Three Mile Island

The four cooling towers from the Three Mile Island nuclear plant dominate the landscape in this file photo from March 2019.

Over 100 Three Mile Island workers will lose their jobs Oct. 1 after the financially struggling nuclear plant ceases operations Sept. 20. Several hundred others will continue tasks at the closed plant.

The company Wednesday notified the state Department of Labor and Industry that 112 workers will be let go as part of its $1.2 billion decommissioning strategy.

They either chose to not take another position with the company or receive retirement if it was offered, a spokesman said.

Exelon Generation had announced in May that it would shut down the Unit 1 plant in Middletown, Dauphin County, after the state Legislature declined to move on a plan to help put the operation on firmer footing.

“We continue to communicate openly with employees and local stakeholders as we work to safely shut down the facility and transition it to a safe storage condition,” Exelon said in a statement.

In failing to secure a clean-energy subsidy, Exelon decided to prematurely retire the 45-year-old plant, which generates enough electricity to power 800,000 homes.

Powerful industrial and environmental groups had opposed a subsidy, labeling it a “bailout” for the nine nuclear reactors in Pennsylvania.

TMI’s Unit 1 reactor started operating in 1974 and was not damaged in the 1979 accident at its sister Unit 2 reactor. Unit 1’s operating license had another 15 years.

In May, Exelon had said it will offer positions to about 675 Exelon workers who are willing to relocate. About 200 live in Lancaster County.

Exelon has approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to retrain control room operators as certified handlers to move spent radioactive fuel to a storage pool and drain plant systems.

Staffing will be reduced to 300 after the fuel is moved. Employment will fall to 50 full-time workers by 2022, when the fuel is moved to dry cask storage consisting of 46 canisters covering an area the size of a football field.

The cooling towers and other large structures will be removed by 2074.

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