Three more nuclear plants to close in next three years?

Aerial shot of Davis-Besse nuclear power plant

The nuclear power industry could be facing the loss of four more units and 4,048 megawatts of power…

FirstEnergy announced on March 29 that it would close the following three reactors by 2021 if it doesn’t receive financial support from federal or state governments:

  1. Davis-Besse (Ohio)
  2. Perry (Ohio)
  3. Beaver Valley (Pennsylvania, two reactors)

This could mean shutting them down anywhere from 5 to 25 years early. Exchange Monitor reports:

Davis-Besse’s closure is scheduled for May 2020, said Tom Mulligan, a spokesman for the Akron, Ohio-based power company. The Perry plant is due to shut down in May 2021. The two Beaver Valley reactors are lined up to end operations in May and October 2021.

The four reactors’ operations licenses from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission are not scheduled to expire until different times between 2026 and 2047.

“Though the plants have taken aggressive measures to cut costs, the market challenges facing these units are beyond their control,” Don Moul, president and chief nuclear officer of FES Generation Cos., said in a Wednesday news release.

The reactors are no longer cost-effective due to numerous economic pressures, FirstEnergy Solutions said Thursday in a 44-page memorandum to U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Those pressures include bankruptcy becoming likely any day.

It appears that bankruptcy proceedings are in process.

It’s too early to know whether or not the plants will actually shut down according to the schedule laid out by FirstEnergy. Only time will tell.

What do you think?