locally owned since 1854

Three Mile Island shuts down for fueling for what could be last time

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 9/20/17

What could be the last refueling ever at the Three Mile Island Generating Station in Londonderry Township began shortly after midnight Sunday with the Unit 1 reactor being taken off line.

TMI …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Three Mile Island shuts down for fueling for what could be last time

Posted

What could be the last refueling ever at the Three Mile Island Generating Station in Londonderry Township began shortly after midnight Sunday with the Unit 1 reactor being taken off line.

TMI — site of the nation’s worst nuclear power accident in March 1979 — will be shut down in September 2019 unless state legislators enact a subsidy or other relief for TMI and other nuclear plants in Pennsylvania, similar to what state government now provides to other clean power generators  like wind and solar, TMI owners Exelon Corp. announced on May 30.

Every two years — at about this time of year — TMI brings an estimated 1,500 additional workers to the region to refuel and perform maintenance to Unit 1. 

The process usually takes three to four weeks, although Exelon Corp. does not provide a date for when Unit 1 will be back in service for “competitive reasons,” Exelon spokesman David Marcheskie told the Press & Journal on Sept. 19.

While the unit is offline, technicians will replace nearly one-third of the reactor’s secure on-site fuel and perform hundreds of inspections and maintenance activities, Exelon said in a Sept. 18 release announcing the refueling.

Over this time, more than 1,200 local and traveling union workers will be brought to TMI — spending much of their down time providing another sort of refueling to the economy of the region, Exelon noted in its release. This is on top of the 675 full-time employees who already work at TMI year-round.

“TMI’s refueling outages deliver a major economic boost for businesses in central Pennsylvania, which ripples through our local economy,” David Black, president of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corp., said in the press release. “More than 1,200 visiting tradespeople will be working in our community utilizing as many as 36,000 room nights which results in additional support purchases in local restaurants and stores.”

Within days of Exelon’s May 30 closure announcement a group of politicians and labor and business leaders formed  the Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania coalition to lobby the state to enact relief to save TMI and the other nuclear plants.

However, the Legislature has taken no action as of yet.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment