“Three Mile Island, the nuclear power plant located about 10 miles from Harrisburg, Pa., has stood as a symbol of nuclear incompetence for 38 years, or since the reactor in its Unit 2 partially melted down on March 28, 1979,” the Los Angeles Times is reporting.
“Today it’s about to become a symbol of another feature of America’s nuclear power industry: the impossibility of turning a profit. The owner of the plant’s undamaged Unit 1, the nuke-heavy energy company Exelon, announced Tuesday that it will permanently shut down the unit in September 2019. Exelon said a week ago that the plant hasn’t been profitable in five years. The company will take a charge of as much as $110 million this year related to the operation and planned shutdown.
“’TMI remains economically challenged as a result of continued low wholesale power prices and the lack of federal or Pennsylvania energy policies that value zero-emissions nuclear energy,’ Exelon says.
“That underscores a chronic malady of American nukes — they’re too hard to operate and simply not competitive. It’s that mismatch of cost that helps account for recent shutdown decisions such as the pending closure in California of Pacific Gas & Electric’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant and the 2013 abandonment of San Onofre by Southern California Edison after a botched upgrade.
“Nor does the economic tide seem about to turn. Just last week, an executive at Sempra Energy, the parent of Southern California Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric Co., and a minority owner of San Onofre, told a utility conference that the technology exists today for California to get all of its power from solar and wind, rather than keeping fossil-fueled generation around to provide constant base-load electricity.”
The rest of the article is here.