Goodbye, Three Mile Island: Remaining reactor shuts down

Goodbye, Three Mile Island: Remaining reactor shuts down

The money-losing Three Mile Island, site of the United States’ worst commercial nuclear power accident, has been shut down by its energy giant owner.

Friday’s end to the 45-year electricity-producing career of Three Mile Island Unit 1 came after Chicago-based Exelon Corp. tried and failed to get financial aid from Pennsylvania last spring.

Three Mile Island’s Unit 1 opened in 1974 and was licensed to operate through 2034. But Exelon complained the plant was losing money in competitive electricity markets.

Three Mile Island also faced particularly difficult economics because the 1979 accident that destroyed Unit 2 left it with just one reactor. Decommissioning both units could take decades.

No nuclear plant proposed after the 1979 accident has been successfully completed and put into operation in the United States.

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