At noon Friday, the remaining nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island will generate its final kilowatt of energy as the infamous nuclear site shuts down permanently, USA Today reported.
Although the plant is licensed to operate until 2034, Exelon Generation, which owns the site, is shutting it down after the state of Pennsylvania refused to allow nuclear plants to charge more for the electricity they produce or enact reforms that would help make the energy from the site more profitable.
Officials announced that the site would be closed in 2017 if there was no change in state policies on charging for nuclear energy, CNN reported, although Friday marks the official end to its production. The company said it had not been profitable for five years.
Three Mile Island is primarily known for having the worst nuclear power disaster in U.S. history after a partial core meltdown at one reactor in 1979. The meltdown is credited with empowering the anti-nuclear movement, and it served as a catalyst to enact regulations on the nuclear power industry.
The plant’s four cooling towers will remain up, USA Today reported.
It will take decades for the plant to be officially cleaned up, and it will cost about $1.2 billion, CNN reported. Exelon said all radioactive material at the site should be removed from the plant by 2078.