MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – There is a renewed push to keep Three Mile Island open. It’s coming at a time when there are an extra 1,200 workers at the plant.
Three Mile Island is currently going through a refueling outage. That’s when the plant is removed from service and technicians are brought in to replace the reactor’s fuel and perform inspections and maintenance.
“These 1,200 workers also represent an invaluable boost to our local economy,” Dauphin County Commissioner Mike Pries said., a Dauphin County Commissioner, said.
Pries is also with Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania. The coalition formed shortly after Exelon officials announced plans to close TMI in 2019.
Earlier this year, Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania said a shutdown of TMI would be devastating economically. The group is sending that message at a time when the economic impact could be felt the most.
“There’s millions of dollars being spent locally in our economies; people staying in local hotels, going to our local businesses, local restaurants, refueling at the gas stations, spending money in central Pennsylvania,” Pries said. “That’s all going to go away.”
If TMI closes, 675 full-time employees would be out a job.
Members of Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania said they want policy reform from the state to make it easier for TMI to stay open, but opponents say what they are looking for is a bailout.
“The nuclear industry needs to adapt to market conditions and compete for customers like everyone else,” said David Taylor, president of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association.
“”Losing Three Mile Island is going to have a devastating impact on our municipality,” said Anna Dale, a Londonderry Township supervisor. “It will also affect the communities that surround us in Lancaster County, York County, Dauphin County, and Perry County.”