Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant Shuts Down

A historical sign memorializes the March 28, 1979, partial meltdown at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant.
Brett Sholtis/WITF

Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania stopped producing electricity at noon on Friday, part of Exelon Corp.’s plan to close and decommission the plant over the next 60 years.

By 2022, about 50 employees will remain, tasked with the long, slow process of winding down the plant and ensuring that the nuclear waste is kept away from people for tens of thousands of years.

State lawmakers proposed two bills to save the plant, pointing to the valuable long-term assets nuclear power brings to the table, such as carbon-free emissions, fuel supply diversity and reliability.

Critics argued that the bailouts distorted the competitive wholesale electricity marketplace and said that nuclear power should not be lumped in with clean, renewable energy — noting the emissions from mining uranium and the fact that the U.S. lacks a plan for disposing of its radioactive nuclear waste.

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