Study: TMI, other nuclear plants could close early

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Jul 22, 2013 12:07 PM
Three Mile Island

(Royalton, Vt.) -- A new study shows economic factors like competition from natural gas could force Three Mile Island and two other Pennsylvania nuclear power plants to close before their licenses run out.

Researchers at the Institute for Energy and the Environment at the Vermont Law School rely on Wall Street data for their analysis, which shows 38 US plants at risk of possible closure.

Senior Fellow Mark Cooper says high repair costs and long shutdowns are among the factors facing nuclear plants.

"Already in 2013, more nuclear capacity has been retired early than in any year in the history of the commercial nuclear sector in the US," Cooper says.

PPL's Susquehanna nuclear plant in Luzerne County is on the list.

Spokesman Joe Scopelleti says the company is not thinking of shutting it down.

"Investments are planned and will be incorporated in the regularly scheduled refueling and maintenance outages over the next few years," he explains.

Exelon, which owns TMI in Dauphin County and Limerick in Montgomery County says it plans to keep the facilities running.

The company spent $300 million to replace steam generators at TMI in 2009.

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