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AFP
September 22, 2019

Reactor at worst US nuclear accident site finally closed

World

AFP
September 22, 2019

NEW YORK: The last reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania has finally been shut down, marking the end of the operation of the site of the worst civilian nuclear accident in US history.

The plant’s first reactor — which went online in September 1974 — was shut down at noon local time (1600 GMT) on Friday, according to the plant’s owner Exelon, and the site will be dismantled in the coming weeks.

On March 28, 1979, the second reactor experienced a cooling problem that — coupled with a human error — resulted in the partial melting of the reactor and the evacuation of 14,000 people.

There were no casualties, but the incident led to the definitive closure of the reactor and reopened the debate on the potential danger of civilian nuclear power. Pennsylvania officials had unsuccessfully attempted a bailout, but Exelon decided to close ahead of the end of the license because the plant had been in deficit for many years.

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