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The notorious nuclear power plant of Three Mile Island is shut down after 45 years



However, this does not mark the end of the entire story as the cleanup will take decades. Part of the demolition will be done quickly. The staff will remove the reactor's fuel supply over the next few weeks and store it in the waste fuel pool. The complete decommissioning of the reactor, however, takes much longer. Exelon estimates that the plant will not be completely cleared of radioactive material until 2078, or more than a century after it has been put into service. The closure of block 2 is expected for 2036.

Block 1

was relatively safe. The only notable incident was a barometric pressure change, in which 20 employees were briefly exposed to mild radiation. However, the reactor has long lived in the shadow of Block 2, whose partial smelting has left nearly 2 million people exposed to radiation. There appears to have been no public health impact, but the incident led to a tightening of supervision and, together with the Chernobyl disaster, was to blame the public perception of nuclear power on the local government. It was claimed that the Pennsylvania Act "does not support the continued operation of the reactor" and that the regulations "do not rate clean energy resources evenly", while polluted energy sources could "pollute for free". Nuclear power, in other words, is not fairly shaken compared to renewables and other clean energy sources. It has also complained about low natural gas prices, making it difficult to operate Block 1.

It is not clear what will happen next, but the chances of a revival are not high. While nuclear power plants are relatively clean, the increase in both renewables and natural gas has reduced the demand for it. Whether the industry likes it or not – the closure is a symbol of this transition.


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