The last reactor on Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania – the site of the worst nuclear degradation in the United States – is officially dead as of Friday.
Construction operator Exelon Corp announced that the closure would come back in May, and now the day has finally arrived. The plant shutdown comes 40 years after the on-site reactor of Unit 2 was partially decomposed on March 28, 1979, due to human error, equipment failure, and design problems, which released radiation into the environment. This event not only exposed the audience to higher levels of radiation – it also restored public confidence in our ability to make nuclear power. would continue to subsidize the plant, reports Reuters . As terrible as nuclear disasters can be, nuclear power is a serious consideration when we look to the future of energy during the climate crisis. At present, it represents nearly 1945 percent of US energy production . However, some environmentalists claim that low-income and color communities suffer from the hands of extracting uranium needed to operate these plants, the same argument applies in the event that a nuclear reactor fails.
"At a time when our communities require more clean energy to deal with climate change, it is regrettable that state law does not support the continued operation of this safe and reliable source of carbon-free power," said Bryan Hanson, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer by Exelon, in a press release .
Nearly 60 operational nuclear plants exist today in the United States, according to the Energy Information Administration . Three Mile Island operated more than 830,000 homes, according to Exelon . Now it enters the closure process, which is never easy or fast. The process will have an estimated cost of around $ 1.2 billion, reports the New York Times .
About 300 of the factory employees will continue to assist in the first phase of this process. Others take different roles with Exelon, while some choose to retire or look elsewhere for work, per Exelon. So while some might be happy to see this facility gone, the effects of the closure are very real to the people who depended on it for their income.