Three Mile Island nuclear power plant’s shutdown is imminent

Cooling towers at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Middletown (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

Cooling towers at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Middletown (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

The shutdown of Three Mile Island, site of the United States’ worst commercial nuclear power accident, is imminent.

Exelon Corp. officials said the plant will stop producing electricity around noon Friday, following through on a decision the Chicago-based energy giant made in May after it became clear that it would not get a financial rescue from Pennsylvania.

Three Mile Island’s Unit 1 opened in 1974 and is licensed to operate through 2034. But Exelon has complained that the plant is losing money in competitive electricity markets.

Three Mile Island also faces particularly difficult economics because the 1979 accident left it with just one reactor. Decommissioning it could take decades.

No nuclear plant that was proposed after the accident has been successfully completed and put into operation in the United States.

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