HARRISBURG— Rep. Tom Mehaffie (R-Dauphin), the author of House Bill 11, released the following statement after Exelon Generation announced that Three Mile Island Generating Station Unit 1 (TMI) will shut down by Sept. 30, 2019.
Sponsors of the proposed $500 million Nuclear Power Green Energy Subsidy worked for two years building support for the proposal but the legislation failed within days of introducing HB 11. The bill was opposed by a large portion of the public, environmental groups, and the natural gas industry.
Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order in January proposing a 26% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions statewide by 2025 and an 80% reduction by 2050.
With significantly more generation capacity than required to meet its consumption needs, Pennsylvania is considered the nation’s number one exporter of electricity.
After the conventional hydroelectric production, Pennsylvania is the second largest source of renewable generation from wind turbines. The majority of wind generation is located in the Allegheny Mountains.
Just 0.2 percent of the state’s electricity is generated from solar and does not make up a significant part of the state’s electric generation portfolio.
A Brief History of Three Mile Island
- May 1968 Metropolitan Edison began construction on Three Mile Island Unit 1. (TMI-1).
- July 1969 Met-Ed began construction on Unit 2 (TMI-2)
- September 1974 – Unit 1 went online.
- December 1978: – Unit 2 went online.
- March 28, 1979 – TMI-2 malfunctioned and released radioactive gas into the atmosphere.
- July 2, 1979 – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission ( NRC) orders the indefinite shutdown of TMI-1 until assurances are in place that the plant can be operated safely.
- March 25, 1980 – MetEd blames the plant’s designer, Babcock & Wilcox (B & W) for the TMI accident and sues B&W for $500 million. MetEd also filed an unsuccessful $4 billion lawsuit against the NRC alleging that the agency’s negligence contributed to the TMI accident.
- September 1980 – MetEd renames itself GPU Nuclear in a bid to disassociate itself from itself. MetEd continues to operate, owning 50 percent of the plant.
- February 29, 1984 – A plea bargain between the Department of Justice and MetEd settles the Unit 2 leak rate falsification case. MetEd pleads guilty to one count and pleads no contest to six counts of an 11-count indictment.
- July 1988 – GPU settles a class action suit challenging high utility rates, for $1.25 million.
- September 20, 1995 – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s decision and sided with GPU in allowing the company to charge ratepayers for the TMI-2 accident.
- February 1997 – In their 1997 Annual Report, GPU reported that the cost to decommission TMI-2 has doubled in four years. The original $200 million projection has been increased to $399 million for radioactive decommissioning. An additional $34 million will be needed for non-radiological decommissioning.
- July 17, 1998 – AmerGen Energy announces that it reached an agreement with GPU to purchase TMI-1.
- July 21, 1999 – GPU Nuclear receives permission from the NRC to reduce the insurance at TMI-2 from $1.06 billion to $50 million.
- December 20, 1999 – TMI-1’s license is transferred from GPU Nuclear to AmerGen. TMI-2 remains a GPU possession in placed in Post-Defueling Monitored Storage in 1992. GPU contracted with AmerGen to maintain a skeletal staff presence at TMI-2.
- August 9, 2000 – FirstEnergy Corp. and GPU announce a planned merger expected to be finalized by August 2001. Ownership of TMI-2 and liability for 1,990 health-related lawsuits against GPU were transferred to FirstEnergy.
- November 2001 – TMI-2 was formally transferred from GPU Nuclear to FirstEnergy.
- September 5, 2002 – Exelon announced that it was putting its share (50 percent) of AmerGen up for sale.
- December 23, 2003 – British Energy completes the sale of its 50 percent AmerGen interest to Exelon Generation shortly after receiving shareholder approval of the deal.
- August 2008 – AmerGen transferred the licenses for its nuclear power plants, including TMI-1, Oyster Creek and Clinton, to Exelon.
- January 2010, officials at the NRC announced the electrical generator from the damaged Unit 2 reactor at TMI will be used at Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant in New Hill, North Carolina.
- June 2017, Exelon Generation sent a formal notice to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of its intention to shut down the plant on September 30, 2019.
- May 6, 2019, Rep. Tom Mehaffie (R-Dauphin) introduces House Bill 11 updating the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) Act to add nuclear energy to the state’s zero-carbon energy tax program.
- May 8, 2019, House Bill 11 failed to pass bringing the effort to keep Three Misle Island open past the September 30th deadline.