been held in the township for many years and on average has raised $40,000 to $50,000 each year. The township uses the money from the tournament to pay down the debt remaining on the addition to the fire company.

The township allocated $10,000 in its 2019 budget for emergency planning. However, this money is from the general fund, not from either TMI or Exelon, Letavic said.

Middletown gets no money from Exelon for emergency planning, borough Manager Ken Klinepeter told the Press & Journal.

The county makes a small grant available to the borough to reimburse for purchases related to emergency planning. Klinepeter said he does not know if the money to cover the grant comes from Exelon.

Exelon reimbursed Middletown for food it purchased for staff who participated in the most recent TMI emergency drill this year, Klinepeter said.