May 30, 2017

Three Mile Island nuclear power plant retiring early

Matt Rourke / AP

Exelon Corporation has announced it will retire the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania by September 2019, earlier than expected. Three Mile Island was the site of the 1979 accident that took 14 years to clean up.

Why the premature close: TMI has been set back by low wholesale power prices and hasn't turned a profit in five years. That the state's alternative energy standard covers wind, solar and other forms of energy but not nuclear also hasn't helped.

The impact: Nuclear power currently produces 93% of Pennsylvania's emissions-free electricity and prevents 37 million tons of carbon emissions (about 10 million cars worth). Exelon says the closure will "compromise the resiliency of the electric grid, raise energy prices for consumers…and weaken the state's economy." The closure will affect about 675 workers and 1,500 contracted local outage workers.

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Sanders requests recount of Iowa recanvass after results show shrunken margin

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a statement Tuesday night he will request a recount of the Iowa Democratic Party's recanvass results.

Where it stands: Both Buttigieg and Sanders requested partial recanvasses in Iowa last week after results were delayed and showed several errors following a software malfunction on caucus night.

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Energy deputy secretary nominee faces heat after contradicting Trump

Mark Menezes speaks at a forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 12. Photo: Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Trump administration officials are internally raising concerns about President Trump’s nominee for Energy deputy secretary, who appeared to openly contradict the president on nuclear waste storage at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain last week.

Driving the news: While speaking at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing last Wednesday, Mark Menezes told members of the panel that the Trump administration is still interested in storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain and that “what we're trying to do is to put together a process that will give us a path to permanent storage at Yucca."