Three Mile Island to shut down today

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.-- Three Mile Island will be shut down today.

The station's shutdown was originally announced as September 30 by Exelon Generation in May 2017.

Exelon previously said that the station would prematurely shut down, absent policy reform, due to economic challenges and market flaws that fail to recognize the environmental and resiliency benefits from TMI and other zero-carbon nuclear energy plants across the Commonwealth.

The shutdown comes 40 years after the nation's worst nuclear accident occurred at the plant on March 28, 1979, when the unit 2 reactor at the plant had a partial meltdown, releasing radiation into the air.

Now that the closure will go into effect, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will begin the decommissioning process of the Unit 1 reactor.

Exelon Generation has been given 60 years to complete the process, with the bulk of the process not set to begin until 2078. 

While NRC officials say radioactive materials will be safely stored until the bulk of decommissioning begins, they also say that the two full-time inspectors currently employed at the plant will not remain in those roles.

It is unclear how often that an inspector will be at TMI, but the NRC has noted that there will not be someone on-site every day.

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