Wednesday, June 28, 2017

York Dispatch: Let market forces dictate TMI future

It appears market forces are about to do what even the nation’s worst nuclear accident couldn’t: permanently close the Three Mile Island nuclear plant.
Exelon Corp, owner of the nuclear facility located some 10 miles south of Harrisburg, has announced plans to shutter the plant in 2019 absent state subsidies.
That’s exactly what state subsidies should be in this case: absent. With natural gas and renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar providing less expensive alternatives, and state leaders already wrestling with a budget deficit estimated in the neighborhood of $3 billion, there is little argument to be made for propping up an energy source that is no longer competitive.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Three Mile Island nuke accident linked to thyroid cancer

A new Penn State Medical Center study has found a link between the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident and thyroid cancer cases in south-central Pennsylvania.

The study marks the first time the partial meltdown of Unit 2's reactor can be connected to specific cancer cases, the researchers have said.

The findings may pose a dramatic challenge to the nuclear energy industry's position that the radiation released had no effect on human health.

The study was published Monday in the medical journal Laryngoscope, one day before Exelon Corp. (EXC) announced that Three Mile Island would close in 2019. It’s likely to come as another blow to a nuclear-power industry already struggling to stay profitable.

Exelon: Still Time for Pennsylvania to Help Three Mile Island

Pennsylvania’s legislature still has time to help keep Exelon Corp.'s financially struggling Three Mile Island nuclear plant operating, Exelon’s Joseph Dominguez told Bloomberg BNA.
“We’re continuing the discussion with policymakers that we really began six or seven months ago: talking about the value proposition of nuclear, both from an environmental standpoint, as well as from fuel diversity and grid resilience standpoint,” Dominguez, Exelon’s vice president of governmental and regulatory affairs and public policy, told Bloomberg BNA May 31.
Exelon announced May 30 that it plans to prematurely close Three Mile Island by Sept. 30, 2019, due to financial losses at the plant from low wholesale power prices tied to the natural gas shale boom. In a statement announcing those plans, the company identified some potential policies that could keep the plant viable, including amendments to the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard and the creation of a zero-emissions credit program.

Three Mile Island Nuke Plant Closure Strengthens Call for Renewable Energy Future

Tuesday's announcement that the Three Mile Island Unit One nuclear plant will close unless it gets massive subsidies has vastly strengthened the case for a totally renewable energy future.
That future is rising in Buffalo, and comes in the form of Tesla's massive job-producing solar shingle factory which will create hundreds of jobs and operate for decades to come.
Three Mile Island, by contrast, joins a wave of commercially dead reactors whose owners are begging state legislatures for huge bailouts. Exelon, the nation's largest nuke owner, recently got nearly $2.5 billion from the Illinois legislature to keep three uncompetitive nukes there on line.