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Three Mile Island Unit 2, site of nation’s worst nuclear accident, to be sold, dismantled

Three Mile Island_Exelon.jpg

Exelon’s Three Mile Island plant is scheduled to prematurely close in September 2019. The company has been lobbying for help from the state to keep it open. (Courtesy: Exelon)

A Salt Lake City-based company is in talks to purchase and dismantle Three Mile Island’s long-mothballed Unit 2 reactor — the site of the nation’s worst nuclear accident in 1979.

EnergySolutions would buy the site from the reactor’s owner, First Energy. The terms were not disclosed, but the deal would not include the still-operational Unit 1 reactor, which is owned by Exelon and is scheduled to close this fall.

“We are looking forward to working with FirstEnergy to acquire the asset and to safely complete the decommissioning of this site,” Ken Robuck, President and CEO of EnergySolutions said in a statement. “Our extensive experience allows us to continue to refine our Decommissioning Management Model, which builds on each project by incorporating lessons learned and utilizing leading technologies that have proven successful.”

The Unit 2 reactor had its fuel rods removed in the 1980s. Decommissioning the site is expected to cost over $1 billion. Energy Solutions has worked on decommissioning several other nuclear facilities around the country.

The deal would require the approval of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Unit 1 owner, Exelon, had been pushing legislation for a state subsidy to help keep its reactor open, but two bills stalled in Harrisburg earlier this year, amid pushback from the natural gas industry and consumer advocates.

StateImpact Pennsylvania is a collaboration among WITF, WHYY, WESA and the Allegheny Front to report on the commonwealth’s energy economy.

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