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Smart Talk: Pennsylvania’s nuclear dilemma: Should the state bail out plants?

A recent caucus report urged Pa. to look at what other states have done

Three Mile Island power plant.

Joanne Cassaro / WITF

Three Mile Island power plant.

Exelon says it will close Three Mile Island’s Unit One reactor in September 2019.Two of Pennsylvania’s five nuclear plants are scheduled close prematurely: Three Mile Island in 2019, and Beaver Valley in 2021.

A recent legislative report urged the state to consider how other states have bailed out failing nuclear plants.

Nuclear plants are a source of carbon-free power at a time when many states are trying to reduce carbon emissions to lessen the effects of climate change. But they are struggling to compete in a competitive energy marketplace.

Guests on Friday’s Smart Talk represented both sides of the debate. They were:

Rep. Thomas Mehaffie (R- Dauphin) and David Fein, Senior Vice President of State Governmental and Regulatory Affairs at Exelon; Mark Szybist, senior attorney, Climate and Clean Energy Program, Natural Resources Defense Council; Stephanie Catarino Wissman, Executive Director, Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania; and Glen Thomas, President, GT Power Group.

Key points

1:14 – Caucus report

13:55 – Listener call regarding bailout and spent fuel disposal

23:30 – Critics to a bailout plan

37:12 – Pennsylvanians can choose where to get their fuel


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