Two PA nuclear power plants scheduled to close

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Two of the state’s five nuclear power plants including Three Mile Island are scheduled to be shut down in the next few years.

Now, some lawmakers and advocates are pushing for the state to step in to save those plants.

Matt Heckel reported on the story.

Today, the bipartisan Nuclear Energy Caucus released a report on the issues facing the state’s nuclear industry and what they’d like the state to do about it.

“With no action, in 2019, time’s up,” said Mike Pries, Vice Chairman, Dauphin County Commission.

Next year, Dauphin County’s Three Mile Island” will be closed. In 2021, Beaver Valley Power Station near Pittsburgh will also shut down.

“The nuclear industry supports 16,000 jobs. However, we have reached a critical moment for Pennsylvania’s nuclear energy industry,” said Senator Ryan Aument, Pennsylvania Nuclear Energy Caucus.

In their report released Thursday, the bipartisan Nuclear Energy Caucus names four options moving forward. They include requiring utilities to buy a certain amount of nuclear power or to impose a carbon emission fee to make the cost of nuclear power more competitive. Another other option is to do nothing.

“The nuclear industry would argue that we can’t afford to do nothing,” said Steve Kratz, of Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts. “Our coalition would argue that Pennsylvania leaders did something 20 years ago when they deregulated Pennsylvania’s electricity markets.”

The group Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts, is coming out against the caucus’ report calling it an unnecessary handout to the nuclear industry.

“Our members, and Pennsylvanians as a whole, don’t feel like they should have to pay more for electricity just to bail out three corporations that say they’re struggling,” said Kratz.

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