It was on March 28, 1979, that there was a partial meltdown at Three Mile Island nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania. It was the worst nuclear accident in the history of the United States but it was certainly not as vast or as serious compared to the ones in Chernobyl in Russia in 1989 and Fukushima in Japan in 2011 where many people lost their lives. Four decades have gone by and the owners Exelon Generation have finally decided to shut it down completely by September 30.

Telegraph UK reports that the company was trying to convince lawmakers to grant subsidies. That would have helped to keep the facility alive but there was no positive outcome. Hence, the obvious decision was to close down. Kathleen Barron, an Exelon senior vice president, has said, "We don't see a path forward for policy changes before the June 1 fuel purchasing deadline for TMI."

Three Mile Island's a humanitarian issue

The license of the energy company Three Mile Island is valid until 2034 but the meltdown has disturbed its plans.

Therefore they gave advance notice regarding the shutdown. Bryan Hanson, another Exelon senior vice president, explains there was a thinking that in view of the value normally attached to various forms of clean energy, there would be support forthcoming from state policymakers. That, unfortunately, has not happened and it is difficult for the employees. It amounts to a humanitarian issue because many of them will be without any job.

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Renewable Energy

Telegraph UK adds that nuclear facilities have always been under pressure because of the cost factor. Electricity generated from sources like natural gas are cheaper. Anyway, the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island was less serious than the ones in Chernobyl and Fukushima.

Moreover, there were no casualties in TMI unlike Chernobyl and Fukushima but the fallout in the United States applied brakes on the construction of new facilities. There were concerns about the safety of Nuclear Power.

Nuclear power is more costly

According to NPR, the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in South-central Pennsylvania is closing. Its owner, Exelon says the plant has been running at a loss for years.

Incidentally, the nuclear industry has to compete with less expensive electricity generated from natural gas and Renewable Energy. The company wanted subsidies and argued that, in view of the focus on climate change and efforts to address it, the plant deserves compensation for the carbon-free electricity it produces.

It seems that the argument found takers in states like Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York but not in Pennsylvania.

Here, the state's powerful natural gas industry opposed it and Exelon decided to close down the facilities. Those who are in favor of nuclear power in Pennsylvania have assured that they will support the cause of subsidies. Nuclear energy accounts for nearly 20 percent of the country's electricity.

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