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FirstEnergy to deactivate 4GW nuclear power plants in US

EBR Staff Writer Published 29 March 2018

FirstEnergy Solutions (FES) is all set to deactivate three US nuclear power plants - Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, Beaver Valley Power Station and Perry Nuclear Power Plant in the next three years, owing to market challenges.

The FirstEnergy subsidiary has notified the PJM Interconnection (PJM), the regional transmission organization of its plans to retire the nuclear power plants, which have a combined capacity of 4,048MW.

FirstEnergy revealed that the 908MW Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, located in Oak Harbor, Ohio, is slated to be retired in 2020. The Davis-Besse nuclear power plant was commissioned in 1978 and was built with an investment of $2.22bn.

The 1,872MW Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport, Pennsylvania and the 1,268MW Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry, Ohio, will both be retired in 2021.

The first unit of the $8.52bn Beaver Valley nuclear power plant was commissioned in 1976 while the second unit was put into service in 1987.

On the other hand, the Perry nuclear power plant, built with an investment of $6.02bn, was commissioned in 1987.

The closure of the nuclear power plants will be based on a review by PJM, which will look into possible reliability impacts in the absence of the power generated from them. Until then, the nuclear power plants will operate normally while FES will seek legislative policy solutions as an alternative to deactivation or sale.

Nearly 2,300 employees at the three nuclear power plants are likely to be impacted by their ultimate deactivations.

FES generation companies president and chief nuclear officer Don Moul said: “We call on elected officials in Ohio and Pennsylvania to consider policy solutions that would recognize the importance of these facilities to the employees and local economies in which they operate, and the unique role they play in providing reliable, zero-emission electric power for consumers in both states.

“We stand ready to roll-up our sleeves and work with policy makers to find solutions that will make it feasible to continue to operate these plants in the future."

Image: Aerial photograph of Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant near Shippingport Pennsylvania. Photo: courtesy of United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission.