NRC approves Three Mile Island Unit 2 license transfer to radioactive waste disposal company

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved transfer of the license for Three Mile Island Unit 2 to complete decommissioning of the infamous, damaged and long dormant unit.

Owner FirstEnergy is transferring the license to TMI-2 Solutions, a subsidiary of Utah-based radioactive waste disposal firm EnergySolutions. FirstEnergy Companies, comprising Metropolitan Edison Co., Jersey Central Power and Light Co., Pennsylvania Electric Co. and GPU Nuclear Inc., requested the transfer for TMI-2 Solutions to complete the decommissioning of the unit.

The operational part of Three Mile Island was shut down for good last year. Owner Exelon decided to end operations after a financial rescue package did not come from Pennsylvania legislators.

The TMI-2 reactor, located approximately 10 miles southeast of Harrisburg, Pa., operated for approximately six months before suffering reactor core damage on March 28, 1979. Subsequently, about 99 percent of the fuel and damaged reactor core material was removed and shipped to the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, and in 1993 the plant was placed in a Post-Defueling Monitored Storage status.

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The license currently authorizes only possession of byproduct and special nuclear materials remaining at the reactor. The NRC review determined that the proposed transfer complies with NRC regulatory requirements, provides reasonable assurance that public health and safety will be protected, and is not detrimental to the common defense and security.

The approval is effective immediately, and the license will be amended to reflect the new ownership once the sale of Unit 2 is completed.

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