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For economics Exelon is shutting down TMI Unit 1 - 15 years earlier than licensed (2034)

Another perfectly sound base-load power plant bites the dust of being uneconomical to operate.  TMI Unit 1 still has 15 years to go on its current license to operate - as is, where is.  

That is to generate clean electrical energy at the lowest cost.  Apparently simple logic does not work where subsidized competition chart new ways to suck more taxpayers and ratepayers hard earned cash. 

At noon today, Friday, September 20th, the remaining reactor (Unit 1) will generate its last kilowatt of energy and close, a victim not of the anti-nuclear movement but rather of simple economics. Even though the plant is licensed to operate until 2034, Exelon Generation is ceasing operations after the state of Pennsylvania earlier this year refused to throw the company a financial lifeline that would have kept it open.

The plant's four cooling towers will remain part of the landscape for now, foreboding concrete tombstones that seem out of place in the bucolic Susquehanna Valley of central Pennsylvania.


Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Sep 21, 2019 3:37 pm GMT

Noam, that's one way to look at it. "Nuclear is uneconomical." Either that, or Exelon can soak their ratepayers for even more by generating electricity with gas, and charging them a markup on the gas they'e using to generate it.

Let us know when Pennsylvanians' rates go down after "uneconomical" TMI shuts down - I won't be holding my breath.

Richard Brooks's picture
Richard Brooks on Sep 22, 2019 10:15 pm GMT

It really is unfortunate that this emissions free form of energy generation is exiting the supply chain at a time when so many people are looking to advance clean air resources to address climate concerns.  This unfortunate situation may have been avoided if a competitive "capacity exchange" marketplace existed in the PJM control area that properly values all capacity resources for the essential grid services they provide, like baseload energy. I don't understand why companies, like Exelon, aren't demanding that wholesale markets establish a capacity exchange that would enable resources, like TMI, to make their capacity available at a fair price in a competitive marketplace, and allow investors and other interested parties to secure this capacity over a defined period and price, which grid operators could issue capacity supply obligations to in order to meet reliability requirements.

The capacity supply process is seriously flawed when this type of resource is being mothballed.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 23, 2019 1:10 pm GMT

It really is unfortunate that this emissions free form of energy generation is exiting the supply chain at a time when so many people are looking to advance clean air resources to address climate concerns

This is the crux of the situation in my opinion, the timing is so so frustrating. I do believe we'll find the tech and strategies necessary to run without fossil fuels by 2050 and later, but the fact that we're throwing away existing and functional sources of clean generation away today makes those goals harder to achieve in the long term and are doing short-term damage. 

Whether the solution is the capacity exchange marketplace that you suggest or something else, that's what needs to be debated today. Unfortunately, too much of the bandwidth is taken up by "nuclear: yeah or nay?"

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